Sharks Youth Soccer begins at U9, when players have graduated from Junior Sharks and in-house U8 games.
At U9, travel begins locally for inter-town competition and registration for Sharks is for one year, both fall and spring soccer.
SSC U10-U14 Guidelines for Coaches and Parents:
The following guidelines are meant to clarify to coaches and to parents the Stonington Soccer Club's (SSC) policy regarding player development and winning. In short, SSC encourages playing to develop which will lead to long-term success on the soccer field. SSC is committed to the proposition that winning (the outcome) is a byproduct of player development and learning (the process). SSC believes that one of the most effective ways to get players excited about soccer is to show them that they are improving as individuals and as a team. When this happens, it builds confidence, momentum, and optimism.
At U10, the focus should be on having fun and player development. Moreover, the primary objective of game participation and training is to provide the players with equal learning opportunities. Consequently, all U10 players will receive equal playing time. Furthermore, player rotation from attack to defense will be encouraged to allow greater understanding of the game.
Similar to U10, the focus at U12 is on player development and a positive learning experience. At this age, greater consideration is given to player placement based on a number of factors including mental and physical preparedness and soccer skills.
Player rotation will be encouraged and equal playing time for league games will be the goal.
U12 players will also be encouraged to play different positions on the field. In addition, for league games, each player will play for an extended period of time, with the goal of playing at least half of the game.
At the U14 level, careful consideration needs to be placed on balancing between (1) developing individuals and a team and (2) finding ways to win, which at this age, becomes part of the competitive process.
At U14 levels, the coach will make a concerted effort to play players (rostered players and call ups) significant minutes while keeping the team competitive.