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Shenandoah County Soccer League

Shenandoah County Soccer League

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Travel Soccer

What is travel soccer and what are its benefits?
Shenandoah County Soccer (SCSL)Travel is a competitive program for players with above average skills and a strong drive to develop their soccer abilities and love of the game. Boys and girls that are ready to play competitive soccer, want to learn new skills, are ready to make the necessary commitment to play travel soccer and are ready to be coached by licensed coaching staff will benefit from playing travel soccer.

How will my son or daughter be picked for a team?
SCSL will run open tryouts in May to form teams for the following soccer year (fall and spring). All players are evaluated during these tryouts by the team coaches and additional evaluators. Selected players are placed on appropriate teams by the coaching staff.

How do I determine the right age group for my child?
Players will tryout based on their birth year in order to identify which players are above average for their age group. Players may be grouped together in different birth years for example; player born in 2002 may be grouped with the players born in 2001.

Can my child try out in a different age group?
Players cannot tryout or play in an age group for which they are too old. Even if they miss the cutoff by one day, they cannot play ’down’ in an age group.

With regard to "playing up", SCSL policy is “No player will be selected for an older age group, unless the technical staff determines that the player’s soccer development needs will not be met within their own age group." Players must receive approval from the SCSL Travel Commissioner to attend tryouts for an older age group team. SCSL's Travel Commissioner shall approve all roster offers for players eligible to play up. 

How many players will you take per team?
Different age groups in travel soccer play with different game formats—and have different roster sizes. Coaches usually carry fewer players than the maximum allowed—optimizing players’ playing time in games. The following are the roster sizes for the different age groups in SCSL's travel soccer program.

9U & 10U Teams 7 vs. 7 game format 10-12 players on each team

11U & 12U Teams 9 vs. 9 game format 12-14 players on each team

13U – 15U Teams 11 vs. 11 game format 16-18 players on each team

16U – 19U  Teams 11 vs. 11 game format 16-22 players on each team

What should my player wear to tryouts?
Players should wear a T-shirt,  shorts, socks, shin-guards, soccer cleats and bring a ball and water. Note- players are asked not to wear their travel training gear or game jersey or any affiliated program jersey. The tryout process is independent and non-biased, so this policy will help enforce that.

What should I / my child bring?
Parents will have to fill out a contact form if they did not register online. Parents will have to sign a waiver form. Copies will be available at the tryout desk, and we'll try to make them available on this page as well.

What are the Coaches Looking For?
It is difficult to truly see all that a player has to offer in just two or three sessions. However, the tryouts will be structured in a way to allow all participants a chance to showcase their talents. Here is a quick explanation of each criterion:

Technical Ability: Technical skills: passing, dribbling, shooting, first touch, defending, etc.

Athletic Ability: Speed, quickness, agility, strength, body control, etc.

a. Pure Speed — Is the player fast from point A to B?

b. Technical Speed — Can the player handle the ball under pressure?

c. Tactical Speed — Can the player make fast decisions with and without the ball?

Awareness: Tactical skills: positioning, communication, decisions on and off the ball, etc.

Attitude/Work Ethic: We are looking for players who exhibit a positive attitude, take coaching points well, show good sportsmanship, and have an overall desire to improve as players.


a. Does the player like to compete?

b. Is he/she a positive influence on the group?

c. Does the player possess a high work rate?

d. Does the player bring passion and energy to the game?

Coaches and evaluators will use a Tryout Evaluation Form found to help with their evaluations.

Should my child come to all tryout dates? 
Players should try to be attending them both -- the more time in front of the staff, the better. If your child cannot make one of the tryouts, it's not the end of the world, but please send an email to the Travel Commissioner if you can't attend one day. The coaches understand that conflicts and illnesses occur.

Can my child get on a team at other times of the year? 
Even after tryouts, many teams may have some roster spots open until late summer. Please email [email protected] to learn more.

When will I find out if I have made the team? 
Player notification will continue throughout the tryouts and coaches will call the players to notify them if they made the team.  You will be asked to commit within seven days after receiving your invitation. Families of invited players will receive instruction from the team representative. A parent meeting will be held following the notifications at which time the registration paperwork will be due along with the appropriate fees. Selected players must make a full season commitment to their team.  Parents can register on-site as well as on the website.

What if I don't make the team? 
There are options available to you such as Recreational play to help further your soccer development.

When does the season begin? 
The season practices begin in early August. There may be a pre-season scrimmage games before the start of training in mid-August.

When and where do travel teams practice? 
The club is allocated fields throughout Shenandoah County. Each travel team will have a different practice schedule. Travel teams generally practice  two to three times a week during the season, for 1¼ to 1½ hours per practice from August thru early November.

How many travel teams will the Shenandoah County Soccer have in my son’s or daughter’s age group?
The number of travel teams formed in an age group will depend on the number of players who try out and their ability levels. 

How much time commitment is required?
The fall season begins in early-August and goes until mid-November, and the winter begins in December and goes through February. Teams begin practicing in early-August. That means that any other sport should be secondary to soccer training sessions, games and tournaments during these seasons. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays. Teams usually play one or more pre-season scrimmages and one or two tournaments per year, depending upon the age group and competitive level of the team. Practices are from 1¼ to 1½ hours per session and take place 2-3 times per week. Travel players are expected to attend all team practices and games.

When are tournaments held? 
Teams often play pre-season, mid-season or post-season tournaments (3-4 games in a 2- or 3-day weekend). Players are expected to be available to play in tournaments. Each team will determine the tournament they want to attend depending upon the age group and competitive level of the team.

How much does travel soccer cost?
Each player pays a ’player program fee’ to play travel soccer with SCSL. This player fee covers, ODSL league and referee fees, State and National registration fees, player insurance, administrative expenses, and many other expenses.  In addition to player program fees each new players pays a “Uniform Fee”. We expect SCSL travel players and families to make the same full year commitment and pay all fees including team fees. 

SCSL Travel Soccer Handbook



Shenandoah County Soccer League
PO Box 765 
Woodstock, Virginia 22664

Email: [email protected]

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