Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL)
Deputy Commissioner: Anthony Pagano

Email:  bryc_all_stars@live.com
Phone:  (703) 426-5505

US Youth Soccer Mandate for Birth Year Teams
What it Means to BRYC's ODSL Teams
From:  Anthony Pagano, BRYC ODSL Travel Program Deputy Commissioner

To:       BRYC ODSL Teams

Subj:   US Youth Soccer Mandate for Birth Year Teams - What it Means to BRYC's ODSL Teams

As you know, US Youth Soccer and the Virginia Youth Soccer Association have mandated changes to player age groupings, beginning in the Fall 2016/Spring 2017 seasonal year.  This means a departure from the familiar "school year" age groupings to birth year groupings.  Going forward, players will be grouped and classified by the year of their birth.  For example, a team composed of players born between August 1, 2003 and July 31, 2004 would currently be a U12 team.  Under the mandate, the players born in 2003 would be on one team (U14 in Fall 2016), and the players born in 2004 on another (U13 in Fall 2016).

This does not mean that BRYC's existing ODSL teams are required to reorganize or make drastic roster changes.  ODSL is waiving its policy on players playing up as teams organize and reorganize in order to comply with the changed US Youth Soccer mandate for birth year teams.  This means that current team rosters do not need to change for the upcoming Fall season.

Each of the older BRYC ODSL teams should make its own decision in implementing the mandate.  BRYC will support and assist teams as they make the transition.  We expect and encourage our coaches to make appropriate decisions, in consultation with the parents of their players, taking into account the best interests of the players. 

However, we believe that our youngest ODSL teams (current U9s and U10s) should consider re-forming to birth year teams for the Fall 2016 season to avoid being in the position of having large numbers of players playing up for the next several seasons.  BRYC believes the players soccer and social development will be improved by playing with players in the appropriate age group as provided for under US Youth Soccer guidance.

If you have any questions, please contact Anthony Pagano, BRYC ODSL Travel Program Deputy Commissioner, at ajpagano@live.com or 703-839-2180.

Five Myths About the Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL)
If you’re not familiar with the Old Dominion Soccer League, let us clear up a few myths:

          Myth 1. You already have to be a great soccer player to play in ODSL.

Fact: ODSL is a developmental league, a place where players can learn the game without the intense pressure of competing at increasingly higher levels.  Their motto is Play with Dignity, Respect Your Opponent.

Myth 2: Players have to commit to playing year-round.

Fact: ODSL has two seasons just like recreational soccer and encourages players to play other sports or explore other interests.

Myth 3: It’s very expensive.

Fact. ODSL is not much more expensive than rec soccer.  Teams pay a separate league registration fee and most play in a tournament or two, but since virtually all coaches are unpaid volunteers they also try to keep costs at a minimum. 

Myth 4: There is a lot of travel involved.

Fact: In our area virtually all games are in Northern Virginia, most in Fairfax County.  There is however the occasional away game in a Stafford or a Winchester.

Myth 5: ODSL teams are always practicing.

Fact: Most ODSL teams practice about the same number of hours a week as rec teams – usually twice a week for about 1 ½ hours.