Frequently Asked Questions

The below FAQ will provide answers to commonly asked questions.

Recreational Soccer FAQ

What equipment do we need for Rec Soccer?

  • All players U3 – U14/15 will receive a team shirt.
  • Players must provide shorts and socks appropriate for shin guards
  • Ball: size 3 or 4 for U3-U6; Size 4 for U7-U12; Size 5 for U13+
  • Shin Guards: Optional for U3-U5; required for U6+
  • A bottle of water
  • Cleats are optional for U3-U8, sneakers and turf shoes are fine as long as they provide a sure footing (no sandals or open toe shoes). Cleats are highly recommended for U7/U8 and required for U9+. 

Are tryouts required for Rec Soccer?

Tryouts are not required for Rec Soccer. If interested in Travel Soccer, attending tryouts is required and take place during the first two weeks of June.

What are practices like?

Practices at each division/level are different and are tailored to meet the needs of players playing at each individual level:

U3-U5 – Practice is a mix of fun games integrated with introducing the foundations of soccer. Dribbling, passing, shooting. These concepts are integrated into games children are familiar with (e.g. red light green light, etc.).

U6 – Practices focus on advancing the skills of dribbling, passing and shooting with using a mix of drills and fun games. At U6 we introduce scrimmages into practice.

U7-U8 – Taking what was learned at U6 and adding more complexity into the drills, using cones and other equipment. Also introduce simple positioning, finishing and work on transferring skills learned into scrimmages.

U10 and up – Continued focus on the basics (dribbling and passing) while learning the rules of the games related to offsides, corner kicks, free kicks, etc. Also, begin to spend considerable time on positioning and finishing.

Can you tell me more about the U3 program?

TSC offers a U3 program to interested parents in the fall and spring. All U3 players will be on the same team and after the first two sessions if players/parents are not interested in continuing a refund will be provided. We do request the following of the two and three year olds, but do understand these players are toddlers.

  • Ability to follow instructions from a non-parent
  • Players should have the ability to run
  • Parents will be required to be on the field with players at each practice

We have a conflict with the weekday practice for U7/U8. Will that be an issue?

We understand conflicts with other activities arise and these are not an issue. Please communicate with your coach when you will not be able to make a practice.

My child has a late year birthday and/or is small for their size. Can they play down to a lower division?

Unfortunately, the rules set by CJSA (Tolland Soccer’s governing body) and US Youth Soccer have strict regulations around players playing in their appropriate age level. Players with Oct/Nov/Dec birthdays will not be able to play down to a lower division. There are no exceptions to this rule.

My child is 5 but is playing U7 soccer. Why is that, shouldn’t they be in U6?

Due to how soccer division eligibility is based on a calendar year, a child with a birthday in October/November/December may still be 5 at the start of the season or during the season and may not turn 6 until well into the season or even after (if they have a December birthday). Unfortunately, due to strict rules around ages and what divisions players may play in for their age, TSC is not able to accommodate moving players down to a lower division.

This is the first season my child will be playing soccer, will U7/U8 be too advanced for them?

While some players have been playing soccer since U4 or U5, new players are introduced to soccer each year. All practices are focused on teaching fundamental soccer skills and all coaches understand there will be many players playing soccer for the first time regardless of age or division and adjust accordingly.

This is the first year of soccer for my child, is it possible for my child to play on a team with a friend?

Yes, we can accommodate requests such as this. Please fill out this form and we will make every effort to honor these requests, but please understand due to some limitations, we cannot guarantee all requests.

    Where can I find out what division my child would play in?

    Our age matrix can be found at tollandsoccerlcub.org/about/age-matrix.

    Does U9 and above play games?

    U9 and above plays games both intra club and with other towns. Rec plays in the Northeast District which includes Vernon, Ellington, Stafford, Willington, Plainfield, Lebanon, Coventry, Bolton among others. Games can be both home and away and are usually played on weekends with occasional mid week games.

    Is U9+ Rec Soccer considered competitive soccer?

    You will often hear the terms travel soccer, competitive soccer and competitive rec used interchangeably. “Travel” soccer and “Competitive” soccer are generally associated with players more serious about playing soccer. To play on these teams, a player must attend tryouts and “make” the team.

    “Competitive Rec” soccer is different than those noted above. There is no tryout for U9+ Competitive Rec and all players that register will play regardless of playing ability. Competitive Rec strives to offer a fun and positive playing environment without the higher level of competition seen at the Travel level, but we do still consider competitive rec to be “competitive” as we play other towns with an eye toward fundamental and interpersonal development.

    My daughter is a U9, why is U9 combined with U10.

    Due to registration numbers and to maximize opportunities to play other towns, TSC combines U9 and above into three divisions for boys and three for girls. U9 & U10 are combined into a U10 division; U11 & U12 are combined into a U12 division; U13 & U14/15 are combined into a U14/15 division.

    We don’t live in Tolland, can we still register for Rec Soccer?

    Yes, Rec Soccer is open to players from surrounding towns.

    Where does practice take place?

    The U3-U8 program practices at Birch Grove Primary School, Tolland Middle School and Cross Farms Sports Complex. Location for the upcoming season will be communicated a few weeks before the season begins. The U10+ Rec teams can practice at any of the lined soccer fields and your coach will provide that information before the season begins.

    What times are practices?

    The U3-U8 program practices are as follows (please note these times are subject to change and the final schedule will be communicated in the weeks prior to season start; the times below should be used as a guide and are not necessarily the set times for the upcoming season):

    • U3-U5: Saturday 8:15 AM – 9 AM
    • U6: Saturday 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
    • U7-U8: Saturday 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM, Wednesday 6 PM – 7 PM (during the Fall note that practice times for weeknight practices will slowly move up due to loss of evening daylight.

    Can you tell me about the Travel Prep program?

    The travel prep program is for U7 and U8 players interested in moving to Travel soccer as an early U8 or U9. The travel prep program introduces rules of the game including offsides, corner kicks, positioning and other skills players would begin learning as a U9. The travel prep program does look to scrimmage other town teams with similar programs or U8 teams looking for additional opportunities to play games. Scrimmages and games are not guaranteed.

    The travel prep program is NOT required to tryout or play travel soccer. There is an additional cost for the travel prep program and is not included in your Rec registration fee. You must be registered for U7/U8 Rec to participate in the travel prep program.

    Travel Soccer FAQ

    Are players required to tryout for Travel soccer?

    Yes, all interested players are required to tryout for Travel soccer. Registration will open in mid April and close in late May. TSC will host tryouts in the first two weeks of June and we will communicate those dates in early May. All players are required to tryout and there are no “automatics” from one year to the next. Unfortunately, there can be cuts at the Travel level.

    My child will be in U8, can they tryout for the U9 travel team?

    Yes, we allow U8 players to tryout for the U9 travel team and play up their first year of travel soccer. Assuming they make the team, they would then need to repeat the U9 year when the child is a U9 player by age. In other words a U8 player playing up to U9 will play U9 for two years in a row. We do not allow players to continue to play up a division.

    There is no travel team for my child’s division due to low registration numbers. Can she tryout for a higher division?

    Yes, we will allow players to tryout for a higher division when we are unable to field a full team due to low registration numbers, but they would need to be competitive enough to make the higher division team. There is no special consideration provided in these circumstances.

    Why did my child’s team get changed from one year to the next?

    If your child’s division has multiple teams, in coordination with the Travel Director, the head coach may move players between teams in order to provide the best experience for all players. All teams will eventually combine into one team at U13, once players play full field soccer (11v11). If there are enough players to field two 11v11 teams, movement among teams will continue at the coaches and Travel Directors discretion until players age out of Travel soccer.

    What is the level of commitment for Travel soccer?

    During the Fall and Spring seasons, teams will host two practices per week with games on Saturday or Sunday and sometimes both depending on the schedule or weather. TSC understands players may want to participate in other sports and especially baseball and lacrosse during the Spring. We encourage this commitment to other sports and only ask for you to maintain an open line of communication with your coach.

    Travel soccer does require a higher level of commitment than Rec soccer. Please be prepared to provide the commitment required to improve skill development at practices and games but also commitment to the team.

    What will the season look like for Fall, Winter and Spring?

    The season begins with the 3v3 tournament at Tolland High School the weekend before Labor Day weekend. This is Tolland Soccers largest and only fundraiser for the season (we don’t ask kids to sell candy bars or popcorn) and we ask for participation in the tournament as well as assistance operating the tournament from parents. Practice will usually begin either the week before the 3v3 or the week after.

    During the Fall and Spring seasons, teams will host two practices per week with games on Saturday or Sunday and sometimes both depending on the schedule or weather.

    Expect games at least once per weekend beginning in early September and continuing through the first week of November. Most coaches will also enter their team into one tournament during the Fall and one during Spring in addition to the Cape Cod tournament (see below). Tournaments are between 3 and 4 games in one weekend. Spring is similar to fall with 1-2 weekend games beginning in late April (weather permitting) through early June.

    TSC also attends the New England Soccer Classic on Cape Cod every year over Memorial Day Weekend. This is a special tournament which requires overnight stays on the Cape with play Saturday, Sunday and possibly Monday. All teams are expected to attend.

    TSC does not have a winter session, but many coaches participate in winter leagues at Star Hill Sports in Tolland. Indoor soccer is a fast paced game played on artificial turf. Winter league at Star Hill with your team is 100% optional and does have extra costs.

    How much is Travel soccer and what is included?

    The cost for Travel soccer for the year is $250. This includes practice, games and entry fees for the Cape Cod tournament and one additional tournament. Additional tournaments may be added which could bring additional cost.

    Expect to pay roughly $125 to $140 for the required kit items.

    What uniform required?

    All players that tryout and make a team are expected to purchase a uniform kit from our soccer uniform supplier (soccer.com). The required uniform kit consists of a home and away jersey, shorts, practice pinnie and socks. Other optional gear, such as a backpack, warm ups, sweat shirts, jackets, etc., may be purchased in addition to the required uniform pieces, but at a minimum the kit includes the items noted above.

    Expect to pay roughly $125 to $140 for the required kit items.

    The club will communicate ordering information shortly after the announcement of teams in mid June. You will need to act fast and order the uniform through soccer.com once you receive that email or you risk not receiving the kit by the beginning of the season in early September.

    What is the Tolland Soccer 3v3 Tournament?

    Annually, Tolland Soccer hosts a 3v3 tournament the weekend before Labor Day weekend. This tournament is a fundraiser for the club (entry fees are not included in the $250 registration fee) and we ask all travel teams to field at least 2 teams (5-6 players per team) as well ask coaches recruit teams from neighboring towns and clubs. We also need parent support on the days leading up to the tournament with striping fields and setup and on the day of the tournament volunteering at the numerous stations needed to operate the tournament. If interested in getting more involved in the 3v3, please email Kevin Prechtl at [email protected].

    Should my child be playing on a Premier soccer team?

    Premier soccer is another level of soccer typically for players serious about playing high school and/or possible college. Premier soccer requires significant commitment and play in other sports along with Tolland Soccer is usually not possible. Premier soccer also comes with significant costs upwards of $3000 or more.

    There are 4-5 Premier clubs in our region with CFC and NEU being the closest. If you choose to join a Premier club we encourage you to attend a practice as both an observer and with your child participating in practice. All clubs will host players for a session or two so they can experience the coaching and level of play. We also encourage parents to ask questions of the coaches and other parents. Premier clubs do require tryouts but rarely turn players away and this is important to understand as well.

    Make an informed decision as the investment is high and you don’t want to simply join the team your child tells you everyone else plays for without completing your own due diligence.