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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 10 and younger in the context of those players “playing up” in age.
In brief, 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 applies only to situations where the younger player is being placed on an Under 11 or older team. This is not applicable to other situations. However, a number of Mass Youth Soccer's organizations use this guideline as a basis to establish their own rules with respect to players playing up in age.