Windham Soccer Association
WSA has a philosophy of promoting good sportsmanship and promoting a healthy competitive environment on and off the field. Our purpose is to field competitive soccer teams that are comprised of dedicated and talented players committed to a high level of instruction and a higher level of competitiion. We serve those players willing to make a greater commitment to and learn the game of soccer at a higher level. We promote and emphasize a sense of teamwork as well as strong discipline.
WSA Travel Soccer is comprised of NHSL for teams U10 and above, and Early Development Program (EDP) for the U8 (U7) and U9 Players. Players who wish to become part of the Travel program should be aware of, and willing to commit to the following:
Travel Soccer is a 2-Season Sport (Fall runs form the end of August to early November) (Spring runs from early April through mid June)
Players are expected to commit to both seasons.
Teams Typically practice 2 afternoons a week during the season.
Games are played in Windham and away. (Most games are in the local area and greater Manchester/Concord area)
Travel Teams participate in 2 Tournaments a year and maybe a Jamboree. (Usually Columbus Day and Memorial Day Tournaments)
Fees: WSA Registration Fee plus travel fees and uniform (not included in fees) If you are selected in the Fall to join a Spring Team the cost is approximately half of the full year fees (not including uniform)
WSA uses Challenger British Coaches to provide skill and tactic-based training in an age appropriate plan. Each team has a weekly session with the Challenger Trainers; and players are invited to attend specialty clinics outside their team training. Some teams have elected to provide their team with both sessions by the professional trainer.
Indoor sessions are increasingly popular and are put together by coaches and parents outside of WSA. Players are permitted to wear their WSA Uniforms.
Many children are interested in and participate in many different activities. Players and their families should understand that being part of a travel team entails a commitment to team practices and games. Players unable to make the commitment should consider playing at the recreational level in town.
For more information concerning the Travel Team formation process, please go to: WSA Travel Team Formation Process.docx
Travel Soccer is divided into two distinct areas, competitive and non-competitive. Although all travel teams play other town and club teams, the scores are recorded for U12 teams and above only and team standings are published based on those scores. U8 and U9's are classified as development programs.
With the dedication of both full time British coaches (Challenger Sports) and dedicated Coaches from our own community, we nurture the development of each child in our Travel program.
The three areas of a child's development we are concerned about are:
a. Physical development, by learning soccer skills and improving fitness and conditioning.
Similar to our excellent Recreational program we feel that the best environment for a child to develop in these areas is an environment where there is no pressure to win! If we strive to encourage each child to do their very best and not be concerned about winning, then we feel like each child will be able to experience personal success and growth - and that's a winning program!
b. Psychological development, by learning to control their emotions and developing positive feelings of self-worth; and
c. Social development, by learning how to be a part of a team and display appropriate sportsmanship.
Once players are part of a U12 team, they will begin to focus on positional play, team set movements and game winning plans.
To ensure a players development progression, coaches will attempt to play each individual at least 50% of the time in all U8 through U11 games. Thereafter U12 and above, game play will be assessed based player commitment, skills and positional requirements. However the 50% goal will still be a fair benchmark, but left to the coaching team to determine.
If players are assessed as superior, the board of directors in association with the players coach will determine the possibility of playing up an age group.
Registration for the fall /spring league will begin in April and run through June 30th. Beginning August 15th all submitted registration forms will be placed on a waiting list and accepted on an as needed basis only. WSA Registration fees are only refundable if a player is NOT selected for a travel team.
Travel Fees will need to be paid by August 20th. During the first week of August, a separate link to pay these fees will be sent out to those who made teams.
Making the team
Travel team tryouts are for every player, regardless if they are currently on a travel team. Tryouts are normally held during Memorial Day week in May, and players should be contacted by the 3rd week end June if they made a team. Tryouts in the Fall for supplemental placement is not for all players but just for potential adds and will take place at the end of October.
The following are some of the criteria used in evaluating players during the travel tryouts. WSA is providing this information to give parents a better understanding of what the evaluators will be looking for on that day.
Speed: Speed is important at high levels of play. You can teach skills and improve speed, but natural speed is an advantage.
Aggressiveness: Also important. A player who can't win the ball is at a disadvantage.
"Strength on the Ball": This is different from physical strength. It is the ability to retain the ball when under pressure. It has to do with skill, positioning, and physical strength. "2 Team Keep Away" can help evaluate this.
The Ability to Play Quickly: Better teams will play faster and the ball handler will quickly be pressured. Look for players who can play fast by making quick, correct decisions under pressure.
Passing to Open Space and Movement off the ball: Being able to pass to open space (instead of just passing to feet), anticipating passes to open space and "movement off the ball" are critical at higher levels. Players who call play this was have an advantage over those who can't. It is a way of thinking, as opposed to "passing to feet". Playing this way allows a team to have a much faster, more fluid, and more creative attack. The Premium "Pass to Space, Run With Ball, and Shoot Game", "2 Team Keep Away", and "3 Man Direct Attacking Game" can help teach passing to open space and movement off the ball.
There is also a tryout in mid October to fill any vacancies and/or create new teams for the Spring season.
Windham Soccer Association’s policy on “Playing Up in Age”:
Windham Soccer Association (WSA) requires that each player wishing to join a Travel Team roster participate in tryouts/evaluations at their given age group, based on birth year, regardless of their current team assignment or individual skill level.
Tryouts in this manner allow WSA to evaluate players with their own peer group to provide consistency and parity, and allow the organization to gain a better understanding of the level of skill the player pool in each age group. WSA can then effectively create the most competitive teams to participate in the appropriate age groups of any given league.
A player’s ability to “Play Up in Age” is predicated on several factors:
- the overall performance of the individual player, playing at a level above their peers
- a knowledge of the game that is advanced for their age
- their ability to take guidance and direction from their coach
- their dedication and their ability to work as part of a team
- Roster availability on an older team to which they may be assigned
For a player to be considered eligible to “play up in age,” they would have to be rated no lower than the top five players in his/her own age group as related to player evaluations recorded at open tryouts for their specific birth year. Placement in the top five is not a guarantee that a player will be advanced. A player wishing to move up will only be considered if there is an available roster spot on a team, and the player would be considered, at a minimum, a mid-tier player for that team, contributing positively to the overall skill level of the team’s roster. WSA will not move any player, regardless of their performance rating, if it will effectively degrade the current team at a designated age group or is not deemed to be in the best interest of the player/team.
A TEAM may play up in age groups if the team has successfully performed at a higher competitive caliber then it’s current age group and advancing would be considered a benefit to their strategic team play and player development. At a minimum, the Team requesting advanced competition must have demonstrated significant achievement in its current season, participated as a “Finalist” in their age group playoffs, shown consecutive divisional promotion by the league in which they play, or demonstrated proven success in multiple tournaments playing at the older age group in a given season.
Any questions regarding the advancement of a player or a team may be directed to the Vice President of Travel or President
Coaches and Volunteers
The Windham Soccer Association relies solely on volunteers from the community to run the league. If you are interested in being a head coach, assistant coach, or division coordinator, please indicate so on your child’s registration form. All coaches must complete the Kid Safe form prior to coaching. Please note that the number of teams offered will depend on the number of volunteer coaches. Any questions regarding volunteering can be directed to
firstname.lastname@example.org . A coach’s clinic will be offered prior to the beginning of the season. The WSA also offer full reimbursement for Coach certification course, required at U12 level and up. We strongly recommend all coaches in Travel to be certified at some level within 2 years of joining the program.
Season Dates and Practices
WSA highly recommends that all travel teams attend the Challenger run team camp normally the 3rd week in Aug (see website for more details). Our practices begin immediately following camp, with games scheduled from the 1st week in Sept through the 1st week in November. Practices are created each season based on Coaching, Field availability and Trainers.
Travel soccer is a 2 season sport, Fall and Spring
The Spring season starts with outside practice around the 3rd week in April, games beginning the 4th week in April going through to the middle of June.
Often teams will also partake in indoor competitive sessions (SportZone etc) or skills during the off season. We sometimes sponsor a skills session for indoor through WSA.
Each team is sponsored and urged to attend 2 tournaments a season, normally Memorial weekend and Columbus weekends. However, if the team wished to attend more than two a season, the fees associated will be the teams responsibility. There are also opportunities to attend Jamboree's as well.
Uniforms and Equipment Needs
Each travel player in WSA will receive a two team shirts, home and away colors, pair of shorts and one pair of socks. Players must provide their own shin guards and proper footwear. WSA will provide a Game soccer ball for the team, however players may provide their own as long as the size is appropriate with the team play age group.
Please note that no jewelry of any kind is allowed during WSA play. This includes: necklaces, earrings, rings and headgear. Please note this also included newly pierced ears. Covering the ears with band-aids and tape is not allowed.
Zero tolerance rule
Unfortunately youth sports have recently seen a surge in spectator and even coach tenancies to become abusive or aggressive. The WSA with New Hampshire State Soccer League and NHSA have a zero tolerance for this. And as such have issued statements detailing the warning process and ultimately the rejection of suspension of coach and spectator attendance.