About Travel Soccer
Playing travel soccer is a privilege, and with this privilege comes many constraints and responsibilities. The Westford Travel teams play in the Middlesex Youth Soccer League (MYSL), which encompasses many teams from many towns. Coordinating all of these towns is a huge undertaking and the responsibilities are assumed by thousands of volunteers. Because of its size and scope, MYSL has strict rules concerning deadlines, roster sizes, and player ages. Late registrations, drops, and requests to change teams are often impossible to handle within the MYSL context. When a player chooses to play on one of our travel soccer teams, they are agreeing to accept their team placement, coach assignment, responsibility to travel to away games, and practice nights. Players and families not willing to accept these constraints are welcome to participate in our In Rec programs (where available), where we have more control and flexibility.
It is important to register by the posted registration deadline. Late registrants are only placed on a team if there are available spots. The number of teams and preliminary rosters are submittled to MYSL based on the registration numbers as of the registration deadline. We have had to turn away late registrants because we did not have spots available so we encourage all families to register on time. In the event that the number of registered players will not divide equally into teams WYSA reserves the right to drop players as necessary to ensure the correct number of players per team.
Within each age division in MYSL, there are five divisions: 1 is the strongest division with a very intense level of competition. The level of intensity decreases to 5, which is the least competitive division with play at about the same level as our In-town programs. Divisions may be split into subdivisions (e.g. Grade 5/6 division 2A), there is no difference in competitive level between these subdivisions. Each team has a number (e.g. GU12-6), the team number is not the same as the division where the team plays. When we have more than one team in a division, players are balanced evenly between the teams.
In order to place players on appropriate teams, Grade 3/4, Grade 5/6 and Grade 7/8 players must attend skill assessments. Evaluations are held each spring towards the end of the spring soccer season. The schedule will be posted on the WYSA web site during the spring season. Note: Skill assessments will not be held for the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 soccer year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
It is difficult to evaluate players. Some good players do not assess well, while others assess better than they actually play. Team placements are based on skill assessments and coach recommendations. Any one season's skill assessment may not be an accurate predictor of your child's soccer future. Children progress and mature at different stages in their lifetime. Any parent that would like feedback about a child's skill assessment should contact the WYSA Travel Coordinator. We strive to keep all information such as skill assessments and prior coaches' evaluations as confidential as possible, but will happily discuss a child's progress with his or her parents.
Unfortunately, regardless of how fairly we try to place players and build teams, we often hear from parents who feel that their child was placed, unfairly, in too low a division. (Oddly enough, we rarely hear from parents who feel that their child was placed in too high a division). It is important to remember that any player can play great soccer, learn new skills, have fun, and get exercise and experience on any team at any level. The strongest player on a weaker team has an opportunity to hone their individual skills (we're always in need of good strikers) and learns leadership skills. The weakest player on a stronger team has an opportunity to learn soccer skills from his teammates.
Roster Size Limitations for Travel Programs
Because Travel team rosters sizes are limited, and strictly enforced, by MYSL we can have a situation where we cannot fit all of our registered players onto Travel teams. In the past players have been placed on teams in the order they registered or in some cases try-outs were held among the players that registered by the deadline.