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Answers to some of your questions

WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO THE COACHES AND REFEREES HAVE?

All coaches, referees, and board members have to complete a LiveScan (fingerprint check) before they can work with your children. 

Coaches will all need to complete their United States Soccer Federation (USSF) license F before they can start coaching. Ongoing coaches clinics and training courses will be run.

Referees all need to be USSF certified. Paid Referees will be provided for all U10 and above games. 

HOW MANY PLAYERS ARE ON THE TEAM ROSTER?

Harbor Youth Soccer League is following US Soccer Federation guidelines for the size of teams and at what age to introduce goalkeepers to games. The reasoning for not having goalkeepers at younger age groups is to maximize each players time spent on the ball and having fun through exercising rather than standing bored between the posts!

U8 4 v 4 - no goalkeeper.

U10 7 v 7 with goalkeepers.

U12 9 v 9 with goalkeepers.

U14 and older 11 v 11 with goalkeepers.

WHERE AND WHEN ARE GAMES AND PRACTICES HELD?

HYSL has secured the permit for Field of Dreams in San Pedro. The bulk of the games are held every Saturday at the Field of Dreams from 8am to 5pm. We also have a permit for Daniels Field in San Pedro so it is likely some of the older divisions will occasionally play there and may have an midweek evening game.

Practices are also usually held at the Field of Dreams but if a coach agrees with the families of their team to have practices at another location that is fine. Most teams at U6 level practice for an hour once a week. Older teams often meet twice a week and sometimes coaches will arrange extra sessions. Times for practices are again agreed by coaches and their families but please note the Field of Dreams is only open Monday to Thursday from 3.30pm to 7.30pm (light and weather permitting).

WILL THERE BE A POST SEASON OR A SPRING LEAGUE?

HYSL will offer a full suite to our player including a tournament/Allstars season for U10 through U19. Starting November this will be on a try-out basis and will play in the Cal South Class 3 tournaments.

We will have a spring recreational program in 2019. Details to be provided in the towards end of Fall season.

We also hope to run a Top Soccer program in the future. The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl, who has a mental or physical disability. Its goal is to enable the thousands of young athletes with disabilities to become valued and successful members of the US Youth Soccer family.

HOW DO A BECOME A COACH OR A REFEREE AND DO I NEED PRIOR EXPERIENCE?

Harbor Youth Soccer League is entirely run by volunteers, that you can become part of. The referees will be paid a small fee so we can ensure every game at U10 and above has a referee and the coaches can concentrate on coaching.

Soccer is a fun and easy game to understand so even if you never played you can become a coach - particularly at the U6 and U8 levels. Contact the Coach coordinator at hyslcoach@gmail.com or let the registrars know when you come to sign up players.

Referees really help games run smoothly and allow coaches to focus on developing their players rather than controlling the game. We therefore will train and pay so that all U10 and above games have a referee. Again, no prior experience is needed although a basic understanding of the games rules prior to your training will help you pass the license requirements.  If you are interested email hyslrefereedirector@gmail.com or let one of the registrars know when you come to sign up players.

If you have previous certification as a referee then again please contact hyslrefereedirector@gmail.com so they can transfer you over to at least USSF Grade 8 certification.

WHY NO GOALKEEPERS AND SUCH SMALL TEAMS AT U8?

There are several reasons, all linked to promoting player enjoyment and development, why HYSL, The US Soccer Federation, US Youth Soccer, and other youth soccer organizations have adopted the no goalkeeper and short sided teams at U6 and U8. It is important to remember for many players at these age levels they have little or no experience of playing soccer or playing team sports at all. The priority is for them to have fun and begin to master the core skills. Specialization comes later.

The goalkeeper is denied the chance to run around and develop the core skills of soccer that we want to foster in our young players such as ball control, shooting, tackling, and passing. 

Statistics show that having no goalkeeper at this age encourages players to shoot more often. Learning to shoot, and score is the fundamental object of the game so it is great to give young players as much chance to develop this skill. Its also great fun for the kids and their families to see! 

Often few players really want to play in goal at this age and being forced to stand in goal can kill off the enthusiasm for playing completely. 

At younger age levels the ability for goalkeepers to effectively clear the ball is often weak. This can lead to situations where the opposing team know to 'camp-out' on the edge of the box waiting to pounce on the weak clearance and the game becomes very one dimensional - when this happens nobody is really developing any skills and one team's players very quickly become disheartened.


Coaches are free to introduce the concept of goalkeepers and things like throw-ins, and goal kicks at practice, particularly at U8, and incorporate this into drills. They are however not allowed to teach heading due to National guidelines on the dangers of concussion/ and or permanent brain damage from heading at a young age.  

IS THERE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE?

We have partial scholarships available as well as a sibling discount. The sibling discount occurs automatically when you register. To apply for a Scholarship please follow the procedures on the Scholarship page.