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EBSC Recreational League - Frequently Asked Questions

EBSC Recreational League - Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Recreational League? 

EBSC has two programs - Recreational and Travel.  The Recreational League offers an introduction to the sport at a very young age through our Superstars Program, emphasizing teaching the sport through activities geared to the psychological age of the players. There are no 11v11 games in Superstars, just opportunities to develop the basic foot skills and playing concepts that players will use throughout their soccer career.  We start with our youngest age groups, Munchkins, which have an hour of training each with a dedicated professional trainer. After two years of Superstars, the Recreational League has two years of Instructional level soccer (the U7 and U8 years - see below), where players practice as actual teams during the week and play small sided-games (starting at 4v4 in U7 and moving up to 6v6 at U8) on weekends. The concepts of goalkeepers are introduced at the U8 level and most of the game's actual laws.  At the end of the U8 year, many players try out for the Travel Program, which accepts a limited number of players following the tryouts. From U9 onwards, the Recreational League offers boys and girls the opportunity to develop their game through weekday practices, and often professional training sessions, with weekend games against their friends and classmates.

How do you, group players?  

The Recreational League groups players by age, based upon how old they are in a calendar year.  This age cut-off is set by the USYSA, our national youth association, as the soccer year runs from Fall to Spring.   For example, if your child turns 7 during a calendar year (January-December), we refer to your child as Under 7 or U7 for short.  This means in the Fall, a play maybe 5 turning 6 before the end of the current year; they will be a U7 since they turn 7 before the end of the coming year.  We also combine certain age groups, where the pooling of players is necessary to create enough teams. 

For the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 year, refer to the following chart to determine what age division your child will play in (please note that the registration system will automatically place children into the correct division based on their birthdate) :

Born in 2017

Munchkins (Boys and Girls)

Born in either 2016 or 2015

Superstars (Boys and Girls)

Born in 2014

Boys U7 or Girls U7

Born in 2013

Boys U8 or Girls U8

Born in 2012 or 2011

Boys U9/10 or Girls U9/10

Born in 2010 or 2009

Boys U11/12 or Girls U11/12

Born in 2008, 2007, or 2006

3M - Boys U13-15 or Girls U13-15 **

Born in 2005, 2004, or 2003

Boys U16-18 or Girls U16-18 **

** In the past, we have included the U13-18 age groups in one division. In the Boys program, the teams were formed into U13-15 teams and U16-18 teams and played against comparable aged teams in neighboring towns. In the Girls program, the teams were formed with mixed ages from U13-18 and played against similarly mixed-age teams from neighboring towns. We will continue to attempt to form the teams based upon ages but may not do so if our registration numbers do not allow.

Do you allow players to play out of their age group? 

We do not allow players to play in a different age division (except with respect to U13 and above, where the registration numbers require it - see above note). There are always going to be some players who have the skills and ability to play with older players, and there are many players who are born close to the cut-off point. Still, it is a firm Club policy to keep players within their own age group in the Recreational Program.

Why are some of my child’s classmates, not in the same division?  

Our Club (per State and National policies) uses the calendar year as the cut-off point for setting age groups. The public-school system uses a different cut-off date.  Therefore, a single age division will often include players in two different grades.

How do you pick teams?  Do you group players by their school? 

The most pressing concern when forming teams is to make them as balanced as possible across the division. While winning or losing is unimportant compared to the simple fun of playing the game, no players want to step onto the field, thinking that they do not even have a chance to win. If we allow a division to get so unbalanced that some teams win all their games and some teams lose all their games, inevitably, the players on the losing teams stop enjoying the game and drop out. The Club, therefore, takes steps to form teams that will be balanced and competitive, requiring that we not look at social arrangements (i.e., which school or neighborhood the players are from), but at each players’ ability.  A drafting process implements this.  For the 2021 Spring season, all rec players will be required to attend a live rating session (similar to a tryout) held by professional trainers. 

How much playing time will my child get? 

We will not form teams with rosters so large that a child will ever get less than 1/2 a game on the field.  However, we are limited as to how many teams we can form by how many volunteer coaches step forward to assist us, and the number of registrations varies each season. Because of that, we sometimes have rosters that are larger than ideal, and consequently, the players may not get much more than 1/2 a game on the field. In practical terms, it also can vary significantly from game to game, depending on how many players miss a game. That said, it is the expectation that each coach will play all their players an equal amount of time over the life of the season, subject of course to player absences, or other special circumstances.  A player’s skill level is NOT an acceptable reason to limit that player’s time, however.

When does the season start and end?  What days are the games?  

The fall season generally begins shortly after Labor Day and ends before Thanksgiving. The spring season generally starts at the end of March and ends at the beginning of June. There is often a week off during the season, to accommodate holidays. The specific beginning and end dates of any season are usually posted on the website 2-3 months before the season starts with times and fields the actual game schedule. It will usually be posted 2-3 weeks before the season starts.

How do I register my child to play? 

Registration is handled on-line.  On the Club’s home page there will be a link at the top of the page called "Registration".  Clicking that link will take you to a page providing all preliminary information you need to be aware of before registering. Whenever the registration period is officially open, that page will also contain the link you must use to open our registration program. Registration for the Fall season should open during May, and registration for the Spring season should open during October.

Can I request that my child play on a team, or with a coach? 

The Club cannot honor such requests, for several reasons. As mentioned above, the teams first and foremost must be competitively balanced, and to accept player requests would make that impossible to achieve. Second, we may receive more requests for one coach than that team can hold - and since we cannot numerically accommodate all those requests, it would not be fair to grant some requests but not others. Third, assuming for argument’s sake that the coach being requested is the next Sir Alex Ferguson and has the magical ability to bond with your child, that once again is the reason why it would not be fair to allow your child the benefit of that coach season after season, and not allow other children that same opportunity.  The Club will accommodate requests to have siblings play on the same (or separate) teams and will also consider requests to be separated from particular coaches or players, based upon personal conflicts.

How do you make those teams competitive? 

In our Recreational League, players are rated before each season by professional trainers– *** New***


What equipment do I need to purchase? 

If you are joining the Superstars program, the Club will provide a ball for you.  For U7 and older divisions, each player is expected to have his/her own ball and bring it to all practices (size 3 ball for Superstars-U8; size 4 for U9-U12; size 5 for U13+). All players are required to wear shin guards, which must be worn underneath the player’s socks. Soccer cleats are strongly recommended, though at the Superstars level, regular athletic shoes are acceptable. No cleats for other sports (baseball, football, etc.) are permitted. The Club will provide uniform jerseys, Shorts, socks, and any cold-weather gear are your responsibility, and we naturally recommend soccer-specific items if possible, though any general athletic gear is acceptable.  It is important that your child bring enough water to each practice and game - at least 20 oz. in warm weather.

Is there anything my child cannot wear? 

No jewelry of any kind is permitted (medical bracelets are allowed), nor hard metal or plastic hair clips, bows, etc.  Placing tape over stud earrings is not an acceptable remedy - they must be removed entirely.  

What days and times are games played? 

EBSC has over 1,000 players in the Recreational League, and nearly 500 in our Travel program, making up nearly 100 separate teams.  In order to fit all those teams onto the fields for weekend games, we have a full slate of games each Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9:00 am and continuing until the evening.   At present, the Recreational League primarily plays games on Saturdays between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm, but there may be occasional later games (usually only for the older divisions).  Occasionally, depending on field availability as well as scheduling requirements if there are odd numbers of teams, some Rec games may be scheduled for Sunday.  If regularly scheduled games are rained out on a weekend, they may be rescheduled for a weeknight.  Generally, teams can expect a variety of game times throughout the season, as the Club avoids setting strict times for any single division - to do so would potentially lock children with conflicts out of every game for the entire season, whereas varying the times will minimize any one players’ conflict.  The one exception to this is Superstars, which traditionally has all sessions early every Saturday morning (in addition, the U7 divisions are sometimes scheduled for the same time each week).

When are practices held? 

Except for the Superstars division, which does not have weekday practices, each individual team sets its own practice schedule, both as to time and day(s) of the week.  Generally, few Recreational Teams will have more than one (1) practice a week.  While coaches will hopefully consult with their players to select days and times convenient to as many as possible, in the end the teams cannot exist without the volunteer coaches, and the coach’s availability must be the foremost factor in deciding the day and time of practice.  If your child has conflicts with any particular night of the week, it is incumbent upon you to state as much when you register your child - we can take that information into consideration at the time we assign players to coaches, but we cannot reshuffle teams around afterwards if you wait until practices begin to raise a conflict.  Since this is Recreational League, however, coaches will not be penalizing players for missing practices - we all know players have other commitments and cannot always make every practice.  Please be courteous to your coach, however, and give advance notice when you will be missing any team event.

Do I need to stay during the Practices/Games? 

Parents are expected to have at least one adult responsible for their child present at all practices, scrimmages or games, which adult must be knowledgeable about, and prepared to deal with, any pre-existing medical condition of such player. Under no circumstances can the parents or the responsible adult be absent at the conclusion of any practice, scrimmage or game. It is Club policy that the EB Police Department be contacted promptly at the conclusion of any team event, if the parents are not present.


What is East Brunswick Soccer Club?  Are you a profit-making company? 

No.  The Club is an IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt not-for-profit organization that exists simply to serve the community by providing the opportunity for our children to learn and play soccer.  No Trustee, Officer or Coach gets paid anything by the Club for their efforts - all time and energy is donated on a purely volunteer basis.

Does the Club own the soccer fields?  No.  Each season, we petition for use of the soccer fields within Dideriksen Park, the Heavenly Fields turf fields, and various school fields and other parks. The Township’s Parks Department then grants us specific times and fields.  Because of not owning the fields, the Club also has no direct authority over the maintenance of the fields but must seek the cooperation of the Township in maintaining them.

So where does my 140 dollars go? 

Although the Board of Trustees and all coaches volunteer their time for free, the Club nevertheless has many expenses to cover. Those include team jerseys, referees fees, trophies, field supplies, insurance, coaching education, tournament participation, Covid-19 upgrades, and many other items. The Club also retains professional training organizations, such as Challenger, to provide regular training sessions. The Club has worked hard to keep its fees in line with its costs. 

And what is the Work Bond? 

As an all-volunteer organization, we rely on the time and effort of all parents to help us out.  Consequently, each registration (even if there are more than one child per family) comes with an obligation to perform at least two (2) hours of service to the Club. Although Head Coaches and Board members are exempt from that requirement, because they give much more than two hours of service each season, all other families, including assistant coaches, are obligated. The Work Bond can be satisfied in several ways - working a shift at the concession stand; doing field set-up or clean-up on Saturdays; assisting during any of our tournaments in various capacities; or simply being your team’s photographer. As a Club, we are always trying to develop new opportunities for service to be performed, so if you have any ideas, please let us know.  

What if I volunteer for Work Bond duty, but am not selected to work - do I get charged? 

No.   Unfortunately, at the present time we do not actually have as many work opportunities as we have parents, so often we will not need everyone to work during a season. The only time you will be charged the $100 Work Bond is if you are assigned (either after volunteering or by being appointed because no one volunteered) to a work duty but you fail to show up.  If you cannot make an appointed duty, it is your responsibility to find a replacement.

I performed my Work Bond duty - when do I get my $100 back?  

Work bond checks will be destroyed once the season has been completed.

What else can I do to help? 

So very much, actually!  Performing the Work Bond Service may be the first thing that comes to mind, but the Club will benefit much more from your participation as a Head Coach (or assistant), or as a member of our Board of Trustees or serving on any of our several committees. Please think about donating your time in these areas, which in the end will make the Club a much better organization.  For more information on how you can help, feel free to email the President of the Club.

Whom should I contact if I have a problem?

The first person you should go to is your Head Coach. Any information you need should be available to him, and as the closest Club official to the situation, your Coach is the best person to answer the question. If the Coach cannot help you, please go to your respective Division Director, then to your respective VP (either Boys Rec, Girls Rec or Superstars), and then ultimately, the President of the Club. Please do not start in the reverse order.  All contact information can be found on this website.  Maybe your question will even make it here onto the FAQ!









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