LMSC TRAVEL TEAM PROGRAM


Primary Contacts:
Boys Travel Teams:   Dale Haines, Boys Travel Team Director of Coaching
Girls Travel Teams:   Daniel Clitnovici, Girls Travel Team Director of Coaching    






TRAVEL TEAM PROGRAM
Frequently Asked Questions
 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TRAVEL TEAM PROGRAM
Many people have questions about the LMSC Travel Team Program. We have tried to answer as many of those questions below. Please look to see if your question is one of the many questions listed. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please send an e-mail to LMSC President Biff Sturla.
  1. How are Travel Team tryouts conducted?

  2. Who coaches the teams in the LMSC Travel Team Program?

  3. What are the costs involved in the Travel Team Program?

  4. Does LMSC have any geographical boundaries which limit participation?

  5. Does a child have to have previously played in LMSC before in order to tryout for the Travel Team Program?

  6. How much travel is actually involved in the Travel Team Program?

  7. What is the commitment level for the program? How much soccer is involved throughout the year?

  8. What is the difference between the Intramural Program and the Travel Team Program?

  9. Can a player move up to a higher level team within his / her age group at tryouts?

  10. How strict are the age group classifications? May my child play with an older or younger age group?

  11. May a player selected for a higher level team opt to play on a lower level team which has less of a commitment?

  12. Can a player be moved up or down a level in his / her age group during the season?

  13. Are LMSC travel team players allowed to play other sports?






ANSWERS TO FAQ'S ABOUT THE LMSC TRAVEL TEAM PROGRAM


How are Travel Team tryouts conducted?
    ANSWER: Tryout information is posted on our web page in late February / early March. Tryouts are held in late April and early May. All tryouts will be completed before Memorial Day Weekend. Each age group will have two tryouts. Players will be expected to make every effort to be at BOTH tryouts. While tryouts are held in the spring, the actual travel team season for the new teams will not start until early August, depending on the schedule of each particular team.

    Teams will be picked by the coaches at the conclusion of tryouts. In general, coaches will notify the players of their status within a week of the last tryouts.

    Coaches will evaluate players at tryouts based on four primary criteria:
    • Physical Ability - speed, stamina, strength, agility, coordination, etc.
    • Technical Ability - How well a player performs the various skills of the game (dribbling, shooting, passing, receiving, etc.)
    • Tactical Ability (Decision Making) - Being able to think on a field and make quick, intelligent decisions on offense, defense and transition.
    • Psychological Ability - How much the player enjoys playing, enjoys competition, is able to handle the stress that comes with competing, etc.

    In order for coaches to properly evaluate players, LMSC STRONGLY ASKS all parents to refrain from coaching their child during the tryout process. The coaches need to be able to see players in action, working on their own, thinking on their own and solving the problems of the game. If a player instead is simply following instructions from Daddy or Mommy, then the coaches will assume the player has no ability to think on the field. It is therefore in each child's interest for parents to simply stay out of the way and remain quiet on the sidelines while they are playing.

    LMSC will field teams in each age group Under 8 through Under 14 in the fall season. The exact number of teams in each group will depend on how many players are at tryouts and how many qualified coaches are available to coach. LMSC will also field teams U-15 and older. Older teams might play in the fall season or opt to wait and start play in late October, after the high school season has ended. Teams not playing in the fall season are not required to have tryouts in the spring.

    For most age groups, LMSC will use "independent evaluators" to help the head coaches at tryouts. These evaluators are highly qualified soccer people, often times travel team coaches, who are not affliated with that particular age group. Their purpose is to help lend an additional set of eyes as well as offer a perspective other than the coaches of the age group. In the end however, final player selection for each team is made by the head coaches. The head coaches may use whatever criteria and information they choose in making player selections for their team.

    After teams are announced, parents are welcome to talk with the head coaches about their player selections. Information on player evaluation forms used by the coaches and evaluators are strictly confidential and will NOT be shared with the parents.

    Players selected for a team have the option of not accepting an invitation to play. If a player selected for a team chooses to not play, that is their right to do so. However, players will need to have committed to a team by Travel Team Registration Night (usually the Wednesday after Memorial Day Weekend). At Travel Team Registration Night, players will have to turn in all paperwork, order their travel team uniform and pay their club fees. Failure to do this at Registration Night could lead to the coach rescinding the offer to the player to join the team.
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Who coaches the teams in the LMSC Travel Team Program?
    ANSWER: Our travel team head coaches are NOT parents of players on the team. Instead, they are non-parent paid coaches who have a strong background in soccer as a player and / or as a coach. Many of our coaches played at the college level or other significant level. Many have a strong coaching background, coaching at the college level, at the high school level or previously at the travel team level. It is our belief at LMSC that paid non-parent coaches offer the players a much higher level of coaching and are better able to develop each players' skills so that they can reach higher levels of play in the future. Also, having non-parent coaches reduces "political problems" on a team where a coach might favor his or her child as well as the child's friends.

    Click Here To See Brief Biographies Of Our Travel Team Head Coaches

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What are the costs involved in the Travel Team Program?
    ANSWER: The Travel Team Program is much more expensive than the Intramural Program. There are several reason for this. First, and most significant, is that the head coaches in our Travel Team Program are paid workers who have a much greater soccer background than the volunteer parent coaches in the Intramural Program (most of whom have a much more limited soccer background). It is the opinion of LMSC that more experienced non-parent coaches are able to develop players at a much faster rate than volunteer parents, most of which have a limited soccer background. With this higher level of coach comes a higher cost to the player.

    Another factor in the costs of the Travel Team Program is that most teams play in tournaments in the fall and spring. These tournaments are fun for the players, but come at a cost. Also, all travel teams play indoor soccer during the winter months, playing in a local area indoor league. These indoor competitions all come at an additional cost.

    The costs vary greatly from team to team, depending on the factors listed above, plus others. In general, travel teams cost anywhere from $90 per month to $140 per month per child. Again, the exact amount depends on the team that a player is on. Each team has a different budget that come with different commitments and expectations during the year. In general, 'A' teams have a higher cost factor than the lower level teams. Similarly, older teams tend to have a higher cost per player than younger teams.

    ITEMS THAT FACTOR INTO A TEAM'S BUDGET FOR THE SEASON

    • Coaching staff salary
    • Referee fees for leagues
    • League and state association registration fees
    • Tournaments (tournament entry fees range from $450 - $900)
    • Indoor Leagues during the winter months (league fees are between $900 and $1200 per league)
    • Indoor field rentals during the winter months
    • Outdoor field rentals in late fall and early spring, when there is limited daylight and grass fields are not playable

    Again, the cost of all of the above items is incurred by the individual teams and divided among the players. The initial registration fee paid to the club at Registration Night in early June only covers Team Registration, Player Registration, Club Equipment, overhead administrative costs, etc.
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Does LMSC have any geographical boundaries which limit participation?
    ANSWER: No, LMSC does not have any geographical boundaries. Children may participate on a team, regardless of address, provided that they are able to live up to the commitments and expectations of the team they are on.
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Does a child have to have previously played in LMSC before in order to tryout for the Travel Team Program?
    ANSWER: No, players may tryout for an LMSC travel team, regardless of where they previously played. Players from other soccer organizations are welcome to tryout, but should only do so if they will be able to live up to the commitments and expectations of the program.
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How much travel is actually involved in the Travel Team Program?
    ANSWER: That really depends on which team your child is on. In the fall season, our teams play in one of five different leagues. Some of the leagues are local and involve a maximum of 30 minutes of travel to away games. Other leagues, for our older, top level teams, play in leagues that involve travel out of the state. Most clubs in these leagues are within a 45 minute drive, including West Chester United, Nether Providence, Marple Newtown, Philadelphia Soccer Club and King Of Prussia, just to name a few. However, in the higher divisions of each age groups, there will be some teams from Lancaster, Harrisburg, Delaware and Maryland.

    In a typical fall season, a team will play 10-12 games. Half of these league games will be home games and half will be away games. Home games are at South Ardmore Playground (Wynnewood), Bryn Mawr Polo Field, Welsh Valley Middle School or Barrack Hebrew Academy (Bryn Mawr). Away games will be at the opposing team's field. Many players choose to car pool together to away games, though some players choose to go with their parents. This is different for each team.

    Some teams travel on occassion to out of area tournaments, including Bucks County, Harrisbug, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and other places. These tournaments are infrequent and only a few of our travel teams actually travel out of state. We have however had teams participate in the Dallas Cup, Disney College Showcase (Florida) and the Phoenix President's Day Weekend Tournament. Two of our teams have traveled out of the country, one to play in a tournament in Bermuda, the other to play in the Gothia Cup in Sweden. The team that played in Sweden was comprised of players from several different LMSC teams.
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What is the commitment level for the program and how much soccer is involved throughout the year?
    ANSWER: Most travel teams start their season in mid-August and play in one or two tournaments in late August. All teams Under 8 through Under 14 will play in a fall travel league. The first league games are typically on the weekend after Labor Day Weekend. Fall leagues typically run through mid-Novmeber.

    FALL SEASON - In the fall, teams will have one game a week, occassionally two. For boys teams, games are primiarly on Saturdays with an occassional Sunday game. For girls teams U-9 through U-11, most games are on Saturdays with an occassional Sunday game. Older age groups will have most of their games on Sunday afternoons with an occassional Saturday game.

    Travel teams will have two practices a week throughout the fall season with the exact schedule determined by the head coach.

    WINTER SEASON - In the winter, teams will play a limited amount of indoor soccer, training at least one day a week and laying in an indoor league during the first half of the winter, the second half of winter or both.

    SPRING SEASON - All of our 'A' teams and most of our 'B' teams will participate in the State Cups. This is a tournament involving the better teams throughout Eastern Pennsylvania to determine a state champion. This is mandatory for all 'A' teams. State Cups run for 4 - 7 weeks, starting in late March. Other travel teams will instead play in a spring league, consisting of 6 - 8 games on weekends throughout the spring.


    The main season for travel teams Under 8 through Under 14 is the fall season. However, unlike the intramural program, teams also are busy in the winter and spring. Players may play other sports during the year, but their primary sport in the fall should be soccer. For our 'A' teams (and for most of our 'B' teams), competing in the state cups is mandatory. Players must make a full commitment to their team while their team is involved in state cups.
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What is the difference between the Intramural Program and the Travel Team Program?
    ANSWER: There are many differences. The Travel Team Program is geared for our stronger players who aspire to play at higher levels in the future. The number of games and practices that travel teams have is much higher. Travel teams play indoor soccer in the winter and are active in the spring in state cups and / or spring tournaments.

    The coaching level is much higher in the Travel Team Program. The intramural program relies on parent volunteers, few of which played at high levels of play. Most of the coaches in the Travel Team Program played at high levels and have coached for many years. With the higher level of coaching and the heavier schedule in the Travel Team Program comes higher costs to participate. Players who aspire to play at the high school level or college level and who are willing to work harder to improve as players, should play in the Travel Team Program. Players who simply wish to have a fun social experience while playing soccer in a low stress environmnent should stay in the Intramural Program. In general, players who do not play in a travel team program do not make it to the high school varsity level in school soccer.
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Can a player move up to a higher level teams within his / her age group at tryouts?
    ANSWER: Definitely!!! We have tryouts each year. At that time, some players move up to a higher level team while some players move down to a lower level team. Tryouts are open to anyone of the proper age each year. We have had several players who were originally selected for a 'D' team who later moved all the way up to the 'A' team in their age group several years later.     CLICK HERE for related story.

    LMSC recognizes that children progress at different rates and mature at different rates. We therefore have tryouts each year in order to give children a chance to move up to a higher level team the following year. It is also possible for a player to be moved up to a higher level team in the middle of the season if the coach of that team wishes to add another player to his/her roster.
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How strict are the age group classifications? Can my child play with an older or younger age group?
    ANSWER: Our Travel Team Program teams are bound by the same age group classifications as all the other teams in the United States. Age groups are determined by the players' year of birth. The United States Socer Federation requires us to submit birth certificates to show each player's date of birth. A player who is one day too old for a team is ineligible to tryout, no exceptions. These rules are strictly enforced by the USYSA and the use of an ineligible player will result in heavy fines to the club as well as severe sanctions.

    Players are prohibited from playing "up a year" until they are classified as an Under 14 age player. Players younger than the U-14 age group may only tryout for the age group corresponding to their date of birth unless an exception has been granted by the LMSC President or one of the club's Coaching Directors.

    The Intramural Program however has move flexibility. The age groups listed for the Intramural Program are just guidelines. Overage players who are small or lack coordination may play with a younger age group in the intramural program. Similarly, big, strong, fast, physically mature kids may elect to play up a year in age in the intramural program. Parents may request to have their child play in an age group other than the one recommended by the club. LMSC does however reserve the right to prohibit a child from playing in a different intramural age group if we feel that there are safety issues involved or if a child will severly imbalance the competitive level of an age group.
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May a player selected for a higher level team opt to be considered only for a lower level team which has less of a commitment?
    ANSWER: Yes, a player who feels that he / she will not be able to live up to the commitment and expectations of an 'A' or 'B' team may opt to play on a lower level team. This must be stated at tryouts or as soon as player selections for teams are announced at the conclusion of tryouts. Any player selected for a particular level at the conclusion of tryouts may request to only be considered for a team in that age group at a lower level. However, the head coach for the lower level team is NOT obligated to take the player if he / she does not think that the player would be a good fit for the team in question.
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Can a player be moved up or down a level in his / her age group or dropped from a team during the season?
    ANSWER: In general, when a player accepts an offer to play on a particular travel team, the agreement is for a full year. The player will be considered to be on that team until tryouts take place the following year. There are some exceptions however to this rule:

    • A Player Moving Up To A Higher Level Team - Coaches are asked to watch the players on the team one level below their team in their particular age group. If a coach likes a player on the lower level team, the coach may offer that player a spot on his roster, provided that the roster is not filled to capactity. The player may accept or decline the offer. There are certain time periods when a player may not switch teams. This includes the time after the "roster freeze date" imposed by the travel team leagues while league play is taking place during the fall. Roster changes may not be made until the season has completed. Similarly, in the spring, rosters of teams playing in state cups may not be changed while the team is still involved in state cup play.

    • A Player Wishing To Drop Down To A Lower Level Team Within The Age Group - A player may request to move down a level if they feel that they are playing at too high of a level or are playing on a team where the commitment is too much. Similar to a player being moved to a higher level team (see above), a transfer may only take place at certain times of a year. The transfer will be denied if the team the player wishes to move to has the maximum number of players already or if the coach of that team does not wish to add an extra player. Similarly, the player's current coach can deny the transfer if the coach can demonstrate that losing the player will have a significantly adverse affect to the player's current team.

    • A Player Who Wishes To Transfer Out of LMSC To Play In A Different Club - Per State Association rules, LMSC will grant the release of a player who wishes to leave LMSC and play on a team in a different club, provided that the player is in good standing with the club and has paid all dues to the club and to the team. LMSC will not release a player until their obligations to the team have been satisfied, including all financial obligations. LMSC will NOT issue refunds of any amount for a player who decides to leave the club.

    • A Player Who Is In Bad Standing With The Club - A player may be considered in bad standing with the club based on bad conduct of the child, bad conduct at soccer games or practices by a parent or based on failure to meet the financial obligations of playing on an LMSC Travel Team. If it has been determined that a player is in bad standing with the LMSC or a specific team, the club may opt to remove the player from a roster or simply prohibit the child from participating in any team activities. Decisions regarding this will be made by the LMSC Directors.


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Are LMSC travel team players allowed to play other sports?
    ANSWER: Yes, definitely. We do not expect young soccer players to only play one sport. The fall season is the primary season for all LMSC travel teams Under 8 up through Under 14. During the fall, all players are expected to make all games and practices, unless they have a religious conflict, school conflict or are sick. In the winter, we realize that players often like to play other sports. Players on teams playing winter soccer are expected to live up to the commitments and expectations as presented by the coach at the beginning of the season. However, players are welcome to play other sports in the winter if desired.

    In the spring, players on our 'A' teams are expected to be available for ALL state cup games. This applies to players on 'B' teams that are involved in state cups. However, players are not precluded from playing other sports in the spring as long as they are able to make it to all state cup games. The exact commitment level for all teams in the spring is dependent on the expectations definied by the head coach for each team.

    For teams Under 15 and older where the primary season is the spring, players are expected to make soccer their number one sport in the spring and make all games and tournaments as scheduled by the coach. Players on these teams will normally be playing high school soccer in the fall so the season for the older teams ususlly does not start until after the high school season has finished. As a result, the majority of the team's season is in the spring and players on older teams will be expected to make every effort to be at all team events in the spring.
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