Kemptville District Soccer Club
Development Soccer “Play-up” Policy
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Kemptville District Soccer Club (KDSC) Development Soccer requires players to participate in the correct, age-appropriate division unless special permission is granted by the club. KDSC and most other soccer clubs determine a player’s soccer age by the year in which they are born.
However, there are situations where the club will consider Play-up requests. This policy describes process to be used by the requesting parent, and the criteria that the club will apply. Playing-up is not a “right,” but is rather an exception only used under the criteria outlined below.
Playing-up exceptions are made by the KDSC Board. The Convenors and Coaches may be consulted, but the KDSC Board will be the final arbiter in Play-up decisions. Play-ups must benefit both the player and the club.
Note that this policy only applies to KDSC Development Soccer for ages U3 to U10 only. This policy applies to rules governed by KDSC and may be superseded by external league rules.
To request a Play-up, a KDSC Age Division Exception Form (available from the website) should be submitted to the club Registrar. The request should be made at the time of registration and no later than one month before the opening game of the season. The Board of Directors will review the request and, if the request is “considered”, an evaluation of the player will be scheduled by the Club Head Coach.
The Club Head Coach will perform the evaluation or assign a designate. The player must rank within the top 50% of the players at the requested level. Since it may be difficult to do fully comparable evaluation, the Club Head Coach will use his/her discretion.
After the evaluation, the Club Head Coach will provide a recommendation to the Board. The Board is the final arbiter in deciding if a player may Play-up. The Director of Development Soccer will notify the parent of the decision.
The club and/or Club Head Coach can choose to skip the evaluation if it is deemed unnecessary.
Under no circumstance will a “Play-Up” be approved if the player is more than one year younger than the age bracket requested.
The club and Club Head Coach will consider the following factors when determining if a “play up” request should be considered and approved:
1. Exceptionally Skilled Player - Level of play significantly exceeds peer group
Particularly in the lower age brackets, when only 4 or 5 players are on a side at one time, an exceptional player may dominate play to the extent that the game is no longer equal for the opposing team. A player who fits these criteria must dominate play in more than one phase i.e. striking and passing; defending and challenging; defending and striking, etc.
Though parents or coaches may often feel that a player is dominant because the player is the best on the team, the exceptionally skilled criteria apply to the player in relation to the entire division and most other children of his or her age.
2. Physical Ability and Above Average Size
If a player is exceedingly big for his or her age group and has above average soccer skills, the coach may recommend a Play-up request – particularly if there is some risk that the physical play of the player may pose a danger to smaller “of age” players.
3. Parental Hardship
In some situations, families with multiple, close-in age children are not able to juggle the demands of supervising children in too many different age brackets. The Board may allow Play-up requests for parental hardship if the player is of a high caliber, and would like to join a team with a sibling. In the opinion of the Club Head Coach, the Play-up player must be physically able to participate with the older division, and must demonstrate above average soccer skills.
4. Overall Benefit to the Club
If there is an overall benefit to the club for moving a player up, the board may approve it. For example, if the older division needs to fill a coaching vacancy, but the ability of a parent to take on the coaching position is contingent on his or her child moving up, the club may approve it. In unusual situations, the club may request that a grouping of players move up due to overall numbers balancing across divisions. If this is to occur, an overall approval by the board is required.
The process and criteria for Play-Up requests also apply to any “Play-down” requests. While these requests are rare, there are players whose development is more appropriate for a younger age. Like Play-ups, a request can be made to have the player Play-down, so that they can participate at a more appropriate development level.
Unlike Play-up requests, player evaluation is not required, but may be requested if a coach feels the player is not appropriately placed at the correct development level. Meaning, if a Play-Down request is granted, and the player seems to be capable of playing at their age appropriate level, then a request can be made to evaluate the athletic development level of the child. If such a case arises, the parent of the child will be notified by the coach or convener that an evaluation has been requested. The evaluation will be scheduled and conducted by the Club Head Coach, or designate. This may be done by simply observing the child at their game night or on separate night.