Our Mission is to:
- Provide an inspiring soccer experience through practice and play
- Be inclusive to the entire community and to give all that are interested in soccer a chance to
- experience the game at the appropriate level
- Help both players and coaches to develop soccer and personal skills (technical and tactical skills, team spirit, fair play, leadership, sportsmanship, etc.)
- Offer both a competitive and playful/fun environment
Read RYS Bylaws here: RYS_Bylaws
Rockport Youth Soccer continues to grow in popularity each year. What was once a small, in-town Fall “recreational” league, is now a year-round program offering a variety of soccer experiences to kids ages 4- 18.
Rockport Youth Soccer (RYS) offers the following soccer experiences:
- Fall in-town recreational soccer
- Fall competitive travel soccer
- Winter indoor soccer
- Fall & Spring Travel tournament Soccer
A volunteer Board of Directors runs RYS.
The board’s mission is to provide the youth of Rockport the most inspiring and educational soccer experience we possibly can. Given the evolution of soccer in Rockport and the varied constituents that we serve, it is our goal to clearly communicate our vision to the Rockport community. We encourage your feedback and involvement in the dynamic process of running the best possible programs that we can.
In-town Fall Soccer
As it suggests, in town Soccer involves no travel. For kids from Kindergarten through 4th grades, this program focuses on recreational and early instructional team soccer. We do our best to create evenly matched coed teams and play all of our games on Saturday mornings at Evans field. Because this is a town run program, we enjoy more flexibility in creating teams that best mirror demands of that season.
Travel Soccer (including indoor soccer) is more competitive, more complicated to manage and creates more structural challenges. Rockport participates in the Essex County Youth Soccer Association (ECYSA). This is the second largest soccer association in the state of Massachusetts—with over 900 teams participating each season. ECYSA has strict rules and guidelines that we must follow. Specifically, roster size is capped based on age group, and the experience level of the bracket in which individual teams are placed.
Making Teams: In order to best compete and to provide the best possible soccer experience for our players, RYS has adopted the ECYSA team formulation and placement policy as follows: “Youth soccer players are generally grouped together on teams based upon individual athletic ability, overall skill level, maturity, and the level of skills of the team on which the are placed…and the objective is to place youth soccer players at a level of competition that is most beneficial for their own development.”
RYS believes that players have the most positive experience when playing with and against players of equal ability and experience.
Each season RYS will often have a sufficient number of players to register 2 or more teams within any given age bracket. In keeping with the above described placement policy, RYS will create a stronger, more experienced team and, a second, often younger and less experienced team. We will do our best to have these teams placed within the appropriate bracket so that each team will be evenly matched against its competition.
Teams are placed in one of 3 ECYSA divisions based on team strength. Though a part of each teams registration application includes a Team Strength Report, the ultimate team divisional placement is a decision made by the league schedulers.
Making teams is the most difficult responsibility of any board in every town. Our major constraints include registration numbers, age cut-offs, available coaching volunteers, and player experience. RYS take this responsibility seriously. Our goal to be as objective, as transparent and as consistent as we possibly can be. Though the board is responsible for team formation, coaches are involved in the process. At times, tryouts may be necessary, though these are very often unnecessary.
Travel soccer through ECYSA can be more competitive than our own recreational fall soccer. Rather than having equal teams like we had in Division 2 during the fall, these teams need to be created by taking into account each player’s skill level and the team’s ability to compete within the different divisions of ECYSA. When creating teams for travel soccer, RYS tries to keep kids with similar abilities and kids within the same grade together while trying to allow all kids that sign up a chance to play.
Each year we work hard to create teams that serve the players best. We try to keep an eye on the athletic abilities of the children, as well as the emotional aspects that might play a role. At times, requests are made to the board regarding team placement. While we do our best, we cannot always accommodate all wishes. We know that this can lead to some disappointments.
To help parents deal with this we will approach parents pro-actively to inform them about the new team that their child will be a part of. The board will notify the parents that there is a concern that kids may have had an other expectation. We will inform parents so that they can manage the expectation of the child. The board will explain its rational for the selection process but it is not the intention to re-visit the decision making process.
A final note about team selection: Teams are not set in stone from season to season. A player placed on the less experienced team this season has every opportunity to make the stronger squad the next season.
The idea of competitive —playful ambition based on respect and fair play
The word competition comes from the word compete. It represents a “challenge.” In order to test our talent and to grow our skills, we play games. It is critical to honor our opponent and to appreciate the challenge that they offer—regardless of whether we win or lose. Without an opponent, there is no competition. Without competition there is no game. Our main focus is to benefit from the competitive environment as we test our skills and grow as individuals. Winning and losing are really quite secondary.
We consider the Referees to be as much a part of the game as our teammates and as our opponents. We appreciate the role of the Referee to guide our games and we respect their decisions, right or wrong, knowing that the Referees are just like us.
Referees do their best, strive for perfection, and should be allowed to make mistakes without recrimination—even if it defines the outcome of the game. In those very rare cases, we will experience the principle of bad luck.
Parents and friends:
Parents and friends that form the audience are key members of each game as well. We expect parents and friends to be positive role models in demonstrating good sportsmanship throughout the game. Parents should not dispute calls and challenge the decisions of the Referees and Coaches. We encourage you to cheer for your favorite team with enthusiasm while also recognizing the great accomplishments of our opponents. This results in a truly rewarding competitive match for all concerned.