Travel Program Policies
All teams in Montclair United’s Travel Program are professionally trained and coached.
Except in extraordinary situations (such as the absence of a trainer or attending to an injured player), parent managers are prohibited from the player’s sidelines. Only parents who possess an USSF “D” coaching license (or the equivalent from UEFA or NSCAA) may serve as gameday coaches for league or sanctioned tournament games.
During games and small-sided scrimmages, parents are expected to lend encouragement and enthusiasm but must refrain from coaching their daughter/son from the sidelines. A good rule to remember in this regard is that if you are using verbs on the sidelines, you’re coaching.
Intra Year Team Movement
As set forth in the Academy Guidelines, players may be moved between the fall and spring season to higher or lower flighted teams. Any such intra-year movement by a player requires the approval of the Director of Coaching.
An equal playing time standard applies to Montclair United's U8, U9, U10 and U11 age groups. Beginning with the U12 age group, players are subject to a differentiated playing time standard. Specifics regarding playing time standards for each age group are are set forth below.
However, for all age groups, minimum playing times may be reduced at the discretion of the coach in certain circumstances, such as chronic or unexcused absences at practices or games, chronic tardiness or disruptive behavior.
U8 – U11
For players in the U8 through U11 age groups, should have roughly equal minimum playing time for league and tournmament games. The amount of minutes which constitute the minimum playing time is calculated by dividing the number of players permitted on the field at one time (i.e., 8 or 11) by the number of total eligible players in attendance for such game and multiplying the quotient by the length of a game.
U12 – U14
Minimum playing time will gradually decrease once players reach U12 and above. This policy is designed to prepare players for the 0% minimum playing time policy in effect at the high school level.
The minimum playing times for the older age groups are:
U12 – 60%
U13 – 50%
U14 – 40%
Minimum Playing Time Reductions due to Scheduling Conflicts
Montclair United recognizes and encourages children to play multiple sports. At the same time, the Club recognizes that as a team sport, it needs to balance the commitment of players who prioritize soccer relative to players that prioritize other commitments.
At the U12 and older age groups, if a player regularly misses practices or games because of other commitments, the players’ trainers may reduce the minimum playing time proportional to the number of regular practices and league games attended per week. If a trainer makes such a reduction for one player, all players on the same team whose other commitments result in recurring absences from practices or games will also be subject to a reduction in their minimum playing time, in each case, based on the criteria described above.
Montclair United believes that position specialization should be thought of as a pyramid, with position specialization increasing as players age. At the U8 – U10 age groups, Montclair United players should play multiple positions per game and throughout the season.
At the U12 – U14 age group, players are required to have at least two primary positions and may be used in positions other than their two primary positions at the determination of their trainer.
An exception to Montclair United’s positional play policy will be made for players who are committed to specializing as a goal keeper.
Montclair United believes players need exposure to a variety of trainers to maximize their development as soccer players. Although teams in an Academy will have a primary coach, a team of trainers will be responsible for each Academy and players and parents should expect to be trained by different members of such training teams both at practices and in games.
In addition, to support further exposure to a variety of trainers, parents and players should understand that the trainers assigned to each Academy will changed at least every two years.
MUSC generally discourages athletes playing on teams older than age groups dictated by their date of birth.
In certain circumstances, players may be assigned to an older age group, subject to the following criteria:
Grade appropriate – if a player is not age appropriate, but grade appropriate, he/she is eligible to play up; however, because of the difference in the size and speed of players between freshman year of high school and seventh grade, the club encourages players to play at a grade appropriate level. Once a player makes the decision to play up at his or her grade appropriate level, he or she may only move move down again after he or she has enrolled in high school.
Significant Contributor – if a player is neither age nor grade appropriate, upon request, he/she may tryout for an older age group. If the player is ranked in the top 1/3 of the A team, he/she is eligible to play up; and
Extraordinary circumstances – if a player player fails to meet either of the above criteria, an Academy Age Group Director may make an appeal to the VP of Travel for an exception.
In addition, players may be assigned to an older age group to facilitate team formations with the approval of the VP of Travel.
Discipline & Respect
All Montclair United players are expected to treat trainers, teammates, parent volunteers, referees, opponents and themselves with respect.
Except when conflicts with school ending times preclude a timely arrival, players are expected to arrive prior to the “official” start of practice. Trainers will expect players to have their cleats tied, shirts tucked in, shin guards in place and socks pulled up at the “official” start time.
Trainers will prioritize players who arrive on time for each week’s practice sessions and games in determining starting line-ups.
If you have any questions about the Girls Travel Program please email [email protected].
If you have any questions about the Boys Travel Program please email [email protected].