Effective for Fall 2016 there will be some changes concerning age brackets for SCYSA (Schuylkill County Youth Soccer Association) which, as most of you are aware, governs our youth soccer club. The changes are actually something that started on a national level and are being handed down through the lower levels including travel clubs and recreational clubs, such as ours. With Fall 2016 registration on the horizon, I wanted to give everyone a heads up about the changes so when future emails come out regarding registration and Spring clinics for the younger kids, you will know where your child stands for the upcoming season and going forward.
We will no longer be organized by age, instead we will now be organized by the school grade the player will be going into for Fall 2016. Players will be broken down into the following three age groups/categories: Grades 3 and 4 will play together; grades 5 and 6 will play together; and grades 7 and 8 will play together. As in years past, there will be boys’ and girls’ teams at each level as well. Those will be the teams that travel to other schools on the weekends to play games just as U9, 11, 13 and 15 teams always have. Anyone who is a freshman or older is, of course, eligible to play for the High School boys’/girls’ teams in the Fall.
Grades K, 1 and 2, as well as any child who will be four years old by September 1, 2016 will also be eligible to play. Those kids will be considered ‘intramural’ and will stay in house (similar to our previous U5, 6 and 7 teams). We will be working on some new formats between now and the start of the season for all intramural teams with player development in mind.
Please note, while these are the new age groups, details are still forthcoming and will be worked out between now and the start of the season (i.e., field formats, roster sizes, days games are played, etc.). Again, these will be the age groups regardless of the other details that are still being worked out. We will be more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have, but please keep in mind there are still more details forthcoming and we will be passing them along to you as they become available to us.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming registration dates, which will be released in the near future. The nice weather is coming and Spring and Soccer soccer are fast approaching!
All volunteers in our soccer program will be required to have a background check at the cost of $10. One State Police Background Check will carry over to all other sports and will be good for three years. Access to the information for background checks can be obtained at the PA State Police website. http://www.psp.pa.gov/Pages/Request-a-Criminal-History-Record.aspx#.VOjAx5Uo6M8
Once check is completed, a copy must be submitted to Club Registrar, Kim Rothermel ASAP.
Memorandum, January 15, 2015
Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer members and affiliates,
In 2014 the Pennsylvania state legislature passed a bill to amend the commonwealth’s Child Protective Services Law. Known as Act 153 of 2014, the law will now require statewide standards in child safety. Being proactive in 2013, our association passed measures to mandate background checks for all volunteers. The policy and procedures we have enacted internally are now a matter of law.
I have talked with representatives of the state legislature, local district attorneys and the state Attorney General’s office on this matter. There are other pieces of the law that you will need to understand such as mandatory reporting of abuse. This will require further education for us all. We still have some language to clarify before we arrive at a policy decision for our association as well as how we can educate you on the matter. The Department of Public Welfare is currently developing guidelines and explanations to clarify the law and address ambiguities.
One thing that is clear—the standard will require all employees and volunteers to be subject to the state mandated clearances. The DPW will manage the process, which will be online. The clearances will be valid for a three-year period and will be portable, meaning this one clearance is valid for any organization an individual may be employed by within Pennsylvania. It will cost $10 per person ($3.33 per year vs. our current fee of $4). In some cases based on residency, an FBI check will be required. These provisions go into effect for organizations like ours on July 1, 2015.
In accordance with our current understanding of the law, it will likely mean a shift in responsibility and action to you at the local level. Therefore, we will be working diligently over the next few weeks to learn from our legislators and public safety officers so that we can appropriately revise our policies and procedures. We will provide updates as we are able, and will present more information at the Annual General Meeting on March 8.
These are very serious issues for the protection of the children in our care, but certainly positive ones. If you have immediate questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you all for supporting and serving the children of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer.
-Chris Branscome, CEO, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer
Tri-Valley Youth Soccer Club is an organization based in the Hegins, PA area. This website contains the information concerning the Board meetings, player information, coaching information, and other relevant details.
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