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Rules & Regs

5 HSC Travel Program Rules & Guidelines Minor Revisions Approved April 20155 - rev. 04-28-15



The Hanover Soccer Club, INC. (HSC) is an independent 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to the development of youth soccer in Hanover Township. Our objective is to provide an opportunity for girls, boys and young adults to participate in the playing of soccer. This informational handout describes the organization and objectives of the travel program of the HSC.


The HSC is a member of the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association (NJYSA), an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation, which is a member of the world soccer organization Federation Internationale de Football Association(FIFA). At the youth level, the NJYSA serves as overall organizer, coordinator, overseer, insurance broker, and guiding light for many youth soccer activities, including in-town, travel, and select programs. Teams in the HSC typically play in a league such as the one sponsored by the Morris County Youth Soccer Association (MCYSA) and participate in tournaments recognized by MCYSA and sanctioned by NJYSA.


The objective of the HSC Travel Program is to provide the best soccer experience possible for our children so they can reach their maximum potential. To attain this objective, the program aims to teach and develop within all players the techniques, tactics, fitness and psychology necessary to be quality soccer players.

In developing our youth travel program, we relied heavily on guidelines and principles set forth by NJYSA, USYSA, USSF and its associated coaching schools. Likewise, we recognize the differences in physical and emotional development among groups of boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 19 and so each of the age groups follows a slightly different regimen. Participation within the travel program is an elevated level of competition as compared to the in-town soccer program.


Achieving the objectives of the travel program requires greater commitment on the part of players, parents and coaches than the commitment required for the HSC In-Town program. This increased level of commitment also carries many rewards including, participating in tournaments, meeting new friends, developing advanced soccer skills and accessing a great variety of soccer opportunities. The commitment is significant, but like most things in life the work put into our program can leave our children with many rewarding experiences.


5 HSC Travel Program Rules & Guidelines Minor Revisions Approved April 20155 - rev. 04-28-15






1. Practice: Teams will practice between 1-3 times per week for approximately 1.5 hours per session. Beginning as early as July, and most certainly by August, this regimen typically continues through mid November when the Fall season concludes. A similar practice schedule will start in Mid March and continue until Mid June. Players may be offered optional winter practice sessions at the discretion of the individual teams. The amount of practice time and the days of practice are generally left to the individual coaches, however, some practice nights may be set by the Director of Training due to scheduling with the training company being used.

2. League Games: Most HSC travel teams participate in the MCYSA fall and spring travel leagues. The fall and spring season are generally comprised of 10 league games. The fall season begins the first Sunday after Labor Day and ends in late November, while the Spring season begins usually the first Sunday of April and ends in Mid June. Teams above U15 (High School) often play the spring season only.

3. Tournament Schedule: Travel teams are expected to participate in 2 tournaments throughout the year, paid for by the club. Those tournaments that are most popular include Labor Day, Columbus Day, Halloween and Memorial Day. The club will pay for the entry fee to these tournaments. If a team decides to enter an out of state tournament, which requires lodging, the Club will pay the tournament entry fee only.

4. Players on Travel teams are not precluded from participating in other activities or sports, but are expected to attend their travel team practices as well as games, or work out reasonable comprises with their coaches.


The following outline is intended to provide a brief description of what our teams and coaches are striving to achieve as our children participate in weekly practices and games. Ideally, participation within this development program, coupled with high quality coaching and professional training will fully prepare our most athletic children for competition at the high school level and beyond.

1. Division 5 (Under 10): Emphasis in the early years is to teach all the basic techniques with emphasis on dribbling, shooting/passing and collecting while also being introduced to heading and tackling. Training sessions will be dominated by individual ball skills and small sided games to maximize the number of touches each player experiences during practice.

2. Division 4 (Under 12): At this stage, players will experience more intensive technique training so they can master all the fundamental skills under low pressure. By the end of this division, players should be capable of volleying, passing/shooting, collecting, heading, dribbling and basic tackling. Tactically, players should learn several play variations as well as be introduced to the basis of all the principles of offense and defense.



3. Division 3 (Under 14): Practices will continue to develop technical skill with more intense exercises that incorporate defensive pressure and restrictions of time and space. As players start to fit into specific team positions, they will incorporate functional training to emphasize individual player skills. At this point in a player’s development, all techniques should be reasonably well developed and the emphasis is on application of techniques under pressure. Tactical play should become more coordinated with groups of 3-5 players being able to form cooperative "tactical clusters" on the field. Likewise, groups of players should become aware of their role in the principles of attack and defense.

4. Division 2 (Under 16): Skill development is in its final stages and all players should be perfecting their own match skills. Training becomes more intense with greater emphasis on match conditions rather than fundamental skills. Increased emphasis on functional training with greater defensive pressure and time/space constraints. At this age group, there is increased emphasis on fitness training to meet the increased demands of playing matches with greater pace and physical contact.

5. Division 1(Under 19): By this age, practices serve as a means to fine tune players skills. Players should be able to play the ball at high rates of speed and so practices are dynamic with 6 v 6 and 7 v 7 games going to a big goal. Players should be developing and honing their tactical skills.


The guiding principle for game participation is that when a player is selected for a travel team, he/she has sufficient abilities to play and contribute to the success of their team. Consequently, through their dedication to weekly practices, all players earn the opportunity to actively participate in each and every game. Following are guidelines for each Division. It should be noted that participation in a game might be effected by situations such as: attendance at practice sessions and games, and conduct of individual players. Coaches have the discretion to determine each player’s time on the field if there are circumstances, which call for decreased playing time over the recommended time.

1. Division 5 (Under 10): All players will be given the opportunity to play a MINIMUM 50% of each game. At this age, children are still in the developmental stage of skill development, and the most important thing we can provide them is a quality playing experience. At this age, players should be given the opportunity to develop their skills at different positions so they can develop into complete soccer players. No team should designate any player as a "defender" or "keeper" or "attack". Each player should have the opportunity to play every position. If a player does not wish to be a goalie, they should not be forced into that position.

5 HSC Travel Program Rules & Guidelines Minor Revisions Approved April 20155 - rev. 04-28-15

2. Division 4 (Under 12): All players will be given the opportunity to play a MINIMUM of 50% of each game. Coaches are expected to provide every player an opportunity to be on the field for a continuous stretch of time equal to 25% of the match. Through age 12, players must continue to work on development of all soccer techniques and all players should see time at every position.

3. Division 3 (Under 14): All players will be given the opportunity to play a MINIMUM of 25% of each game. Participation above this minimum is at the Coaches discretion. In these age groups, players are starting to settle into positions.

4. Division 2 and 1(Under 16 and Under 19): The length of play at these age levels is entirely up to the Coach. However, we encourage coaches to give each player at least 25% playing time per game.


All references to U12 are now replaced will “Full Sided” (11v11) and U11 now refers to any team that is not full sided  (7v7 or 9v9). This change was made to align our program with US Soccer’s new Player Development Initiative (PDI).

1. There are 2 ways a team is composed and players selected.

In age groups U11 and under all players must participate in a tryout, which is conducted using an independent training company. Players are evaluated while playing in small-sided scrimmages. Scores are earned based on criteria, which includes a player’s ability to dribble, pass, control the ball, and defend his/her position and their energy during the tryout. Depending on the number of children trying out for a team, it is possible players may need to participate in 2 tryouts. While attendance at the both tryouts is not mandatory to make a team, it is strongly recommended as scores from both tryout days will be averaged. The evaluators will turn over all scoring sheets to the VP of Travel or their designated representative. The team will be selected using the following criteria:

1) If there is going to be one team in an age group, the top 10 players by score will be automatic selections. Once that is done, the appointed Coach will be permitted to select up to 4 additional players of his choice from the remaining players. The maximum roster for age groups U11 and under is 14 players, and HSC strongly recommends a coach select the maximum roster.

2) If there are sufficient players (22 minimum) to have 2 teams in an age group (except for U12 – see below) the teams will be selected by the VP of Travel or his designated committee. There will not be any coach’s selections. The teams shall be determined with the top scoring players on team 1 with the roster based on taking the amount of eligible players and dividing it by 2. In the event of an odd number of players, the additional player will be on team 1 at the coaches’ discretion.

i. U12 Exception

             1. If there are sufficient players to have (2) U12 teams, the top 12 players by score will be automatically on Team 1. The remaining selections will be selected by the appointed coach. He may only select players that have scored in the top 20. The number of selections will be based on total eligible players divided by 2. In the event of an odd number of players, the additional player will be on Team 1 at the coach’s discretion. The rest of the players will be on Team 2.

                  2. The selections will have to be approved by the VP of Travel.

2. All teams in age groups U12 and above are decided as follows: The Coach will designate specific tryout dates during the teams regular practice sessions. New players are invited to join existing team members in small-sided scrimmages and any other process the coach wishes to try. The selection of these teams is done by the Coach with one exception: In age group U12 where we have players coming up from (2) U11 teams, and will form 1 team in U12 there will be a tryout identical to the age groups U11 and under tryout, using independent trainers to evaluate the players and, in addition, we will obtain evaluations from the coaching staff on the individual players who were on that team at the time of the tryout. The coaches may be in attendance at the tryout. The VP of Travel, or his selected committee will designate the Head Coach of the U12 team, and that coach will be able to select up to 7 additional players of his/her choosing from the remaining players. The Coach will be able to select assistants subject to Board approval.

3. The HSC organizes Travel Teams according to NJYSA & USYSA age guidelines. In some divisions, teams are composed of children born within the span of a single year, termed "age level teams". A child’s age appropriate team is considered to be his/her age level team, if one exists, or the next older team. HSC believes in most cases a child should play at his/her age appropriate level. One exception would be a child who is grade appropriate for a team however young by age, we would allow the child and parent to determine which team that child would try out for.

4. A team is allowed to roster players from outside HSC’s geographical territory (out of town players). Once a player is added to the roster of an HSC travel team, that player is considered a Hanover Township child for the following year.

5. Players may be secondary carded to another team in addition to the primary team for age levels U11 and above. Should there be a conflict in games, the player is expected to participate with the primary team. Any player secondary carded to an HSC team is expected to pay the registration fee as well as uniform fee. 2nd card on 2 HSC teams?

6. Should a team wish to add a player during the season, the Coach must contact the VP of Travel and discuss the addition. If the player is deemed to be "travel worthy" he can be added to the roster. The fees will be prorated by when the player joins (if they join for the Spring season, they would pay ½ of the annual fee) and the player is responsible for purchasing a team uniform.



1. HSC requires that all travel coaches obtain an "F" license, prior to the start of the season in which they will coach. No coach can be carded to a team without a minimum of an "F" license. In addition, HSC expects a minimum of one coach from each Div. 3 team to have an "E" license. HSC will reimburse all coaches for the fee required to obtain the licenses.

2. The VP of Travel recommends Head Coaching assignments for approval by the

HSC Board. The VP of Travel will designate a "travel" committee composed of

Board Members. This committee will review all requests to coach and may conduct interviews with potential candidates. The selected candidates name will then be submitted by the VP of Travel for approval.

3. Once a head Coach is selected, the head coach will recommend assistant coaches to the VP of Travel. Again, these candidates will need the approval of the HSC Board.

4. All travel coaches are expected to comply with all the rules and regulations of the HSC Board with respect to team selection and playing time. If a coach does not comply, they will be contacted by the VP of Travel or his designated representative, and asked to explain why they are not in compliance. Any travel coach who is issued a yellow card may be called before the VP of Travel or the designated committee to explain the circumstances. Any fines levied by the MCYSA Disciplinary Chair to the HSC Club, due to conduct of a coach, may subject the coach to paying said fines. The Travel Committee shall review each case.

5. The term of every travel coach is for one year. The VP of Travel or designated committee reserves the right to change coaches for a new year, if it is deemed appropriate or necessary. Every coach serves at the pleasure of the HSC Board, and if required to appear before the Board or the Travel Committee, is expected to do so. If a coach refuses a rightful summons from the Board or Travel Committee, he/she may be removed from the position of Head Coach.

6. All coaches shall be subject to a background investigation ordered by HSC and performed by an independent agency. If the investigation reveals matters involving any alleged unethical conduct, immoral conduct or any criminal convictions, the HSC Board shall have the absolute right to remove any coach from his/her coaching position.

7. All coaches are expected to maintain the same time commitment as the players. While it is understood that occasionally a coach may be unavailable for a practice or game, absences which become more frequent will be addressed by the VP of Travel with the coach.


1. The registration fee for the Travel program is higher than the fees for the InTown program. The registration fee (currently $450.00 + a non-refundable registration fee of $10.00) covers the cost of NJYSA registration fees, league registration fees, referees, training, team equipment, insurance, tournaments and patches among other things. HSC supplements the Travel Program as needed throughout the year to cover additional expenses that may not be covered by the registration fee.

2. HSC believes all qualified children should have the opportunity to play travel soccer. Any family that cannot afford the registration fee should contact the VP of Travel. HSC can scholarship any eligible child at the discretion of the VP of Travel.

3. All travel teams are required to use the uniform selected by the HSC Board. The uniform consists of a Shirt, Shorts, socks and conflict shirt. If a team wishes to purchase warm up suits, jackets, sweats, etc., they may do so, subject to prior approval from the VP of Travel. Any additional merchandise is expected to be in the team colors selected by the HSC Board. Families are responsible for the cost of the uniform and any additional items they may choose to purchase.

4. Each travel team is encouraged to participate in 1 tournaments per year. The club will pay the entry fee for each team into 1 tournaments. If a team chooses to play any additional tournaments, those fees are the responsibility of the individual team. The HSC Board may choose to pay the cost of additional tournaments at their discretion. Any team that wishes to play in State Cup (U11 and older) may do so, and the Club will pay for the fee and referee costs. (If a team plays in an out of state tournament), the club will not be responsible for any expenses associated with lodging, food and travel costs.


1. Team members are responsible for transportation, lodging, food and drinks while traveling to all practices and games.

2. All players are expected to wear appropriate clothing and equipment at all practices and games. Players are responsible for their own shin guards, cleats and soccer ball. Any additional safety equipment required (safety goggles, for example) is the responsibility of the individual.

3. All travel team players, coaches, and families are expected to exhibit exemplary behavior and commitment to the travel program. Each family must sign the SAGE form, and will be held to the promises made on that form. Players, coaches, and families are also subject to the current requirements as set forth in the Guide to Red Cards, Yellow Cards and Accumulated Disciplinary Points for Players, Coaches, & Spectators. Any player who exhibits inappropriate behavior during practice or a game may be subject to the loss of playing time as determined by the team’s coach or the VP of Travel. In severe cases, players, coaches, and/or parents may be subject to removal from the team following a review by the Disciplinary Committee.




5 HSC Travel Program Rules & Guidelines Minor Revisions Approved April 20155 - rev. 04-28-15