Marion County Youth Soccer Association

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P.O. Box 407
Fairmont, WV 26554-0407
Marion FC

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The Difference Between Recreation and Travel Soccer


Written by: Karen Carney / Jack Connolly
Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Difference Between Recreation and Travel Soccer

  • Travel Soccer

Travel soccer is for the older experienced players. Travel is much more competitive than recreation, but also much more rewarding in the experiences it brings to young players. Not only does it provide them an experience of more advanced playing against teams that are equally as advanced in their abilities, but it also brings the sense of achievment that comes with hard work - win or lose. Travel teams require tryouts and the most accomplished players are selected to be a part of the teams. Depending upon the number of players trying out and the individual coaching strategies, additional players may be accepted onto the team for development.

The players try out for the teams and they play other travel teams in the area and go to tournaments, sometimes even out of state.  The parents pay for the coach and uniforms and all other expenses. Depending on the history of the team and the players this overall cost can run between $200/season and up to (and sometimes over) $800/season. These costs are not fixed (literally or figuratively) and depend entirely upon factors such as uniforms, coaching fees, tournament fees, travel costs for players and their families, food, gear, etc... Your coach and manager should provide you with these costs up front when you are considering being part of a travel team.

MCYSA has arranged to use, through contract with VSA, Travel Soccer coaches  that are professional coaches who have many years of playing/coaching soccer formally in collegiate, semi-professional and/or professional teams nationally and/or internationally.

The players are not eligible to try out or participate until they are in the U10's.  We have tryouts in the winter and summer.

  • Recreation Soccer

Recreation soccer is for everyone aged 5 and up. There are no tryouts and teams are created to let all players who are registered by the deadline get onto a team.

The coordinator picks teams for the U5's and the U8's. The U10's and up have to go through the drafting process every season.  Once picked for a team a player will stay on that team until they move up to the next age group or if they request to be put back into the pool for the next season.

Practices are held wherever coaches may find suitable locations and practices are conducted at the coaches' discretion. All games are played at the MCYSA "For The Kids" Soccer Complex at Ices Run in Fairmont. Occasionally, coaches will schedule out of town games with other coaches from Bridgeport, Grafton, Morgantown, etc.. for friendly games to either fill out a schedule or provide the players with a bit more of the advanced competition that these other teams may (or may not) bring to their experiences in playing soccer. Aside from shorts, shin guards and balls (all of which may purchased for as little as $40) Recreation Soccer registration fees are the only costs and these are stated on the registration forms. Team jerseys and socks are provided as part of the registration fees.

MCYSA has arranged to use volunteers for coaches. These volunteers vary in their degrees of soccer experience ranging from none at all to former coaches and players.

Recreation soccer is just as much fun as travel soccer, practices are just as important to attend and the sweat comes out the same. Thus far, there is nothing to indicate that playing only Recreation Soccer will hinder a player's ability to make it onto a highschool soccer team. There are a lot of terrific players every year who make it onto the local highschool teams who have never played Travel Soccer.

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