Resources for Parents
The Soccer Landscape
With the goal of building the soccer community within Parker County, we want to make you aware of different opportunities for your young athlete.
Recreational soccer provides a healthy activity, emphasizing enjoyment and development over competition. It allows kids to have fun, make mistakes, and learn.
Recreational soccer is for the player ages U4-19 who is primarily interested in fun, fitness and friendship.
Recreational games are usually played in the community (and those nearby). Coaches are often a parent of a player on the team or other community member. Coaches are unpaid volunteers.
It is quite typical of children at the recreational level to play multiple sports. As a result, recreational league teams rarely play in tournaments or have multiple practices during the week.
Recreational players are guaranteed to play at least 50% of the game.
Weatherford Soccer Association (WSA) is a recreational association.
Competitive soccer provides opportunities for the more committed player to advance their skills through higher competition. More than 10,000 competitive players are registered on 600 teams throughout North Texas.
There are 2 different levels of competitive soccer based on age:
Young boys and girls, typically ranging in age from U7-10, can opt to play academy soccer, in addition to recreational soccer. Academy games are typically played on Sundays so that the player can keep playing on his or her recreational team (where games are most often on Saturdays). Whenever there is a conflict between an overlapping academy and recreational game, priority should be given to the recreational game.
The Academy level will begin to increase the commitment to practice time and players usually play year round: outdoor in the fall and spring and indoor in the summer or winter (or both).
Academy soccer is more expensive than recreational soccer. Fees may include league fees, insurance, coaches’ stipends, uniform kit. Tournament fees may or may not be included.
In competitive soccer, unlike recreational soccer, playing time is not guaranteed.
Select soccer is for the competitive player ages U11-19. A Select player may not play on a recreational team.
Select teams practice about three hours or more during the week with optional, and sometimes required, skills development sessions.
Players will not always make the team they are practicing and/or trying out with. However, players are generally able to join another team looking to fill out its roster, though that may be with an entirely different team and organization.
The cost is often higher than academy soccer, ranging from several hundred to a few thousand dollars a year. When a player joins a team, parents sign one-year contracts that obligate financial contributions to the team and the organization.
Like Academy soccer, Select soccer teams play in tournaments and the entry fees might or might not be included in your dues. Be prepared to play four or five tournaments a year.
Coaches commit a lot of time and energy to the team and the league and usually have extensive backgrounds in soccer and often have a coaching license.
Most academy and select teams allow your child to participate in a practice (and possibly multiple practices) before committing to a team. This is a terrific opportunity to get a feel for what goes on and to meet players, parents, and coaches. If you do not get a warm fuzzy after interacting with the first team, try another one or stick with your current team.
To join a competitive team, contact a local club.
*Most of the information above comes from a 2014 article appearing in the Dallas Morning News, titled Making sense of recreational soccer, academy soccer and select soccer in Frisco.
Indoor soccer is played in a walled indoor arena. The game is delimited by walls instead of lines and there are no throw-ins. The ball can be played off the wall. Unlike futsal, which is played on wooden a surface, indoor soccer is typically played on synthetic turf.
Indoor league seasons are often played in between outdoor soccer seasons (i.e., Summer, Winter).
Game On (sports facility on West side of Ft. Worth) offers indoor soccer leagues.
Futsal is an exciting, fast-paced small sided soccer game that is played across the world and is officially recognized by FIFA. It is a 5 v 5 small-sided game played on a hard surfaced, basketball-sized court with a smaller, low bounce ball. Futsal is played with touchline boundaries and without walls.
Futsal places a large emphasis on technical skill in high pressure situations which can be translated into the outdoor game. The sport is a great skill developer as it demands quick reflexes, fast thinking and pin-point passing.
Futsal is played in over 100 countries with 12 million players. Great soccer superstars such as Pele, Zico, Ronaldo, Messi, Kaka and Katia grew up playing the game and credit futsal with developing their skills.
Game On (sports facility on west side of Ft. Worth) offers futsal leagues.
* Information above from United States Youth Futsal.
http://www.ntxsoccer.org/ - North Texas Soccer
http://www.ntxsoccer.org/club_list/ - North Texas Soccer Clubs
https://gameonfw.com/youth-sports-ft-worth/ - Sports facility offering Indoor Soccer and Futsal leagues
Hirsh, Michael (2014). Making sense of recreational soccer, academy soccer and select soccer in Frisco. Dallas Morning News. Retrieved from https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2014/05/01/making-sense-ofrecreational-soccer-academy-soccer-and-select-soccer-in-frisco/
United States Youth Futsal. Retrieved from: https://www.usyouthfutsal.com/about-futsal