Kalamazoo Soccer Club: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Kalamazoo Soccer Club?
What can I expect playing for KSC?
What credentials do KSC coaches have?
How is Club soccer different from AYSO?
How do I join KSC?
How old do I have to be to tryout for KSC?
When are tryouts, and what if I miss them?
How likely is it that I will make a team if I tryout?
How much does it cost for a year?
How does this cost compare to other travel sports?
What kind of time commitment will I need to make?
Tournaments
What if I'm involved in other activities at the same time?
What if a player is in high school and wants to play high school and Club soccer?
Benefits of after-school training



What is the Kalamazoo Soccer Club?
The Kalamazoo Soccer Club was formed in 1991 to provide high value, fun, competitive soccer teams for boys and girls ages 6 through 19 and under who live in the greater Kalamazoo and Parchment areas. These boundaries are similar to AYSO Region 211 that is based at the Kalamazoo Community Soccer Complex, 901 South Drake Road, Kalamazoo, Mich. The KSC is affiliated with the West Michigan Youth Soccer Association (WMYSA) which organizes competitive soccer clubs in southwest Michigan. WMYSA is a league in the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA) which, in turn, is affiliated with the United States Youth Soccer Association. These organizations were established to provide a structure to develop select youth soccer players in the U.S. The structure provides uniform rules and regulations to allow competition at all age levels across the country.   back to top


What can I expect playing for KSC?
KSC focuses on building additional soccer skills beyond what they might learn in a purely recreational league. For young players, soccer builds team skills and brings joy and confidence as they learn what it is like to work for benefit of the whole. They learn good sportsmanship and the satisfaction of setting and achieving individual and team goals. They run and run and run, releasing the day’s stress while building strong and healthy bodies. They learn to stretch, warm up, drink lots of water, and generally pay attention to caring for their bodies. As they get older in the sport, they have lasting friendships with team members from other schools. They learn self-discipline and time management skills. They keep busy during the teen years, and most play on their high school teams; many go on to play in college. KSC families enjoy a wonderful sense of camaraderie as the games become part of the family routine. Parents cheer from the sidelines and coordinate carpools or snacks. You’ll be part of an international culture that enjoys this great game. KSC also is designed to be high-value with moderate travel distances.   back to top


What credentials do KSC have?
KSC works hard to involve experienced coaches who meet minimal certification levels. Head coaches must have an E license after coaching for KSC for one year. Coaching clinics and other training support are provided to our coaches. The coaches quite often have or have had children playing competitive soccer. The KSC coaches and assistant coaches are recruited and overseen by the director or part of the KSC Board. Individuals interested in coaching should contact Ron Warners.    back to top


How is Club soccer different from AYSO?
KSC is aimed at players with a passion for competitive soccer, players who want to play on high school teams and beyond. KSC players often practice twice or more per week. AYSO typically practices only once per week. KSC players play more league games, tournaments, and often play indoor soccer together. KSC coaches are experienced and have a minimum of a state E license.
AYSO has balanced teams. Teams in KSC’s league are not necessarily balanced. KSC players will meet opposing team with varied skills and abilities that will challenge the player to be his or her best. AYSO strives for balance with all teams, often requiring yearly team reorganizing. Teams in KSC are formed each year with the strongest rosters in order to achieve competitive play with other league teams. Core groups of players in KSC often play together throughout their development years.
AYSO has open registration for all players who want to register. KSC players are selected to play based on several factors including playing ability, coachability and ability to interact with peers. Not all players trying out may be selected for a team.   back to top


How I join KSC?
Players are selected based on performance in tryouts organized and conducted by KSC in June. All players, new and returning, are required to try out. Exceptions to participation in tryouts of current players are made in certain circumstances on a player-by-player basis.   back to top


What age do I have to be to tryout for KSC?
Leagues start at under 9 years (U9) and go through U19. The date used to determine whether a player qualifies for an age bracket is the first day of August, immediately preceeding the soccer season. WMYSA does not allow for players to be selected for teams more than two years ahead of their proper age group.  back to top



When are tryouts, and what if I miss them?
Tryouts are held in mid- to late-June. Tryouts are extremely important as coaches and evaluators watch a player’s individual skill and team scrimmage performance. Players must plan to attend, particularly if they are not currently playing in the Club. However, exceptions are possible, especially for returning players or for teams that may be short of players. It is important to contact the appropriate coach as soon as a known conflict arises. back to top


How likely is it that I will make a team if I tryout?
Not all players trying out may be selected for a team. KSC is a select travel club, so there is no guarantee that you will make a team. KSC players are selected to play based on several factors including playing ability, coachability and ability to interact with peers. However, our goal is to have every dedicated, good player succeed and join KSC to help develop his or her skills. We will make use of A and B teams whenever appropriate, and will recruit to fill additional teams if the numbers are close. The more kids who try out, the more teams we can form and the better chance for everyone to play.   back to top


How much does it cost for a year?
The Club fee for both Fall and Spring seasons combined is $220. For high school age teams that play for one season only, the fee is a little more than half of that. This covers field rental, coaching expenses, referees, team equipment, and administrative costs. Uniform costs vary from $100 to $200 and are purchased every two years. The personal costs of travel to games and tournaments are not included in these fees. The Club fees and charges for uniforms will be due at the registration meeting in late-June or July. The team fees, which will vary from team-to-team, depend on the tournaments a team decides to participate in, must be paid before the first game of each season.
A confidential financial assistance program is available for players’ families who cannot meet all expenses. The assistance is usually part of the player’s Club fee. It does not cover team fees, uniform or travel costs. Financial assistance forms will be available at try-outs or by contacting Registrar Shannon Stutz. 
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How does this cost compare to other travel sports?
Soccer is a relatively inexpensive sport. It is not as equipment intensive as many sports. Besides your uniform, you need a pair of cleated shoes and shin guards. Our community is fortunate to have excellent fields at the Kalamazoo Community Soccer Complex and a lot of good competition nearby. Most of our competition comes from teams in southwestern Michigan, so we don’t have to travel far other than for a tournament.   back to top


What kind of time commitment will I need to make?
Players must be enthused and ready to practice an average of two times per week in addition to the weekend games during season. There are usually eight games scheduled in each of the fall and spring seasons. Individual coaches and teams set their practice schedules, but these are typically 1 ½ to 2 hours on a weeknight. Players are expected to make every effort to make all games and practices. The Fall Season runs from the end of August until the end of October, and the Spring Season runs from the beginning of April until the first part of June. Home games are at the Kalamazoo Soccer Complex. Teams usually play in at least one tournament per season, decided by the team. Teams usually enter to play indoor soccer during the off-season as well; though, this is not mandatory. Conflicts should be discussed with the coach.
Seasons:
High school age teams play only in the Fall or Spring, opposite the high school season. For U 14 and under teams, the registration covers Fall AND Spring seasons, you are commiting for the full year when you join the team.   back to top


Tournaments
All teams are expected to do a Fall tournament, the cost of which will be shared by all team members. It is not optional to pay or play on an individual basis; it is a team decision that must be honored by all. Tournaments can be some of the most fun and memorable family soccer experiences.   back to top


What if I am involved in some other activities at the same time?
Many of our soccer athletes also excel at other sports. We do not prohibit or discourage players from particpating in another sport, or even playing on an AYSO soccer team. However, families should understand and uphold their commitment to their KSC team and coach, and realize the time and scheduling involved in playing multiple sports. Our best advice in evaluating your priorities in dealing with conflicts it to discuss this with your coach or team manager.   back to top


What if my child is in high school, and wants to play high school and club soccer?
There is no conflict between High School soccer and Club soccer. Players in the older divisions only play Club soccer for one season. Girls play high school soccer in the spring and then Club soccer in the fall. Boys play high school soccer in the fall and then Club soccer in the spring.   back to top


Benefits of after-school training.
KSC's long-term goal is to get players into the lifelong habit of exercise. It is necessary that young people exercise year round, not only a few months at a time. This makes them healthier and better soccer players. back to top