Frequently Asked Questions
When does registration open?
Fall Season registration usually opens in May. Travel Team registration usually ends in early July, while registration for the other programs runs until the programs fill or until a few weeks before the season starts--whichever comes first.
Spring Season registration usually opens in November of the previous year. Travel Team registration usually ends in late-January, while registration for the other programs runs until the programs fill or until a few weeks before the season starts--whichever comes first.
What if I need help to pay for the fees?
JPYS offers no-questions-asked financial assistance, up to 100% of the fees, for any family who wants to play soccer with us. Financial assistance is offered through the use of coupon codes that are available during the registration process. Usually about 20-25% of our families have some level of financial assistance.
How can I confirm my child is registered?
You can always view your order history by logging into the registration system at https://teamsideline.com/jpyouthsoccer. From your account home page, there is a link to your Order History.
Can my child play with JPYS if they are in K1 or K2?
JP Youth Soccer has a strict policy of starting players ONLY in the Fall season of their 1st grade year. If your child is in K2, even if they are older than their peers, or taller, faster, or have more soccer skills than average, they cannot play in JPYS until they start 1st grade. Under the BAYS minimum age policy, players are not eligible to play travel games until they are at least in the 3rd grade, though in JPYS they will not play on a travel team until 4th grade. If your child is in K2 or younger we encourage you to look at JP Children's Soccer (JPCS), which conducts a popular, recreational soccer program in Jamaica Plain for children ages 3.5-6.5 years old .
Can my child play with JPYS if we don't live in Boston?
Generally, residency in the city of Boston (any neighborhood) is required for participation in JPYS. However, there are some established exceptions, including (1) a player who lives outside of Boston but attends school in Boston is eligible; (2) a player who played with JPYS for at least two years, but moved to another town, may continue to play with JPYS as long as the player does not switch to another town's program (at that point, they are no longer eligible for JPYS); and (3) a player who has parents living in Boston and another town is eligible for JPYS. Discretionary waivers may be available if the player lives in an adjacent town with no appropriate team or program, or in cases of unusual hardship.
How are players assigned to teams?
For the Grade 1-2 Academy, there are no set teams. Players are assigned to groups for practice, and those groups are divided roughly by age. The groups may change over the season if skill levels require it to make sure players are being challenged at an appropriate level. For Sunday games, the teams are built for 4v4 games as the players show up. Coaches and Activity Leaders will try to group players of similar skill levels, but the teams and opponents will be different from week to week.
For the Grade 3-4 Campeones league, there will be two weeks of games where players are not yet assigned to teams. During these 2 weeks, the players will play much like the Academy, and coaches will assess player skills and then work to form teams that are balanced with the goal of avoiding lopsided scores during the 8-week season.
For Travel Teams (grades 4-12), our main goal is to place players on teams with players of similar technical ability and to place those teams in a Boston Area Youth Soccer (BAYS) League division where they play against teams at a similar skill level. While there will always be a range of ability on any given team, the goal is for that range to be as narrow as possible. The Spring Skills Assessment is used to help determine where players' development levels are from year to year. Other considerations for travel teams may include the size of a given age/gender cohort, the distribution of players across the grade levels of the cohort, available volunteer coaches, and game day travel needs. "Friend requests" are generally not considered.
Can players switch teams?
For travel teams, the presumption is that a player will stay with the same team through a whole season, and will often play with a similar team for both Fall and Spring. Players will not switch teams mid-season unless there is a significant reason to do so. There is a likelihood of switching teams from the Fall to the Spring season, as players will frequently come in and out of JPYS due to other obligations or activities, and that usually requires rearranging the composition of teams. In the Fall season, new teams will generally be constructed as players will start with new age groups.
Campeones teams will generally stay together over one season, but will usually be rearranged from season to season.
Academy practice groups may be shifted during a season based on skill level. Academy games do not use set teams, and will be set each Sunday depending on who shows up.
Can my child be on a team with their friends?
We get many requests for placement on teams with friends, for an assortment of reasons. Typically, we do not take "friend requests" to assign players to practice groups in the Academy, Campeones Teams, or Travel Teams. We de-emphasize friend requests for several reasons. Two of the most important are that:
A player's soccer development level is our primary concern in team and group placement. We want to make sure that players are playing at an appropriate level of challenge and support, which will help them stay engaged and learn to love the game. Players at a significantly lower or higher level of soccer development in a given group are more likely become frustrated and disengage from play.
Part of the joy of soccer is getting to play with many different people, from different backgrounds and different parts of the city, and growing together as a soccer community. We want to foster those new relationships. Staying with the same friends from other parts of life, season after season, defeats that purpose. Given the size of our program, there is a good chance that most players will, at some point, play with some of their school friends, but we hope everyone looks at this as an opportunity to make some new friends as well.
Can I request that my child play with a specific coach?
Generally, no. We assign coaches to teams based on a variety of reasons, and for reasons similar to our policy on friend requests, we do not take coach requests.
Can my child "play up" in an older age group?
Generally, no. Players from grades 1-8 are combined into two-year groups: the Academy for grades 1-2, the Campeones League for grades 3-4 (with optional travel teams for grade 4), and travel teams for grades 5-6, and grades 7-8 ). Within a two-year group, the grades are sometimes mixed depending on our registration level, but JPYS generally does not allow players to "play up" to a higher group. This means:
All 1st and 2nd graders will play in the Academy
All 3rd graders will play in the Campeones League, and will not play up onto a 4th grade travel team
4th graders may opt for Campeones or a 4th grade travel team, but they will not play up into the 5th/6th grade group
5th and 6th graders may play together on a travel team in a 6th grade division, and travel teams of all-5th graders will generally play in a 5th grade-only division, but 5th and 6th graders will not play up into the 7th/8th grade division.
All 7th and 8th graders play together in one division, but will not play up into the HS divisions.
9th through 12th graders will play in HS aged divisions as appropriate.
Can my child "play down" in a younger age group?
No. US Youth Soccer and Mass Youth Soccer regulations do not allow exceptions for players older than a specified age to play in any grade/age group other than a few extremely narrow circumstances.
When and where does my child have practices?
Typically, players in grades 1-4 practice twice a week at 6:15pm at English High School. Players in grades 5 and up usually practice two nights a week at 6:15pm at either English High School, Pagel Field, or Murphy Field (behind Mission Hill School) or some combination of these. Our program is growing, so other fields may be added as well.
Practice schedules for each travel team are always finalized in the weeks leading up to the start of the season and are based on field availability for that season and other factors. Your player's coach or program director will inform you of the practice schedule before the beginning of the season. Practice schedules often change from one season to another, so do not assume that the schedule will be the same as a previous season.
Can I drop my child off at practice and pick them up later?
For the Academy and Campeones league (grades 1-4), JPYS is not a drop-off program. We ask that every player have a responsible adult present at practice or immediately reachable nearby. It does not have to be a parent (it can be, say, a friend's parent covering for several players) but there should be someone who the player knows that coaches can go to if there is an injury or an urgent question or concern. For grades 5 and up, drop-off is OK.
Do you cancel practices (or games) for bad weather?
It depends. We will usually try to play in most conditions as long as they are not severe. We will generally practice or play if there is light rain or light snow, and in most hot or cold weather as long as it is not extreme and as long as the fields are in good condition to play. If the weather is very hot, or very cold, we will usually play while taking extra precautions (extra water breaks, shorter playing time between breaks, etc.) If there is clearly dangerous weather (lightning, blizzard, high winds) we will make a JPYS-wide decision to cancel soccer activities for that day. If the weather is in-between (light rain or snow, but no lightning), the decision to practice or not will be made by the individual coaches for travel teams, and by the Campeones and Academy Directors for those programs. For games, once a game starts, the decision to continue is up to the referee.
The number one priority in all cases is the safety of the players. Unless it’s really obvious what the weather is going to be, we usually will try to wait until about 30-60 minutes before the game or practice to make a final decision (a little earlier for travel games to give teams time to plan their travel).
What is the "practice-only" option?
Players in grades 4-12 are eligible to play with JPYS in "practice-only" status. This would mean attending practices during the week with a team, but NOT playing in weekend games with a travel team. Families might do this for a number of reasons--they want to learn more about the JPYS program, they have a conflict on game days, or they simply don't want to play in the games. This option is generally available even when travel teams become full.
To register for practice-only, players should register with their appropriate age group and check the "practice-only" box in the registration when prompted. Then the family should email the appropriate travel director (at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) to ensure that you are in "practice-only" status in our system.
What equipment does my player need?
Basically, players need shinguards, water, and appropriate shoes every time they play soccer with us.
Must be worn to every game and practice
Shinguards must be worn under the socks for safety reasons. We understand that some younger players don't like the feel of shinguards against their skin. If that's the case we recommend looking for "sock style" shinguards, or consider wearing shinguards between two pairs of socks rather than wearing them outside of the socks.
JPYS facilitates the donation and distribution of shinguards that are used but in serviceable condition. Families and players are welcome to look through what we have if you need shinguards.
For Academy and Campeones players, cleats or turf shoes are helpful, but not necessary; any flat-bottom athletic/court shoe will work as all practices and games will be on turf.
For travel team players, having cleats is desirable because some away games (and occasionally practices) may be played on grass, and travel teams are more likely to play in wet or slippery conditions.
Travel players are expected to wear the official JPYS travel uniform (green shirt with number, black shorts, black socks) to every game. Referees have made players change if they wear something other than the official uniform that is too distracting or confusing (for instance, the player wears different color socks that are in an opponent's color or are brightly colored)
Campeones players are expected to wear their JPYS team t-shirt to all games
Academy players are highly encouraged to wear their JPYS t-shirt (with their name written on it) to all sessions
Players should not get their ears pierced right before or during the season. The Laws of the Game do not allow jewelry to be worn, for safety reasons. Covering new earrings or posts with tape is NOT permitted.
JPYS will provide soccer balls for all practices and games, so players should NOT bring their own ball. Personal balls frequently get lost, and for younger players, it can be distracting when they are more focused on using their own ball than on the activity.
Travel teams are normally given one pair of goalkeeper gloves for general use. If a player wants to use their own goalkeeper gloves, they may.
What is the "cleat exchange"?
JPYS maintains a "cleat exchange" where families can donate soccer shoes (or shinguards) that have been outgrown but are still in playable condition. Families and players are welcome to look through what we have to see if they can find cleats that fit. We will normally pull them all out for people to look through at the beginning of each season, but if you want to look through them at another time, please talk to a coach, a Board member, or email us at email@example.com.
The cleat exchange does sometimes get low, and we need donations to function. If your player has outgrown their soccer shoes (and doesn't have a younger sibling to hand-down to) we encourage you to donate the shoes to the JPYS cleat exchange so someone else can get some use out of them!
Do I need to purchase a uniform? What is the cost of the JPYS travel uniform?
Uniforms need to be purchased for travel team players in grades 4 and above. During the registration process, select "purchase a uniform" as an "Add-on" to add a uniform to your enrollment. The cost is $35. Each player receives a green JPYS jersey with a number (the number is randomly assigned), black shorts, and black socks.
Players in the Academy (grades 1 and 2) and in the Campeones League (grades 3 and 4) will get a JPYS t-shirt as part of registration. There is no additional cost for the t-shirt in these programs.
I enrolled my child for a travel team but I forgot to purchase a uniform at that time. How can I go back and purchase a uniform?
You will need to go back to the registration site at http://www.teamsideline.com/jpyouthsoccer. Once you log in with your account you created when you registered, click on the "Enroll" link for the program you enrolled in. Then, in the top left of the screen just below the JPYS logo, click on My Account > Enrollments. You should see an "Available Add-ons" option where you can purchase a uniform.
When are the games played?
Grade 4-8 travel teams normally play their games on Saturdays, with girls' games usually in the mornings, and boys' games usually in the afternoons. Grades 9-12 normally play on Sunday afternoons. Games that are rescheduled due to weather or other reasons may be at any time that works for both teams.
Grades 1-2 Academy and Grades 3-4 Campeones league will play on Sunday afternoons.
Where will the games be played?
For travel teams in grades 4-8, the BAYS season normally has 10 games, with 5 home and 5 away. JPYS home games for grades 4-12 are normally played at either the English High School Fields or Pagel Field. For away games, BAYS takes location into consideration when assigning divisions, so we frequently play teams within Boston or very nearby (e.g. South End, Dorchester, Milton, Brookline) but occasionally, we will be paired with teams that are farther afield, and generally west of the city (e.g. Sudbury, Framingham, Concord). The teams we face change from season to season. Grade 9-12 games work similarly, but are normally only 7 games per season.
Grade 3-4 Campeones league and Grades 1-2 Academy play all of their games at English High School.
Are there modified rules for younger players?
Game sizes and rules vary depending on the age of the players. Younger players play smaller-sided games on smaller fields, which helps them learn to make soccer decisions in an environment that is appropriate for their age. The Laws of the Game are also modified depending on the players' ages.
Grade 1-2 (Academy): Games are 4v4 with no goalkeeper, a size 3 ball and small goals on "mini-fields" of about 30×20 yds. Headers are not allowed. Emphasis is on making the games free-flowing and fun, so restarts are often informal, and kick-ins or dribble-ins are taken instead of throw-ins. There is not strict adherence to the Laws of the Game except in the most general sense (no handling the ball, and play needs to be safe).
Grade 3-4 (Campeones and Travel): Games are 7v7 with goalkeepers using a size 4 ball on a field of about 60 ×40 yds. There are NO headers, the offside rule is NOT enforced, and there are modified goal kick and goalkeeper rules to encourage playing from the back.
Grade 5-6: Games are 9v9 using a size 4 ball on a field of about 70×50 yds. There are no headers, but the offside rule is enforced along with all other Laws of the Game.
Grade 7-8: Games are 11v11 with a size 5 ball on a full-sized field (about 100×60 yds). Heading is allowed, and all Laws of the Game are enforced.
Grade 9-12: BAYS offers 7v7 and 11v11 leagues for high school aged players. The 11v11 games are played under the full Laws of the Game on a full-sized field, while HS 7v7 games are played on a 9v9-sized field with no offside rule enforced.
How can I become a referee?
JPYS needs referees for our Campeones and Travel games. Individuals age 14 and older may be eligible to become licensed referees for BAYS Travel games. Individuals ages 12-13 may be eligible for our junior referee program. More information is available on our Referee Page.
What is the "Zero Tolerance Policy"?
The BAYS league has a Zero Tolerance Policy for disrespect toward officials, and JPYS applies the same principles to all of its programs whether or not they are affiliated in the BAYS league. Basically the policy prohibits any hostile or harassing behavior toward game officials, and requires all parents, coaches, and spectators to refrain from addressing referees during or after a game (with a few very narrow exceptions for coaches). You can read more here.
Youth Soccer Programs in Boston
Does JPYS conduct programs in the Winter or Summer? Does JPYS conduct soccer camps?
Right now, JPYS does not conduct any formal Winter or Summer programs or soccer camps. We maintain a list of some other camps and programs in the area on our Other Local Soccer Programs page as a resource.
What are some other youth soccer options in Boston?
For a list of some other youth soccer programs in the Boston area, please look at our Other Local Soccer Programs page.