Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Here we attempt to answer the most common questions we receive about registering for soccer, choosing programs and what to expect, etc. If you have additional questions or would like to speak with someone in person, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and someone will get in touch with you as soon as possible. If you would like to register now, click here GCYSC Registration Webpage

Q: Who can play at Gulf Coast Youth Soccer club?

A: All boys and girls from ages 4 through 18 are eligible to play in one of our Recreational, Academy or Select programs. In addition, we offer a unique First Touch program for 3 year olds during the spring season. Age Chart Link

Q: Why does soccer register so early?

A: We are a large club with over 1000 players and 100+ coaches. It takes considerable time to find and train coaches, order uniforms, and plan for the season.

Q: When are the Gulf Coast soccer seasons?

A: Registration Periods – Gulf Coast currently offers a fall and spring season.

Fall Season: Registration occurs in April-June and practices begin in August (mid-July for higher level teams). Games are played from September through November (or early December for higher level teams or teams that advance to a post season event).

Spring Season: Registration occurs in December-February and practices begin in March for recreational play (mid-January for higher level teams). Games are played from April through May.

Q: What is the cost to play soccer at Gulf Coast Soccer?

A: Fees vary depending on the age, program, and playing level of the players. Please refer to the Registration Page for fee details on our programs.

Q: Why are spring registration fees different for new and returning players? How do I know which one to choose?

A: Fees for insurance, national, state and local association fees, etc. are charged to the club for every player once per year. The fiscal year for these fees runs from August 1 - July 31. Each player is charged these annual fees in the first season they register for that begins after August 1. Therefore, players that register in the spring and did not play in the previous fall must pay these fees to be eligible for US Youth Soccer and Gulf Coast programs. The calendar for these fees resets on July 31 each year. NOTE: If you were registered at Gulf Coast or any other club in SYSA you may register for the spring season as a returning player.  

A: Please refer to the club Refund Policy

Q: If the registration period has passed, can I still sign up my child?

A: The club provides an extended registration period and a late registration period before closing registration to finalize season plans. Once late registration is closed we have a waiting list which is used to fill any open player spots and/or to fill any team vacancies that come up during the season. We recommend that you sign up for the waiting list and the appropriate program director will contact you. There is no fee to sign up for the waiting list.

Q: How do I determine which age group my child will play in?

A: As of August 1 2016, the new US Soccer birth year policy takes effect. Please refer to the US Soccer Birth Year and Season Matrix for more information.

Q: My child is a late bloomer for soccer and sports in general for that matter. I am concerned that a “club” environment may be too competitive for her. How do I know which program is best suited for her as a beginner or is it just too late for her?

A: This is a great question and one we get often for boys and girls alike. First, it is never too late to learn something new. Particularly for school aged children. Second, new players should spend at least 1-2 seasons in a recreational program as an introduction to the sport and to build a foundation of skills and success before considering higher levels of play. Lastly, there are some soccer clubs that are recreationally focused, others are select focused and those that are full-service clubs like Gulf Coast Soccer. As a full-service club we strive to provide quality programs for all players from the youngest to the oldest and from beginners of all ages to advanced level players and teams. We believe that a full service club environment is better for a novice player of any age. Here is why:

  1. A larger club has more kids and teams to play with and against.
  2. We invest heavily in our Coaching Development Program so they have the tools to help beginning players come up to speed.
  3. Because we offer a variety programs from beginner to advanced they can play year after year in rec or move up to one of the higher-level programs if they choose to do so without ever changing clubs. See our Programs Overview for details. 
  4. In a player-centric club every program and playing level have been designed to help each player learn, grow and improve each season regardless of their starting level. If they outgrow a level or are ready for a greater challenge they can move up and continue learning without leaving the club.

Q: How many training/practices sessions are there per week?

A: Two practices per week for Micro, Recreational, and Academy teams, and three practices per week for Select teams.

Q: What equipment will I need?

A: Soccer-specific cleats, shin guards, a filled water bottle, and a soccer ball are all required for all practices and games. If you need to purchase a soccer ball, be sure to get a size 3 for U5-U8, a size 4 for U9-U12, or a size 5 for U13 and up. Balls may also be purchased through the Gulf Coast Online Store

Q: How long do practices last?

A: 45-60 minutes/practice for U5-U8, 60-75 minutes/practice for U9-U10, 90 minutes/practice for U11 and up.

Q: How are teams formed?

A: This depends on the program and playing level.

Micro and Recreational teams are formed by a computer-generated random allocation format to ensure balanced teams. Coaches are then assigned teams and if they have a child playing that child is added to the team. Please see our Fair Play Team Formation Policy and Recreational Program webpage for more information.

Academy teams are formed after an initial training and evaluation period to form balanced teams within our in-house academy league. Players may be moved periodically to ensure each player is progressing developmentally at an optimal pace for them. Teams may also be adjusted periodically to match up developmentally for cooperative friendlies with other clubs. Please see our Academy Program webpage for more information.   

Select teams are formed after an annual player evaluation conducted by our professional staff.  Player evaluations are scheduled for mid-May through early June depending on the age and level of play. Teams are formed by our staff based on the age, ability, and playing level that provides each player an optimal developmental pathway. Please see our Select Program webpages for more information.   

Q: I would like my child to be on the same team as his/her friend so that we can carpool.
A: Unfortunately, due to the size of the club, the potential number of special requests and the goal to achieve parity among the teams, special requests for teams cannot be granted. Often parents are able to find someone on their team to share rides with or even find friends on different teams that practice at the same time. Please see our Fair Play Team Formation Policy for more information

Q: I really liked my child’s coach from last season and would like to have him/her again.
A: Unfortunately, due to the size of the club, the potential number of special requests and the goal to achieve parity among the teams, special requests for coaches cannot be granted. Only the coaches and assistant coaches can be guaranteed that their children will be placed on their team. Please see our Fair Play Team Formation Policy for more information

Q: Due to family conflicts, I would like my child to be placed on a team where they practice on specific days we do not have conflicts.
A: GCYSC is aware that nearly every child in the club participates in other athletic or extracurricular activities and that parents are chauffeuring several kids to various locations. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to coordinate each child’s schedule while selecting teams. Therefore, these types of requests cannot be granted. However, one of the benefits of playing in an education-focused club like Gulf Coast is that for each age and program level, all teams should be following the club’s developmental curriculum and conducting similar skills training. You should be able to guest train with another team during the week and play with your team on game day. This is win/win for the player and parents. If you need help finding a team to guest train with, please contact your Program Director for assistance. 

Q: When will we hear from our coach?
A: The coaches will first learn of their rostered players during the preseason coaches meeting and will generally contact each family within a week. The club first must have a coach for every team before we can assign the teams. Also due to vacation or work schedules, etc., some coaches may take a little longer to call.  Please be patient. If you have not been notified by one week prior to the first scheduled practice, please send an email to the appropriate Program Director for assistance.

Q: When do practices and games start?
A: Practices for Micro, Recreational and Academy teams generally start August 1-7 in the fall and March 1-7 in the spring. Higher level teams may start sooner. Games will typically be scheduled to begin on or about September 1 in the fall and April 1 in the spring. Actual start dates will be posted a month in advance.