Melrose Youth Soccer
Travel League City League Parents Players Coaches Referees

Melrose Youth Soccer Frequently Asked Questions

Registration Questions:

How do I register?
What age bracket should I sign my child up for?
Fall soccer just started. Why do I have to sign up for spring soccer already?
My child does lots of other activities besides soccer. We may just want to try it out and see how it fits our schedule. What's your policy there?
What is your policy on reimbursements?
I elected to pay by check when I registered my child. Where can I mail my check?

City League Soccer:

What programs do you offer for young players?
How competitive is city soccer vs. travel soccer?
Can my child play with his/her friends?
My child's practice time is in conflict with another activity - what can I do?

Travel Soccer:

How much traveling is involved in travel soccer?
How competitive is travel soccer?
Why do you have tryouts?
What if my child can't make tryouts?
If my child is placed on a team in the fall, will he be on the same team in the spring?
Can my child play with her friends?
My child can only practice on Mondays and Wednesdays, will this be okay?
My child is terrific. Can she play in a higher age group?

MYS Questions:

Where does my registration money go?
What are you doing about the fields?
What should my player bring with her/him to practice?
Do you need any help?
MYS: Policy covering request to “play up” an age group

Registration Questions:

How do I register?
Beginning with the Spring 2006 registration, families can register players in any of the following ways:

  • Online: Parents can register online (when paying with a credit card) from our registration link on the Melrose Youth Soccer (MYS) web-site. (http://www.melroseyouthsoccer.net) From the Home page, click the link to access our secure registration server. Online registration should take approximately five minutes; after the online registration is complete, you'll receive immediate confirmation via email that your registration request was received in the database.

    If you are registering in MYS for the first time, you'll need to mail a copy of your child's birth certificate to the address listed below in Option 3.

    Approximately one month before the season's start, MYS will have completed the roster formation process and, after notification, you will be able to access information about your child's team online.

    Please use our online registration - it's fast, convenient, and free! (And it will save you tons of time next season, when all you have to do is to click your mouse three times to re-register!)

  • By Mail: Send an MYS registration form to: Melrose Youth Soccer, P.O. Box 761056 Melrose, MA 02176. Fill out a form for each child, attach a check, and mail in. If you are registering a new player, you can register online and mail a copy of your child's birth certificate to us at this address.

What age bracket should I sign my child up for?
Players fit into age brackets based on their age on August 1st before the Fall season. Players under 6 years old on August 1st can play Munchkins, players under 8 years old on August 1st can play U8, and so forth. The same cutoff date holds for the Fall season and the following Spring season, so that the players can remain in the same age group for the entire year. For a current listing of the birth dates that correspond to U8, U10, U12 etc teams, visit our online registration site and download this season's age brackets.

Fall soccer just started. Why do I have to sign up for spring soccer already?
Melrose Youth Soccer is different from some other sports in town in that we are affiliated with a state organization - Massachusetts Youth Soccer. They provide us with our insurance, and they require that we file player and coach information well in advance of the season. The early registration ensures that players are insured and coaches all undergo a national background check. In addition, it takes time to build teams, recruit coaches and do all the other things that go on behind the scenes in a youth sports league.

My child does lots of other activities besides soccer. We may just want to try it out and see how it fits our schedule. What's your policy there?
It is fine to try out soccer for a season or two. There's no commitment to play beyond the current season that you sign up for. Just keep in mind that Melrose Youth Soccer builds teams to play in its city and travel leagues based on the assumption that every player who signs up will participate fully. Since soccer is a team sport, parents should view their registration as a commitment to the other players on the team and in the community. If you sign up, you must show up to practices and games!

What is your policy on reimbursements?
Players who are withdrawn prior to the end of the on time registration period for the upcoming season will receive a full refund.

After the end of the on-time registration period, requests to withdraw registered players present a number of challenges to our organization; especially in the Travel League where rosters are formed based on Middlesex League minimum and maximum roster size and are filed several months prior to the start of season. Melrose Youth Soccer grants 50% refunds for any registered player who withdraws from the city recreational or travel soccer programs until four (4) weeks prior to the season's first game. After this point, teams are created, coaches recruited, equipment ordered, money has been paid to MA Youth Soccer and the Middlesex Youth Soccer League and withdrawals create an unfair burden to the other players and our volunteers.

In case of a documented injury to the player, the 50% refund policy is extended until the first game of the season. After the first game of the season, no refunds are granted for any reason.

Can I sign up late?
Registration dates are communicated using a variety of means (ie school notices, items in the local papers, emails to past registrants, MMTV notices, etc). Those who miss the registration period are placed on a wait list and are placed on teams on a 'space available' basis. Please note that late registrations are assessed a late fee and that placing late registrants onto travel teams can present a particular difficulty as other roster submission dates and rules of the Middlesex Youth Soccer League come into effect.

Please use our online registration - it's fast, convenient, and free! (And it will save you tons of time next season, when all you have to do is to click your mouse three times!)

I elected to pay by check when I registered my child. Where can I mail my check?
Mail your check to
Melrose Youth Soccer, P.O. Box 761056. Melrose, MA 02176

City League Soccer:

What programs do you offer for young players?
Our programs begin with Munchkins, which is available to children in kindergarten (up to age 6 by August 1st). In Munchkins, our adult coaches lead their teams of players through a variety of fun, age-appropriate games. Follow the leader, red-light green-light, and plain old soccer are all part of the program with Munchkins.

For 1st and 2nd graders, our U8 city program moves to small sided play, with four players vs. four players. The goal for U8 is to to develop ball skills. Our developmental targets for young players are listed on the MYS web site Coach's Page, as well as resources for coaches to use. They are also great for parents too, so whether you borrow one of our games or borrow ten, take your child to the park and kick it around!

For 3rd and 4th graders, we offer a choice of city league and travel league in the U10 division. Here, the game moves to six a side, and goalkeepers are introduced.

For older players, 5th grade through high school, we offer travel programs in the Middlesex League and the Mass. Premier League (Maple).

How competitive is city soccer vs. travel soccer?
The two leagues are very much alike in their focus on making sure the kids have fun while learning and playing soccer. The main distinctions between the two are the fact that travel players must attend try-outs prior to team placement. (There are no "cuts" from the try-outs - all players are placed on teams except in very rare cases where there are too many or too few players for the available teams.) The level of competition will be reasonable and enjoyable to the players who are placed on any given team. Travel players are placed on a gender specific team based upon skill-level, and attend two practices per week whereas city teams consist of both boys and girls and players usually attend one practice per week. Additionally, the travel league involves slightly more driving (usually less than 30 minutes) to other Middlesex league towns.

Can my child play with his/her friends?
If you register through our on-line system, you can make two "friend" requests if your child plays on a Munchkins City League team. The key is that your child and her/his friend must both request each other on their registration form. We then will try our best to get the children on the same team, although we cannot guarantee it.

My child's practice time is a conflict with another activity - what can I do?
If you have a night that is not good for practice, you need to specify that on the registration form. Once the teams are formed (approximately six weeks before the season's start) no changes will be made.

Travel League Soccer:

How much traveling is involved in travel soccer?
Not a lot, really. In the spring season, travel players play ten games, and five of those are in Melrose. Of the remainder, all are in the Middlesex area, which includes towns like Medford, Revere, Wakefield, Reading. The far-away towns are all within 40 minutes' drive: Lowell, Westford, Waltham. You may have two of these per season, so all in all, the driving commitment is not huge.

How competitive is travel soccer?
Travel teams usually practice twice a week for an hour or an hour and a half each session. The city teams usually practice once a week. The number one team in each age group will more than likely be placed in Division 1 of the Middlesex League. This is very competitive with a high quality of play from all teams, including Melrose. Hence, it is the objective of Melrose Youth Soccer to have dedicated soccer players on the number one team. For example, other sports or activities would not interfere with playing soccer. If this is not for you, then you should consider the second or third team in the age group. These teams will be placed in lower divisions within the league and the competition will hopefully be similar. For these players, it is accepted that other activities may take place during the same season as soccer (i.e. baseball, softball, dance, swimming, skating, etc).

Why do you have tryouts?
Tryouts give us an additional set of data on each player and his/her skills. Together with coaches' evaluations, tryout information gives us the best chance at creating merit-based travel teams that can compete successfully against other cities and towns.

What if my child can't make tryouts?
It is absolutely necessary that all travel players attend tryouts. During the season, coaches see only their own players, so tryouts give them a chance to see a cross section of the players in the entire program. Without tryout information, it is very difficult to assess player skills, and almost impossible to place them fairly. Since we run tryouts for different age groups on different nights, if a player cannot make her assigned night, she should attend the next closest age group instead. This is not ideal, but is better than nothing from a coaching standpoint. Players who miss tryouts may find that they end up on low placed teams due to a lack of information.

If my child is placed on a team in the fall, will he be on the same team in the spring?
Not necessarily. The fall is considered to be the developmental season while the spring is considered to be the competitive season. Players will be evaluated after the fall and adjustments will be made to the teams. Players may move up or down but the majority of the players will remain on the same team. Also, please keep in mind that some players only play in the fall or the spring, but not both.

Can my child play with her friends?
Maybe. In the travel program, our first priority is to place each player on a team which matches their ability. If you have 5 years experience and your friend is in the first year, the chances would not be good. If you have been playing on the same team for the last few years, your chances are much better. Please be aware that there are no guarantees.

My child can only practice on Mondays and Wednesdays, will this be okay?
The coach of the team, not the organization, sets practice days and times. If you are busy with other activities, then you should consider the second or third team rather than the first.

My child is terrific. Can she play in a higher age group?
In general, MYS discourages "playing up" in order to gain challenge. In the higher divisions of travel soccer, you will find many talented, fast and determined players to compete against. In addition, losing high quality players to upper age divisions weakens the quality of our top team in that player's age group, which weakens our program overall. In addition, players "playing up" are often not ready for the physical play that they encounter at the higher age bracket, and may be at greater risk of injury.

MYS Questions:


Where does my registration money go?
About half, or around $30-35 per player goes to uniforms. Mass. Youth Soccer charges us $8 per player for insurance, and $11 per registered adult (for insurance and nationwide CORI check). The remainder is spent on referees, fields maintenance, league fees, coaching and referee education, and other projects. This year, MYS worked in partnership with the City of Melrose, investing $40k in the main Knoll field. This renovation will provide players in the city with a high quality surface that is adapted to the reality that the entire high school complex is part of a flood plain.

What are you doing about the fields?
Read the above answer, for one. Under the leadership of Mayor Dolan, MYS is part of a round table commission of all youth sports leagues in town. Since many of the fields in town are used by more than one sport, we have made efforts to invest money in fields that will create lasting improvement in those facilities. Other sports around town (Churchill American's renovation of Monk Field, for example) are doing the same thing.

What equipment should my player have when she comes to practice and games?

  • At least 20 ounces of water or a sports drink is strongly encouraged.
  • Players should be dressed to play soccer: Shorts, Shin guards covered by socks, molded Soccer Cleats (Sneakers are OK but slippery).
  • Munchkins are given an entire uniform as part of their tuition, and it is definitely not necessary to buy cleats for them.
  • Wear the team uniform for games including mandatory shin guards.
  • Long Hair should be contained with a soft headband or rubber band.
  • Jewelry is not allowed in games, including earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc.
  • Exceptions are medical alert and religious jewelry but these must be covered with soft tape or band aids.
  • Eyeglasses are not forbidden but should be safety lenses and non-metallic for player safety.
  • Mouth guards are not required but may be worn.
  • Medications such as Asthma inhaler may be brought to practice as needed.
  • The referee holds final authority in deciding whether a player may wear any particular item during a game.

Do you need any help?
Melrose Youth Soccer is a 100% volunteer organization, and one of the biggest sports programs in Melrose. We always need help, including people who would like to join us at our board meetings.

Join the MYS Board: the board meets the 4th Monday of each month in the 2nd floor trustee's room in the Melrose Public Library.

Registration: twice a year, we run off around 1800 photocopies (MYS pays, of course). We need people to distribute them to elementary schools in class sized packets. Takes about 30 minutes.

Fields and Equipment: Do you have a pickup truck? At the beginning and end of a season, we need to move goals around between fields. Bring a buddy and your truck! An easier but also important job is picking up and delivering big boxes of uniforms. Not too heavy, but again, a truck would be handy.

MYS: Policy covering request to “play up” an age group

Playing Up: MYS has occasionally been asked to consider allowing a player to "play up" one age group. MYS strongly advises against this. The needs of the vast majority of young soccer players will be best met by allowing them to play with players within the same age group. Most requests like this are not approved by MYS. Exceptions do arise and are dealt with on a case by case basis.

Travel League: MYS adheres to Middlesex Youth Soccer League (MYSL) rules for players requesting to play up an age group in the travel program.

U10 and U12 Players who are eligible to play in the 2nd year of MYSL's U10 and U12 age groups can play in the next higher age group. That is, a 2nd year U10 player may "play up" in U12, and a 2nd year U12 player may "play up" in U14.

U14: Players who are in their 2nd year of eligibility for the U14 age group and who are in 8th grade or lower (not attending high school) can play in the U16 age group. Players who are in their 2nd year of eligibility for the U14 age group and who are in 9th grade or higher (attending High School) can play in any of the high school age groups (U16, U18, U19) at the discretion of the club and the MYSL Age Directors.

MYS criteria to Play Up: Players meeting the MYSL eligibility criteria listed above who request to play up must participate in Travel League tryouts held in the spring season. Players must attend the higher age group tryouts as well as their age group tryouts. If the assessment from the higher age group tryouts indicate that player qualifies for a higher level team (in the higher age group) they are eligible to "play up". The specific team (a “1” team, a “2” team etc) will depend on the number of teams in the higher age group category for that season.
If the assessment from the higher age group sessions indicate that the player did not qualify for a higher level team, then the player will be assigned to a team within his/her own age group based on the assessment from that age group’s tryouts.

In all cases and in all travel leagues, a player will remain in the age group for both the Fall and Spring season.

City League: The City league does not permit Play Up requests.