Important Dates for the Fall Season

Week of August 22 – Travel Team Practices begin

 

Week of August 29 – In-house Practices begin (U-8 and U-10)

Saturday September 10 – First In-house games

Sunday September 11 – First Travel games

Saturday September 17 – Picture Day

Saturday August 27 @ 9:00 a.m. at MCP – Field Sweep and Lining – Get your volunteer credits!

Sunday August 28 @ 7:00 p.m. at FR HS stadium – MASA/FR Skills Training night

 

MASA/FR Skills Training Night

On Sunday August 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Franklin Regional High School Stadium there will be a soccer skills training session run by coaches and players from the FR High School soccer team. The training is open to all MASA players and is part of an ongoing effort to increase collaboration between the two organizations.   Make sure your player has a soccer ball, shin guards, and water. Please join us for this great opportunity! In order to get some idea of the number of MASA players who will participate please complete a ten second survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9C22YLH .  Note that it is not necessary to complete the survey to be able to attend the session, we are just looking to get an approximate headcount.

Feet First Training

DID YOU KNOW – In England, youth soccer players do not play in an actual “game” setting until they are 8 years old? Rather, young children are trained exclusively in foot skills.

Time and time again, it has been proven that a solid foundation in foot skills (being able to comfortably perform actions with the ball at your feet) is critical for any young child to develop properly into a well-rounded soccer player. MASA recognizes this importance and offers a program called FEET FIRST that is available to all U-6 and U-8 children. The program is an additional offering to the regular fall season and is run by highly qualified/certified coaches from neighboring cup league programs. The 8-week program is $50. To register, visit murrysvillesoccer.org and select “Online Registration”. You will see the Feet First program as a drop-down offering for your child similar to where the regular fall season registration was located.

Keeping it FUN

With all of the electronic distractions that kids have today, youth sports is an important way to ensure your children get exercise, learn how to work together as a team, and learn the importance of good sportsmanship in dealing with others. One way we as parents can do our part to have them stay involved in sports is to keep it fun. The article below, which is written from the perspective of a youth soccer coach, provides some simple advice on how to do this.

The 6 Things a Soccer Mom Should Say to Her Youth Soccer Player

By Youth Soccer Coach Bruce Brownlee, USSF "C" License

The soccer mom (and dad) need say only 6 things (just 23 easy-to-remember words) to their youth soccer player.

A lot of soccer moms (dads, too) with good intentions give a 30 minute lecture, covering all the youth soccer player’s supposed deficiencies and giving playing advice, in the car on the way to each match.

The kids arrive far off their optimal mental state, and dreading the critique they are likely to hear, whether they want it or not, on the way home. Kids who are massaged in this way tend not to play badly, they just tend to not play, possibly to avoid making mistakes.

The easiest way to detect this problem is just to ask the player if it is a problem. Kids are more than willing to share this grief. The easiest way to correct this problem is to speak to the parents, as a group, about your expectations, and to cover this as a routine problem. Many of the parents will recognize themselves if you can present this problem with humor and illustrate the importance of the kids having fun and arriving in a good state of mind.

For best results, parents should memorize and use the following 6 phrases to say to their youth soccer player:

Before the Match

1. I love you!

2. Good luck!

3. Have fun!

After the Match

4. I love you!

5. It was great to see you play!

6. What would you like to eat?

Interacting with the Refs – ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY

With the fall season approaching, this is a good time to review proper behavior towards referees during the games. Most of the MASA referees are high school age children (some as young as 14) of other Murrysville soccer parents and overall they do a very good job officiating the Travel and Eagles games. Every year, however, MASA loses referees because they will no longer tolerate the verbal abuse from the sidelines during the games. Here are some things to think about the next time you are unhappy with a call:

  • Remember that this a game being played by children.
  • You are a role model for the children and whatever behaviors you display, good and bad, will be seen as acceptable
  • Be supportive of the referees and recognize that their job is a difficult one.
  • If the referee demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the game rules, MASA coaches can file a formal report with the league to address the issue
  • Referees have the authority to have coaches remove unruly parents from the sideline
  • Never, ever approach a referee after a game to challenge a call on the field (we had this happen last year with one of our parents, this is unacceptable and can result in you losing your privileges to attend your children’s games)

Volunteer Fee

MASA Soccer is a 100% volunteer organization.  Close to 300 children play in-house soccer, and approximately 150 play in the travel league.  For this large organization to continue to serve the community, every family must take responsibility for an aspect of its operation.  MASA registration includes a $50 per season Volunteer Assessment per family. Our policy is that each family volunteers at least 2 hours per season.

In order to receive the credit, you must volunteer within the season and have signed in at the respective event.  If you didn’t, you need to fill out a volunteer form and submit to the board member who assigned you the task. Coaches, Concession Stand, Field Lining, Field Sweep and other various jobs that had sign-in sheets do not need to complete the volunteer form. At the end of the season, your volunteer credit will be given to your MASA account. At that time, you can request that your money be refunded to you via check (we do not credit back to credit cards) or keep it on account to be used to offset the next season’s volunteer fee.  The intent is you pay the fee the first season you register and as long as you volunteer each season you won’t have to pay it again. Of course, you can also choose to donate that money to MASA. Volunteer refunds are not automatic; they must be requested by you.

A list of volunteer opportunities can be found on the MASA website, but know that we almost always need coaches. Please consider coaching your child. It’s great fun and your player will love it!.

Parent Reminders

  • Please offer to HELP YOUR volunteer coaches, including putting away goals and any other area your coaches may need assistance. Appreciate that coaches are volunteers donating their time to help your child.
  • Please REFRAIN from sideline coaching as it can be confusing to the players. If you want to coach, please volunteer!
  • Please be courteous to your coach by bringing your child to practices and games ON TIME and be available to pick him/her up ON TIME following the practice and games. Coaches are not substitute babysitters.
  • Please offer only POSITIVE encouragement to all the players. Remember these are children playing a game. Emphasize the positive things that your child has accomplished and remember that your child is playing soccer for fun.
  • DO not criticize referees. The referees are doing their best in a fast-paced game with very subjective and often misunderstood rules. (If you would like to referee, PLEASE sign-up to referee and check the view from the field.)
  • Please appreciate that MASA is a recreational and developmental club, and that every player will play at least 50% of every game regardless of skill level.
  • Parking - Please park in the parking lot only.
  • Pets - All pets, with the exception of those providing service to the handicapped, are prohibited from being on District or Municipal fields during any MASA commissioned activity.
  • Alcohol - Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on Municipal property which includes MCP.
  • Smoking - Please refrain from smoking at the soccer fields during practices and games.
  • Jewelry - NO JEWELRY IS ALLOWED TO BE WORN during soccer games. This is a safety and liability issue.
  • Thunder and Lightning - The PaWest/MASA rule is to seek shelter and wait 30 minutes after thunder or lightning. No playing until 30 minutes after lightning was last seen OR 30 minutes after thunder was last heard. If you can hear the thunder, you are within reach of lightning. Players and families should be directed to their cars to wait. Do not take time to take down goals, because handling metal increases a person's risk of being struck by lightning. Everyone hates a delay, but the kids' safety comes first. Thanks for all your help and cooperation!