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A great place to play soccer



We have put this information together to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that does not appear on this page, please email us and we will contact you with an answer as soon as possible.

1. What does UPSC do and not do?

2. What is the difference between a rec and select team?

3. How much does it cost to play soccer?

4. How far will I need to travel?

5. How often will my team practice?

6. When do practice and games start?

7. When are tryouts?

8. What is Tacoma Pierce County Junior Soccer Association (TPCJSA)?

9. What is District III?

10.What is Washington Youth Soccer (WYS)?

11.What is Region IV?

12.What is US Youth Soccer Association (USYSA)?

What does UPSC do and not do?

  1. UPSC provides a registration process so that kids can sign up to play soccer, But UPSC does not create soccer teams. If we have enough registered kids to form a team, but no team for them to join, we will contact the parents of these kids and suggest that they get together to form a team. If asked, UPSC will have one of our members attend this meeting to help get things organized. If the parents and players successfully form a team, we will register the team to play against other teams in the Fall league. 
  2. UPSC does not provide soccer coaches. Each team must find its own coach. Usually, the coach is recruited from among the team's parents. Occasionally, an experienced soccer coach may come to us looking for a team. When this happens, if we have a team looking for a new coach, we refer the coach to the team. What happens after this is up to the team and the prospective coach. UPSC can't register a team for any league unless it has a coach.
  3.  UPSC does not train coaches or teach soccer coaching. However, anyone who wants to become a soccer coach can contact us and we will direct them to soccer coaching clinics, licensing classes, books, and web sites. We can also have one of our experienced coaches meet with the prospective coach to help them get started. We do expect the prospective coach to get the appropriate training and coaching license as recommended by Washington Youth Soccer. You can read about WYS's coaching licenses here.
  4. UPSC does not own any soccer fields, but we do work closely with the U.P. School District to schedule practices and games on UPSD fields. We also work with Pierce County to schedule practice and game time at the Chambers Creek Playfields. We provide the corner flags and soccer goal nets that are in use on these fields. We also provide the equipment and paint used to "stripe" the fields. All U.P. Soccer Club teams reserve fields through the Club and are not allowed to contact the school (or other owner) directly. If you are interested in assisting to set up a field by striping the field weekly, placing the corner flags, and putting up the nets please contact our Fields Chair.
  5. We provide referees for our home Mod games, to the extent that referees are available. These refs are scheduled and paid by UPSC and are typically youth players who play through UPSC. Because they often play for teams themselves there are times when not enough referees are available for all of our home Mod games. In those instances, the coaches are expected to officiate the game. We do not provide referees for full-sided games, but we do pay for referees and assistant referees to officiate at UPSC matches if they are available. We work closely with the Pierce County Referees Association to get refs for as many games as possible. Referees are independent contractors that schedule themselves for available games. UPSC does not have control over their schedules or the matches they choose to officiate. All we can do is work with PCRA to list our game times and offer the opportunity for a referee to self assign, so all coaches and team parents should be prepared to officiate a match on any given game day. Games will not be canceled just because the referees are not available.

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What is the difference between a rec and select team?

A recreational team is a team that did not use a competitive tryout process to form its roster. Players are placed on a Rec team on a first-come, first-served basis until that team has reached is maximum roster size. A select team does use a competitive tryout process. Players are placed on a select team based on criteria that are established by the coaches of the individual teams. Rec teams are required to provide every player with roughly equal playing time, regardless of ability. Select teams do not have limitations or minimums for individual playing time. Rec teams are required to fill their rosters where Select teams can carry as few players as they want so long as they can field a viable team each week. Rec teams tend to play at lower levels of competition, typically in the TPCJSA Home League or District III Silver or below, although Rec teams are allowed to play at any level in TPCJSA or District III. Select teams tend to play at a higher competition level and are not allowed to play below Silver. Some Rec teams play in tournaments outside the regular season. Most select teams do. Select teams will typically have a higher proportion of players that play soccer year-round where rec teams will typically have a majority of players that play other sports or do other activities outside of the Fall soccer season. All UPSC U10 and below are required to be Rec teams. Teams cannot chose to go select until U11.

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How much does it cost to play soccer?

Registration fees vary based on the age of the player and are updated each year. The fees for the current seasonal year can be found on our registration page. The registration fees collected by UPSC only cover the cost of registration. There are often extra costs that vary from team to team depending on the age and competition level of the team. This is not usually the case for U11 and below but is very common for U12 and above full sided teams. For instance, each player needs shin guards and soccer shoes. Each team needs practice balls, uniforms, and coaching equipment which UPSC does not supply. For many of our teams that is the extent of it. But some teams enter tournaments and the fees and travel expenses for these tournaments are paid by the individual teams. Some teams also pay to rent fields, to travel together, pay a stipend to a guest coach, etc. In other words, we can't tell you how much it will cost to play soccer for YOUR team. To get a better idea, contact the coach of the team that you are interested in.

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How far will I need to travel?

The amount of travel involved in playing for a UPSC team depends on the age of the players and the competition level of the team. The older, more competitive teams may require a lot of travel while the younger rec teams may pay all their games close to home. All of our younger teams play in TPCJSA so their games are limited to Tacoma and Pierce County. With older players the Rec teams may continue to play in TPCJSA or they may move to District III, in which case their games will be anywhere in Pierce of South King Counties, while the select teams typically play at District III or higher levels. At the higher levels games could be played anywhere in the State of Washington. For specific expectations of travel you should speak to the coach of the team you are interested in.

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How often will my team practice?

Practice requirements are determined by the coaches of the individual teams, not UPSC. But the majority of our teams will practice on weekday evenings, for 90 minutes, twice a week. Our very young teams will practice for only 60 minutes and often only once a week. Some of our older, more competitive teams may add a third practice in a week or a requirement for players to workout outside of the formal practice times. If you have specific questions about practice you should contact the coach of the team you are interested in.

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When do practice and games start?

The primary playing season for WYS is in the Fall. Games typically start the first Saturday after Labor Day. Games are typically played on Saturdays or Sundays depending on the age and competition level of the team. The length of the season also depends on the age and competition level, but most of the younger teams will be done before Thanksgiving and the older teams by mid-December. Some teams may chose to extend their season by playing in tournaments before or after the regular season. Some teams also play indoor soccer outside of the regular outdoor season. Some also play in other leagues whose seasons do not match the season for WYS. Most teams use the summer to prepare for the fall season so practices will start around May for the more competitive, older teams, in June for the middle of our age groups and by July for most of the rest of the teams. The very young teams may not start until August. Practices will typically continue as long as the team is playing, although some of the younger teams and some of the rec teams will stop practicing when the clocks fall back in late October and we no longer have daylight on weekday evenings. If you have specific questions about seasons or practices you should contact the coach of the team you are interested in.

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When and where are tryouts?

The start of the tryout season is controlled by WYS and the specific date for each team's tryout is set by their coach. Most of our select teams will hold tryouts in May. Notices of tryouts will be posted on our website on the Home page.

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What is Tacoma-Pierce County Junior Soccer Association (TPCJSA)?

The Tacoma-Pierce County Junior Soccer Association is UPSC's parent organization. There are 14 youth soccer clubs in TPCJSA all of which are listed on the TPCJSA website. TPCJSA sponsors a Fall soccer league in which most of UPSC's recreational soccer teams compete. There are about 9,500 players in TPCJSA.

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9. What is District III?

TPCJSA is one of nine Associations in District III, which is one of seven districts in the Washington Youth Soccer (WYS). District III sponsors a fall soccer league in which most of UPSC's more competitive soccer teams compete. Information about the District III League and links to the other District III Associations can be found here.

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10. What is Washington Youth Soccer (WYS)?

Washington Youth Soccer establishes the statewide rules and regulations for outdoor youth soccer. WYS oversees competitive play for 15,000 youth soccer teams in Washington with over 132,000 players! WYS sponsors a U13 and above fall soccer league for the most competitive teams in the State. WYS also sponsors four statewide tournaments and provides endorsements for dozens of local soccer tournaments.

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11. What is Region IV?

WYS is one of the member state organizations in Region IV of USYSA. Region IV oversees the 13 western states.

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12. What is US Youth Soccer Association (USYSA)?

The U.S. Youth Soccer Association is a nationwide body of over three million youth players, over 600,000 volunteers and administrators, and over 300,000 dedicated coaches, most of whom also are volunteers. USYSA's mission is to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America's youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition. USYSA is the largest member of the United Stated Soccer Federation, the governing body for soccer in the United States.

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