Jamaica Plain Youth Soccer offers boys and girls in Grades 4 through 12 the opportunity to play for a Travel Team that participates in the Boston Area Youth Soccer (BAYS) league. Travel Teams normally practice twice a week and play weekend games against teams from other towns in the Greater Boston area. Teams play in both the Fall and Spring Seasons.
JP Youth Soccer normally conducts a Player Assessment for all rising 4th through 8th graders at the end of the Spring Season to help build and balance the travel teams for the upcoming Fall and Spring Seasons, and to make sure all players have an opportunity to play at a level where they are appropriately challenged. This is not a try-out; all players who register by the deadline are guaranteed a spot on a travel team if they so desire. Teams will be placed in divisions that are more or less competitive based on the skill and development of the players. All rising 4-8th graders who plan to play the next year are highly encouraged to participate in the Assessment. For more information see the Player Assessment Schedule and FAQs.
Travel Team Age Divisions
4th Grade Travel (U10)
4th graders have the option to participate in Campeones or play on a Travel Team. 4th graders should play Travel if they are looking for a more competitive game experience and the opportunity to play teams from other towns around Greater Boston. 4th graders should play in the Campeones League if they prefer a less competitive game experience where they will not have to travel outside of JP for matches.
The U10 Travel Program promotes technical skill development and a healthy competitive atmosphere under the supervision of professional and volunteer coaches, with games that are geared toward the skill and experience of the player. Practices are normally twice a week from 6:15-7:30pm at English High School, with games in the BAYS league on Saturdays. Girls teams typically play games in the morning. Boys teams will typically play in the afternoon. 4th Grade teams play 7v7 games on a small field (~40×60 yds) with a size 4 ball, and with some rules modified to better work for players at this level of development (no heading, no offside rule, and certain restrictions on goal kicks and goalkeeper play). The BAYS league is divided into boys and girls divisions.
5th and 6th Grade Travel (U11/U12)
5th and 6th grade players play on travel teams that participate in the BAYS league. Practices are normally two evenings a week from 6:15 to7:45 at one of the JPYS fields, with games on Saturdays at Pagel Field. Girls teams typically play games in the morning. Boys teams will typically play in the afternoon.
Depending on registration numbers, U12 teams may be divided into separate 5th and 6th grade teams, but frequently some 5th and 6th graders will play together on the same teams, grouped by their soccer development level rather than their grade. 5th and 6th Grade teams play 9v9 games on a slightly smaller than standard field (~50×70 yds), with a size 4 ball, and most normal soccer rules with only minor modifications to accommodate players at this level of development (heading is not allowed, but the offside rule is enforced along with all other Laws of the Game). The BAYS league is divided into boys and girls divisions.
7th and 8th Grade Travel (U14)
7th and 8th grade players play on travel teams that participate in the BAYS league. Practices are normally two evenings a week from 6:15-8:00pm, with games on Saturdays. 7th and 8th Grade teams play 11v11 on a full-sized field, with a regulation size 5 ball, following all normal Laws of the Game (including allowing heading). The BAYS league is divided into boys and girls divisions.
9th-12th Grade Travel (U16/18/19)
High School aged players play on travel teams that participate in the BAYS league. Practices are normally one to two evenings a week, with games on Sundays.
Fall Season: BAYS offers only a grade 9-12 7v7 league; JPYS will field a team in this league if there is enough interest and availability for players outside of their school teams.
Spring Season: BAYS offers three HS divisions. There are two levels of 11v11 competition--grades 9-12 + one year postgraduate, and grades 9-10 (*note: this is a Spring 2023 change from previous years where this division was grades 9-11), and a more recreational 7v7 league (grades 9-12). Which teams JPYS fields depends on registration and interest.
Occasionally, one of the programs in Boston cannot field enough players for a HS team in a given gender/age division. If that happens, we are in communication with neighboring Boston programs South End Soccer and Parkway Soccer to explore the possibility of fielding combined-program teams.
Eligibility for the Fall 2022/Spring 2023 Soccer Year
4th Grade (U10) Division: Be in the 4th Grade (or equivalent) and born on or after January 1, 2012
5th Grade (U11) Division: Be in the 5th Grade (or equivalent) and born on or after January 1, 2011
6th Grade (U12) Division: Be in the 6th Grade (or equivalent) and born on or after January 1, 2010
7th/8th Grade (U14) Division: Be in the 7th or 8th Grade (or equivalent) and born on or after January 1, 2008
High School Divisions: Depending on the division, these are open to players in 9-12th Grade (or equivalent) plus up to one year post-graduate, and born on or after January 1, 2003.
Travel Match Rules
Travel games are played according to the International Football Association Board (IFAB) Laws of the Game, except where specifically modified by the league. The relevant links are here:
International Football Association Board (IFAB) Laws of the Game
BAYS Rules for Soccer Competition
Equipment and Uniforms
All travel teams play their matches in the JP travel uniform: Emerald green jersey with a white number on the back and the small, white JPYS logo on the front; black shorts; and black socks. Players must wear the JPYS uniform during matches. Players may be asked to change, or may be prohibited from playing, if any piece of their uniform (even just shorts or socks) does not match the standard. New uniforms can be purchased through the registration website when registering for the next season.
For all practices and games, players are expected to bring:
Shirt, shorts & socks (JP uniform for games)
Shinguards (worn under socks)
Appropriate shoes for soccer
Cleats, turf shoes, or court shoes (if the surface permits) are all acceptable
Do not wear metal cleats or baseball/American football cleats with a toe spike
NO JEWELRY, including studs for new piercings
This is an international rule, and a significant safety issue that comes up every year. Earrings or studs may not be worn, and CANNOT be taped over. They must be removed to play, and referees routinely inspect this as part of the pre-game check-in.
The only exceptions are for medical purposes (such as a medic-alert bracelet) or religious items, both of which must be taped down and secured during play.
Players should generally not bring their own ball to practice. JPYS provides balls for practice and (especially with younger players) having their own ball around can be a distraction if it is being used by someone else.
Travel Season Timelines
Travel team registration deadlines occur earlier than Academy or Campeones registration deadlines because of the need to assess players and register teams with the league. It is very important to register for Travel Teams by the deadline so we have a realistic idea of how many teams we are going to field--this affects the amount of field space and equipment we need, the number of volunteer coaches, and affects the optimal team size to make sure players get the maximum amount of playing time in games. If you register your child after the travel team deadline, they may be placed on a wait list until a spot becomes available.
The league year is made up of two seasons, starting in Fall and running through Spring. Here are the approximate season timelines for Grades 4-8 travel. (The Grade 9-12 timelines run about a month later than these due to high school programs and a shorter season.) Note that registration for the following season normally starts during the previous season:
Late-May through early-July: Registration for the Fall Travel Season
Mid-June: Travel Player Assessments take place for the following Fall/Spring seasons
Mid-July: Teams are registered with the BAYS League
July & August: Coaches and travel directors meet and assign teams
Mid- to late-August: Players are notified of their team assignments, and travel team practices start
Early-September: First BAYS League matches for grades 4-8
Late-September: First BAYS League matches for grades 9-12
Early to Mid-November: Fall Season ends, and registration starts for the Spring season
Early November through Early January: Registration for the Spring Travel Season
Mid-January: Teams are registered with BAYS
January & February: Coaches and travel directors meet and assign teams
Mid-March: Players are notified of their team assignments, and travel team practices start
Late-March or early-April: First BAYS games for grades 4-8
Late-April: First BAYS games for grades 9-12 + PG
Late-May: Registration starts for the next Fall Season
Mid-June: Spring Season ends and assessments are conducted for the following year
JPYS does not organize or sponsor any Winter or Summer programs or clinics.