If you are new parent of a youth soccer player, or even a veteran parent of youth soccer, understanding competitive youth soccer leagues can be overwhelming. At times the world of youth soccer can seem like an alphabet soup of acronyms. The amount of acronyms used to describe clubs, leagues, and national organizations can baffle the most knowledgeable soccer parent, so if you are a bit confused or just simply lost, don’t worry you are not the only one. Below we provide a couple definitions to help educate you on what type of league your child could be playing in as well as our clubs competitive structure overall.
Club Based League - This is a league where a club is required to place a team in each of the 6 age groups, U13 - U19, and then travel to compete against another club within their respective conference on the same day, and in most cases at the same complex. For example, if we go to play in Dallas, our "whole club" (all 6 age groups competing in that specific league) would travel to play 1 match against 1 Dallas based club on Saturday and a 2nd match against another Dallas based club on Sunday. Likewise, when a Dallas based club comes to play Tulsa SC on our home grounds, we would play one Dallas based club on Saturday and another Dallas based club on Sunday. In a “club based” league, a typical schedule will be that you play 2 different clubs on a scheduled weekend. Typically, these “club based” leagues have about 4-6 out of town matches played on the weekends, all matches in league play are drivable, and since you travel as a group the travel costs are somewhat reduced (riding together and hotel costs are based on a group rate).
Team Based League - This is a league where a club can place a minimum of 1 team in only 1 age group, can also put multiple teams in the same age group, or can put 1 team in one age group, two teams in a different age group, and none in a 3rd age group, and so on. This league provides flexibility for clubs that can determine on an individual team basis if they are good enough to compete in the league being considered. Typically, “team based” leagues are more locally based or have designated “travel weekends” where you would go and compete against other teams in the league across 3-4 weekends max. In a “team based” league, a typical schedule will be that you play 4 different teams on a scheduled weekend, 2 games on Saturday and 2 games on Sunday.