Q. What is Classic Soccer?
A. Classic soccer is a level of play which involves, "select", traveling teams that compete statewide within South Carolina or in some cases, regionally throughout the southeast. Different states may refer to this level of play by different names, but in all cases they involve traveling teams that are selected after a competitive tryout. In South Carolina, the term "Classic Soccer" is loosely used to encompass teams who play in Academy, Classic, Challenge and Premier Leagues.
Q. Who runs the program?
A. Each club in the state must be affiliated with South Carolina Youth Soccer Association (SCYSA) which in turn is affiliated with United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) and United States Soccer Federation (USSF). Each club has their own set of rules and bylaws under which they operate, consistent with the bylaws of the state federation. Contact individual clubs for their specific rules of operation.
Q. What is the highest level of play?
A. As referenced above, Classic teams may play at one of several different levels of competition, depending upon age and skill level.
- Academy (u-9 through u-12) and Classic (u-13 through u-18) teams generally compete on a statewide basis against teams of similar age and ability. At the completion of each season, they compete for a statewide championship in an open competition for all qualifying teams. , statewide challenge league play and interstate premier league play. The idea is to create an environment that will challenge the players to the best of their abilities.
- Challenge teams (u-13 through u-18) are a step up competition from Classic teams. Challenge teams compete in a seperate league (South Carolina State Challenge League) and play for a seperate state championship at the conclusion of each season. Generally speaking, only the largest clubs in the state will typically field Challenge level teams. For age groups u-14 and higher, teams which finish in 1st or 2nd place in the state championship are invited to participate in a regional tournament and depending upon their level of success, in a national tournament where a national champion is crowned at each age level and gender.
- Teams that finish in 1st or 2nd place in the SCSCL are also invited to play in the Region III Premier League. These teams compete during the regular season with similar teams from other states throughout the southeast.
Q How does it compare with Recreational soccer?
A. Classic soccer requires a greater degree of time and financial commitment than recreational soccer. It also requires a greater degree of commitment from the player. Unlike recreational play, there are no guarantees of playing time. Most clubs have a competitive try-out process during which players are evaluated for his potential to play at one of the Classic levels.
Q. How much time and financial commitment?
A. Time and financial commitment depend on the level of play - Academy, Classic, Challenge or Premier. Most teams will travel throughout the state for games on weekends plus possibly travel to in-state and out-of-state tournaments. There are usually ten regular season games, plus two or three tournaments per season. Teams practice twice per week -usually for 90 to 120 minutes. Club fees vary, but typically are several times greater that recreational fees in the same club.
Q. What kind of commitment is required from the player?
A. Each individual team will have their own set of rules that will need to be adhered to. Generally, players are expected to be at all practices and games unless previously excused by their coach. Players travel throughout the state as representatives of their club and are expected to be on their best behavior as well as to get proper rest and nutrition prior to a match in order to perform to the best of their ability.
Q. What kind of instruction will the player receive?
A. Club coaches are licensed and accredited by one of two governing bodies - United States Soocer Federation (USSF) and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Many coaches have certifications from both bodies. Coaches are assigned to teams based on level of experience, level of accreditation and the needs of a specific team. Coaches are paid a small salary, based on their level of experience, education and years with the club. The club may use knowledgeable volunteers from time to time, and provides additional training by assigning certified trainers for specific teams. The development of each player is of utmost importance.
Q. What if my child plays High School soccer, only?
A. Although there are many good High School programs, in the United States most College coaches look at club performance before considering High School play. This is due to the relatively new development of the sport in US schools and the fact that many College coaches do not consider HS play as being indicative of a player's performance against opponents of equal skill. In South Carolina, clubs do not compete during the high school season for high school aged players. This allows players to enjoy high school soccer as well as compete at the higher club levels.
A new program has recently been introduced called Super Y. This program attempts to identify players in the same manner as ODP, but provides a more established schedule and competition than the more ad hoc ODP program. Super Y teams are also generally coached by local college coaches and compete in a season outside the normal state association season. For more information go to supery.uslsoccer.com
US National teams at the youth level (u-15 through u-18) are generally selected from these pools of players.