What is Litchfield Travel Soccer?
The travel soccer program offered by the LYSL is a competitive soccer program designed to develop and improve player soccer skills at a higher competitive level than recreational soccer. Teams generally have practice twice a week and games on the weekends. Teams are coached by licensed volunteer coaches and trained 1 night a week by Bruno Victal or a trainer from Brazilian Arts Soccer. Players are required to tryout for a team in their age group or a level that is competitive for them – while the LYSL travel program is not a “premier” program, it is a competitive program and cuts based on skill or maturity level can be expected. Tryouts are held in the spring (early June) for the fall season and include the following spring season. The travel soccer commitment is for the entire year.
How Tryouts Work?
Tryouts are held in the spring. There are typically multiple dates to tryout. Each player must attend one of the tryout sessions and all are encouraged to attend as many as possible. Rain days will be rescheduled.
Coaches evaluate players on the following skills:
- Team play
- Other age appropriate soccer skills
At the end of each tryout session, player scores are reviewed and tallied by the coaches. Rosters are selected for each team according to a player’s individual score. If there are enough kids in one age group then multiple teams will be formed. This is also dependent upon having qualified coaches available. Unfortunately, there is a set roster size for all travel teams; therefore some players may not make a team.
Example: The U10 roster size is 12 therefore the top12 individuals will fill that roster.
* Being a member of a travel team during a previous season does not assure a spot on any team now or in the future. Teams may need to be reorganized due to player age, skill level, and/or roster availability.
Notification: All players/parents will be notified via email as to whether or not they have been selected to play on their age specific team. Those not selected to play will be called or sent an individual email (not a group email). Please be sure to confirm your phone number and email on the registration form.
** In either case, players will be notified within 17 days if they have or have not made a team
What Is The Time Commitment?
Players and parents should keep in mind that to develop as a soccer player it is important to get as many touches on the soccer ball as possible. It is important that the players are dedicated to practice as well as games. The more a player practices and plays, the better the player will become. Coaches will work to develop the player skills as well as give some tactical advice on how the game should be played. Most important is that the coaches will teach the kids how to play soccer and have fun.
Players and parents should be committed to the travel program. Please do not have a player tryout if they cannot attend practices or games. Remember that other players may have been cut from the team that would have liked to play. Please do everything possible to attend as many practices and games as possible.
Do not be surprised if the kids are running laps or wind sprints for long periods of time, as soccer players must be in shape to play. The conditioning of a player is the coach’s decision and they must decide on what conditioning the team needs.
It is also recommended that the travel players attend soccer camps offered by other organizations. Frequently there are soccer camps offered at Innes Field during the summer for all ages. There are also several others in the area. Ask a coach or board member for more information or refer to our website.
It is also recommended that travel players play indoor soccer in the winter. Again this will be a coach’s decision and is usually one day a week for an hour in Derry or Bedford. The indoor season has three sessions lasting about 8 weeks each session. There is an additional cost associated with the indoor season.
What Is The Financial Commitment?
Playing travel soccer is more expensive than playing recreation soccer and the costs vary from team to team. The total cost for both the fall and spring seasons range from $200 – $350. The cost includes: field usage fees, insurance, referees to cover the fall and spring seasons, Granite State fees, and 2 tournament fees. When needed, an additional $90 uniform (shorts, shirt, t-shirt, and socks) cost is also required. Travel teams often attend optional winter session training that can cost $70+ for each session (1 to 3 depending on the team).
What Is Available For Younger Players?
If a player turns 8 after December 31st then they are considered a U8 player. If a player turns 9 after December 31st they are considered a U9 Player. The U8 – U9 travel team will play in an EDP league – Early Development Player league. These are for players who are U8 – U9 with a birthday cut-off of December 31st. The EDP league plays mainly on Sundays between 12:00 and 5:30 pm. It will consist of 6-8 games and teams are expected to travel to other towns to play games. EDP games are played with neighboring towns such as Londonderry, Bedford, Nashua, Derry, Hudson and Merrimack; however, it is not uncommon to travel up to an hour away. There are typically 4 home games and 4 away games.
Practice for these teams will be 2 nights per week for 1 to 1 1/2 hours with games mainly on Sunday. Games are typically 12-minute quarters or 24-minute halves. The game time will be equally divided among the players, although this can be difficult in all games since substitution is limited to when the ball goes out of play.
What Is Available For Older Players?
The U10 (a player turns 10 after December 31st) teams and higher will play in the New Hampshire Soccer league. These games are held on Saturdays and Sundays between 12:00 and 5:00 pm. The length of the games will range from 25-minute halves to 45-minute halves depending on the age group. Practices are typically 2-3 nights a week for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Teams are also expected to travel and it is not uncommon to travel to Keene, Dartmouth or the Seacoast for games.
The travel teams typically play in 2 tournaments a season. These consist of 3 to 4 games and are fun for the kids and parents alike. Most tournaments are held on Memorial Day weekend in the spring and Columbus Day weekend in the fall.