Yarmouth Colts FAQ
Fall Season and Communication General Information
This section covers general information about the Colts Season that pertains to all age groups. For more details please see Colts U9-U12 and Colts U13-U14 sections depending on the age(s) of your player(s).
How do I learn about the fall season and register my child for Colts?
Each Spring, we invite all age-eligible Yarmouth youth to register for the upcoming fall season. Information and registration for the fall season is kicked off at a Colts Information Night in April. Online registration runs early April to early June.
What do players need for equipment?
Each player should bring a soccer ball, water, shin pads and cleats to every practice and game. Additional items may be required by coach or doctor.
When does the fall season begin?
Our regular game schedule is created by Soccer Maine. Based on the weekend designated for the end of season tournaments, Soccer Maine schedules backwards to determine the weekend for our first regular season game. This game is usually the third week in August. Practice typically starts the week before the first game.
Why does the season start so early but the schedule comes out so late?
Soccer Maine cannot begin the scheduling process until each club has registered. Due to these factors, our regular schedule does not come out until just prior to the first game.
Who is Soccer Maine and what part do they play in all of this?
Soccer Maine is the governing soccer organization in Maine; we are sanctioned under it. Soccer Maine is in turn sanctioned under the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA). Soccer Maine provides the guidelines by which we play youth soccer in Maine.
What is our practice schedule?
Each team has a different practice schedule. We encourage each coach to have two practices a week. Practices can be combined with other teams of the same age group. Your coach will provide you with practice locations and times.
Are there rules specific to the different age groups and where do I find them?
Soccer Maine provides a handbook with rules specific to all age groups. See website for handbook. The fall handbook will be available in the summer.
What are the age requirements for the various age groups (U9, U10, etc.)?
Soccer Maine follows US Youth Soccer for their age group definitions. A sample for the 2015-2016 season is shown here. Refer to the 2016 Fall Classic table as Colts Soccer uses school year, not birth year.
When does the season end?
The season ends at different times for each age group. U9, U10,U11 will be completed at the end of October. U12-U14 will finish in the 1st week of November. The older age groups will end their season with a State Cup final tournament. The end of season tournaments are hosted by volunteer town clubs. Sometimes clubs do not volunteer to host a tournament until the season is underway. It is not unusual to find out late in the season where your final tournament is.
What is a "friendly" game? Aren't they all friendly?
Friendly games are additional games that are not part of the regular season. Regular games are usually Sundays and Friendly games are added at the discretion of your coach, usually on Saturdays. Friendly games are a way to gain additional playing experience.
Is there an end of season social event?
There is a Colts Recognition Night for U11-U14. It is usually the 1st Sunday of November. All teams, including U9, U10 are encouraged to have a team end-of season social event.
How is information passed on to the parents?
Most correspondence from your Coach and the Colts Board will be sent via TeamSnap. It will be the responsibility of your coach and your team manager to disseminate any timely information regarding your team. You can also check the Colts website for general information and TeamSnap for scheduling information.
When problems arise, who can we talk to?
When issues arise pertaining to your child and your team, whether positive or negative, please discuss them with your child's coach. If necessary, your coach will consult with the Colts Board liaison to resolve your concern. If you feel that your concern has not been resolved at that level then you should contact the Colts Board directly through the Colts President (Steve Fulton) or the Director of Coaching (Mike Hagerty).
What do parents do if they want to get involved in Colts?
We are always looking for volunteers. Please contact a Colts Board member or your coach if you are willing to help out.
Is there a team parent?
Each team has a Team Manager (TM) at the discretion of the coach. Please let your coach know if you are willing to volunteer. If you register on line please check off "team manager" under volunteer opportunities.
What are the Children's Cancer Walk and the 4v4 Soccer Blast?
The Yarmouth Colts is a community organization. We believe in giving back to our community. In doing so, we support two charitable organizations; the Maine Children's Cancer Program (MCCP) through the Children's Cancer Walk, and Safe Passage through the 4v4 Soccer Blast.
Can you tell me more about the Children's Cancer Walk?
The Maine Children's Cancer Program Walk has become a celebrated Colts tradition that raises both awareness and funds for this important local organization. Our support of MCCP began in honor of cherished Colts player, Jameson Tucker Olmsted, who sadly lost his courageous battle with cancer shortly before his 14th birthday. While our commitment to MCCP originated with Tucker, it has grown to encompass the far too many families in our Yarmouth community whose lives have been profoundly impacted by this disease. Tucker's wish was that he not be forgotten and that we not forget his friends at MCCP. Thus, we walk in memory of beloved lives lost in our community, in support of families currently facing the struggle and in solidarity that a cure is within our reach.
The Colts organization remains committed to encouraging our players to give of themselves, not only on the soccer field, but in our larger community as well.
While your child's participation in the Walk is voluntary, we do strive for active participation. Colts takes pride in the large number of players we send to the Walk each year and MCCP remains deeply grateful for the significant presence and fundraising that Colts players and their families contribute annually. In addition, our players seem to understand the importance of being part of something larger than themselves and contributing to the well being of others.
Does Colts believe in balanced teams within an age group based on skill?
Yarmouth Colts believes that every child should have the opportunity to play soccer in Yarmouth. To that end, in U9-U12 or 3rd - 6th grade, we don't cut any players and we create balanced teams, which means the teams are of comparable skill level. Beginning at the U13 level (7th grade), we have a single Division 1 team and cuts may be necessary to maintain the roster size. We begin this at U13 because all players have an opportunity to continue playing soccer on the Middle School team. For more information on this transition to U13 and U14 see Colts U13-U14.
How are the teams balanced?
For U9 through U12, teams are balanced based on evaluation forms filled out by coaches at the end of the prior season. No formal "evaluations" or "tryouts" are held. For U9, coaches will make a best attempt to balance the teams evenly based on their knowledge of the players' prior playing experience.
Is equal playing time for all players important to Colts in the early years, or is this a matter of the coaches' discretion?
Playing time is important to the Colts. It does vary with age. For U9, U10 and U11, we adopt Soccer Maine's playing time policy. Each player will play at least half of each game. For U12, each player will play at least half of each regular game and playing time will be at the discretion of the coach during competitive tournaments.
How many tournaments do we play in and are they required?
Each age group participates in a number of tournaments. Some are independent of the regular season. U9, U10 and U11 have an end of season festival. For U12 and older there is an end of season State Cup Tournament. All Colts teams play in a Labor Day tournament in Cumberland and a Columbus Day tournament. All tournaments are part of your Colts schedule.
Are younger players encouraged to develop their skills in a variety of positions, rather than specializing at a young age?
Colts believes that each youth player needs to gain experience and confidence in all positions. Coaches are encouraged to continuously rotate players throughout the field.
Is Colts Camp mandatory?
Colts Camp is not mandatory but many of our players participate, as it's a fun way to get ready for the fall season.
Can my child participate in other activities besides Colts?
From U9 through U12 Colts understands that children are experimenting with different activities. Coaches ask for early and open communication on conflicts to best manage roster size for games and tournaments. Since U13 and U14 is a "cut" program, the expected commitment is significantly higher, putting "Colts First". For more information on U13 and U14 please see Colts U13-U14.
U13 and U14 Overview
There is a transition from U12 to U13/U14, and for many of the players it will be the first time that evaluations potentially count toward placement on a team. This is a time that many questions arise about Middle School soccer vs. Colts soccer or soccer with another organization (i.e. Club Soccer), practices and level of commitment expected. The purpose of this section is to answer some of those questions.
Why is there a transition at Colts U13 and U14?
Historically, with other soccer options in 7th and 8th grade, Colts sees a slight decline in registrations in this age group because some players decide that Middle School soccer is enough soccer each week, some players decide to play in another soccer league (i.e. Club) or players decide to try a different fall sport. This has often led to a total number of registrations somewhere in the mid twenty range which means that after evaluations and the formation of a Division 1 team (18-player roster on average), there are some cuts.
What is the commitment at the U13 and U14 levels?
By accepting a place on a Colts U13 or U14 team you are expected to put Colts First. This means making a serious commitment to the team and understanding you may have displaced another player who would have valued the opportunity to play. Known or potential regular conflicts should be discussed prior to accepting a place on the team. The following are the responsibilities and expectations of a rostered player. Players and parents will be asked to acknowledge this understanding by signing an agreement when accepting placement on a U13 or U14 team.
- Player is expected to attend team practices and games with minimal conflicts. Repeated conflicts may result in the loss of game playing time and in extreme cases possible forfeiture of the player's place on the team.
- Player is responsible for arriving to games and practices on time and ready to play.
- Player is expected to play in the Labor Day Cumberland Tournament, Soccer Maine's six league games, the Fall Classic Tournament and State Playoff games.
- Player is encouraged to participate in the following team building Colts activities: Maine Children's Cancer Walk, working the 4v4 to benefit Safe Passage and team "friendly" games.
- If unable to attend a practice or game, advance notice is requested and appreciated.
What is the process for consideration on a U13 or U14 Division I team?
For consideration for placement on the U13 or U14 Division 1 team, please register on time and attend evaluations. You will be notified in late May / early June about team placement.
Are there ever multiple teams?
Multiple teams will be considered for larger groups. Registration is vital. Upon review of the talent and size of the group, and availability of coaches, a decision will be made as to whether or not multiple teams will be formed. Those teams will be divided by talent (not balanced) and when possible will be placed in different divisions (e.g. Division 1 vs. Division 2). If warranted, we may combine U13 and U14 players to form an additional team. The potential for this Division 2 team can be an exciting option which offers players more playing time and leadership opportunities to develop both physically and mentally during these years of tremendous growth.
Is there an option to not be evaluated and play on a Division 2 team if formed?
Players who would like to be considered for placement on ONLY the Division 2 team IF formed, should register AND send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your preference for a Division 2 team if formed. There is no need to attend evaluations if your choice is to play on a Division 2 team (if formed), and you will be notified in June if a second team is formed.
Do the players have to play on the school team?
We support them fully, however, the middle school team is completely independent of the Yarmouth Colts. For an overview of school team see (link to Middle School Soccer)
What is the focus at U13 and U14? Winning or development?
U13 is the first age group in which we have only one Division 1 team. There is more emphasis on winning than in the younger age groups, but winning is never the primary goal. Development is always the priority and only after that does success follow.
In U13 and U14 is a player on the team for two years when they have been selected at U13?
No. Evaluations are done each year to determine who makes the team.
What is the competition like?
The competition level at U13 and U14 for the Colts travel league is always very high. Like in the younger years, we continue to play in Soccer Maine's Fall Classic League. At this level there is less emphasis on equal play time, and more emphasis on competitive play. Equal playing time is no longer guaranteed. The target is to have each player play in each half of each game and that hopefully, over the course of the entire season, each player will play significant minutes. Depending on many factors, players will likely play more in some games than others.
Can I play Colts but not Middle School?
Yes, although this is strongly discouraged. The Colts should be thought of as an extension to the school team, meant for those players looking to play more soccer at a more competitive level.
Can I play both Middle School and Colts?
Yes, this is encouraged.
When is registration?
Registration will open in early April and end in early June. See the registration page for details.
When are evaluations?
Evaluations for U13 and U14 players are typically in mid to late May.
Who runs evaluations?
Evaluations are run by Colts, but not by your coaches. An objective process is used, focusing on technical skills, physical skills, tactical skills and coachability.
When are teams announced?
Teams are typically announced in early June.
What's this about a trip?
Typically, U13 players will fundraise through the course of the year for a soccer trip the following summer. Recently, teams have traveled to Canada and Pennsylvania to play in competitive tournaments. The trips are a lot of fun and a good experience for the players. Trip details are decided by coaches and team parents.
MIDDLE SCHOOL SOCCER
How many games and practices per week?
The Middle School team typically constitutes 4 days per week: 3 for practices and 1 for games. All activities are on weekdays.
Are there cuts?
There are no cuts in Middle School.
What is the competition like?
The competition is usually lighter for the school team as compared to the Colts league.
Can I play Middle School but not Colts?
Yes. For some players this is a sufficient amount of soccer each week.
Can I play both Middle School and Colts?
Yes. We encourage and expect that most Colts players will also play Middle School.
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