Mass Youth Soccer recognizes that player development is best advanced by allowing players to compete at the highest possible levels, even if it means playing up in age. At the same time, we recognize that playing up in age is often more appropriate for the older players. The membership of Mass Youth Soccer have attempted to address this issue with respect to players age ten and younger in the context of those players “playing up” in age. The applicable Bylaw is found at Section 217.

In brief, that Bylaw provides that a player age ten or younger is not permitted to play on an Under 11 or older team that participates in a results-oriented format unless one of three criteria are met:

1. The older team would not have sufficient players without the participation of younger players; or
2. The player is being placed on a team with his or her classmates; or
3. The player's skills justify the placement on an older team.These guidelines require organizations to fulfill certain reporting so that statistical results can be obtained for future analysis. 

It is important to note that this Bylaw applies only to situations where the younger player is being placed on an Under 11 or older team. The Bylaw, itself, is not applicable to other situations. However, a number of Mass Youth Soccer's organizations have taken the Bylaw and used it as a basis to establish their own rules with respect to players playing up in age. 

 


To review the actual rule, read Section 217 from the Consitution and Bylaws below:

Section 217.  Under 10 Players Playing Up in Age

Under 10 and younger players will not be permitted to play on a Under 11 or older team in a results oriented format unless the organization through which the player is registered with Mass Youth Soccer determines, and certifies in writing to its parent League, that:

  1. It does not have enough players to field a team in the older age group without the participation of the player; or
  2. The player is being placed on a team with his or her classmates; or
  3. The player's skills justify the placement.

With respect to any exception under 1-3 above, the responsible organization will notify its parent League of all of the relevant circumstances involving each player.  In turn, at the end of each season, each League will submit a report to the Leagues Committee providing the following information as to each such player:

  1. The exception under which the child was permitted to play;
  2. The school grade and the birth date of the player; and
  3. The age group and the competitive division of the team on which the child played.

At the end of each soccer season year, the Leagues Committee will issue a statistical report as to how many players of each group (U7, U8, U9, U10) played up, the exceptions under which they were allowed to do so, and the age groups, divisions and leagues in which they played.