DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RECREATIONAL AND COMPETITIVE PROGRAMS
Beginning with U11, Pearland United provides programs for both recreational and competitive levels of play. The major difference between the two programs is that the recreational program relies on volunteer team coaches while the competitive program uses professional staff to conduct practices, skills training and game day coaching*.
In addition, the competitive program has the following attributes:
- Increased player and parent commitment. These programs run for a full year (August to June) as opposed to having separate fall and spring seasons.
- Players often have multiple professional staff coaches in order to develop different skills and be exposed to different techniques, not a single parent coach as in recreational program.
- Use of the player pool concept in some divisions where players can move between teams.
- A total of three nights of practices/training per week, with certain requirements for attendance that may affect game playing time.
- Travel to away games increases beyond that of the Pearland United operational area
- Participating in Houston regional tournaments or Texas regional tournaments, depending on the competitive division in which your child participates. Top teams in the club may travel to state regional or national events.
*The D2 program is both trainer and volunteer coach led at a reduced cost. The professional staff helps to design the curriculum, oversee one practice session a week, and provide educational training for the volunteer coaches. Volunteer coach manages second practice and games.
PEARLAND UNITED COMPETITIVE PROGRAM
The Pearland United Competitive Program is broken down into five levels according to level of competition: Premier, State Classic League (SCL), Division 1 (D1), Super 2 (S2), and Division 2 (D2). PU teams playing at the Premier, State Classic League, D1, and S2 levels are members of Eastern District Division One Association (EDDOA); D2 teams are members of BAYSA.
Premier teams play within the most competitive division, followed by SCL, D1, S2, and D2. The more competitive divisions are designed for players with the highest current level of soccer skills and may represent only 4-6 teams in the entire Houston area. D1 is further broken down into brackets based upon skill level. D2 is appropriate for those players interested in working towards the D1/S2 level, but whose skills are not quite honed and it provides a lower cost option for competitive players.
For U11 and U12 wanting to eventually play in Division 1, the first 2 years are developmental qualifying years and seeding for Division 1 and Super 2 will occur in the U13 season.
- Teams in the U11- U12 age levels play 8 v 8 with team roster sizes less than or equal to 14 players.
- Teams in the U13-U16 age levels play 11 v 11 with team roster sizes less than or equal to 18 players.
- Teams in the U16-U19 age levels play 11 v 11 with team roster sizes less than or equal to 22 players.
The U11 and U12 age groups in D1 Qualifying may use the player pool concept, whereby players can moved within the division (i.e. between teams) during the season based on performance, subject to the limits allowed by organizational rules. D2 has not adopted the player movement concepts of D1 yet, therefore, players cannot move between D2 teams during the season. D2 players can be moved up to D1, but this is subject to league transfer rules.
Additional information about the rules of the game can be found on the South Texas Youth Soccer Association website at http://www.stxsoccer.org/.
COMPETITIVE PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY
The Competitive Program, especially in the younger age groups (e.g. U11 and U12), emphasizes individual player development. Children develop at different rates. This is especially evident in the middle school ages. By emphasizing individual player development, the training staff is able to present playing opportunities to players based on their own development rates. The Pearland United Mission Statement reflects this emphasis on the individual player. In the competitive program, scores are kept and movement of teams between the various levels of the competitive program within EDDOA is based on a points awarded for wins / loses / ties and goals scored for and against. In the D2 level, in which teams compete in BAYSA format, spring playoff positioning is based on fall points awarded for wins / losses / ties and goals scored for and against. This system is similar to what you may have experienced in a tournament with your recreational team.
LENGTH OF SEASON, KEY DATES, PRACTICES, AND GAMES
The Competitive Program officially begins training with the pre-season team camp. The price for this camp is included in the club fees and runs for four days typically starting early August. Training and games continue through mid-December and then break for the holidays. Training resumes in late January to early February and continues through May. For D1, S2, and D2 players, there will be two mandatory practices per week. An individual skills training session, highly recommended for D1 and S2 players and optional for D2 players, will also be conducted once a week. Days, times and locations will be determined by the club.
D1 and S2 teams will play in the EDDOA league. U11 to U14 games are typically played on Saturdays and the U15 and older teams typically play 8 games on Sunday. Games will be played in Atascocita, Cypress, Houston, Katy, Sugarland, Tomball, and Waller; maximum travel time is approximately 90 minutes. D2 teams will play in the BAYSA league. D2 teams’ home games will be held at Pearland Independence or Centennial Park. Away games will be in the BAYSA region; maximum travel time is approximately 50 minutes. D2 travel is similar to what parents experienced with their U10 recreational program. Tournament opportunities within and beyond the Houston region will be available to D1 teams at various points in the season. Tournaments for D2 teams will be held in the Houston region.
PLAYER EXPECTATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Pearland United Competitive Program challenges the player to develop as an individual and as a team member. The training staff want the players to have fun but to dedicate themselves to attending the practices, skills training sessions, and games. As such, the two practices per week are mandatory for D1, S2, and D2 as noted above. The skill training sessions are highly recommended for D1 and S2 players and optional for D2 players. Attendance will be tracked by team managers and game playing time may impacted by unexcused player absences. Players are expected to conduct themselves appropriately at all times and support other team members.
FEES AND COSTS
The competitive program training, with the exception of D2 volunteer coach led session, is provided by professional training staff and continues for a year. The program is more intensive than recreational play, and therefore associated fees and costs are higher than parents have experienced in the recreational program. Program costs are provided on a separate sheet and in the registration webpage. The cost of the competitive program includes:
- One 8-10 months of training and
- Fall and spring games
- Competitive uniform kit (see Uniforms below for details)
Competitive Training fees include:
- Pre-season Team Camp
- 10 months training (D1/S2) and 8 months training (D2)
- Professional training 2 nights per week (except D2, which is 1 night)
- One night per week of skills/agility training and goalkeeper training
- Game and tournament staff coverage (except D2, which is volunteer coach led)
- Registration fees (field maintenance, insurance, referees cost, club overhead)
D1 and S2 will have additional team fees due to EDDOA based on the number of games played for the year.
Tournament fees, equipment bags, warm ups, or other personal equipment are not included and will be the responsibility of the team and its players.
TRYOUTS AND SELECTION OF PLAYERS TO COMPETITIVE PROGRAM
Players will be evaluated at tryouts conducted by Pearland United training staff. Please see the Tryouts Schedule posted on our webpage for the current dates and times. Although there is no fee for tryouts, all players must register. This will speed up your player’s check-in. See the website for more information on registering. Please note that weather or other conditions may cause a change of tryout venue or date; you will be notified in case there are any changes. Tryouts typically consist of two-1.5 hour sessions held on two separate days. Players should attend both sessions to allow the staff to fully evaluate their ability. The staff may choose to add a third day of tryouts if additional evaluation time is needed. At the tryouts, players will participate in individual skill drills and small-sided games culminating in 8 v 8 or 11 v 11 games. If a prospective player misses the tryouts, they may be able to attend a supplemental tryout sessions if space remains available for that age group.
In addition to the tryouts, players who participated in the our U10 Academy will also be evaluated based on their performance during the Academy sessions. Based upon Academy player evaluations, players will be ranked by the professional staff and then assigned to the appropriate Competitive Program division. A player that, in the opinion of the professional staff, is not yet ready for competitive level of play will likely be advised to continue in the recreational program. In that case, you will be able to return to the registration system and complete the steps to enroll your player in the recreational program.
TEAM FORMATION AND PLAYER PLACEMENT OFFER
Pearland United training staff will form teams based upon their evaluation of player skill levels. This may take 2-3 days. You will be notified as to the division and team on which your child has been recommended for placement, at which time you will have the opportunity to accept or decline the offer. Once you have been notified of the placement of your player, you will need to decide almost immediately (no more than 24 hours) if you intend to commit to that team. If you do not commit within the 24 hours that position may be offered to another player.
ACCEPTANCE OF PLAYER PLACEMENT OFFER, COMPLETION OF REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT OF FEES
Acceptance is defined as communication to the professional staff of your intent to play and returning to the Pearland United registration system to complete registration (including payment) to secure a spot on the team. Full payment for the Competitive Program is expected after you accept the offer to play and complete your registration. Given the quality of the competitive program, Pearland feels that parents are getting good value for their money. However, we recognize that the registration fees and associated costs can be challenging to family budgets. As such, the club offers an extended payment plan option with an additional processing fee and if your situation warrants may provide grants to offset costs. The club has a limited amount of grant dollars for Competitive Program players. Applications are due prior to tryouts and may be found on our website. You will be informed at tryouts of the grant amount that will be provided. You are responsible for paying the remainder of the fees in order to participate with your team.
Your registration fee includes a uniform package that typically consists of the following*:
- Game jersey and contrast jersey (Green and White)
- One pair game shorts
- One pair game socks
- 2 Practice T-shirts
*Uniform packages may vary year to year; more information will be provided at parent orientations or follow up communications. You may also wish to purchase additional items such as extra socks, t-shirts, game bags, hoodies, warm-ups. This will be at the individuals’ or teams’ expense. All items should comply with Club colors. The club will be happy to provide guidance in this area.
THE NEED FOR PARENT VOLUNTEERS
As a non-profit organization, Pearland United depends on parent volunteers to help grow and improve the club so more of our local youth and parents can enjoy soccer. Volunteers help the professional staff with all aspects of running a soccer club, from serving as volunteer coaches, team managers, and treasurers to performing competitive program- and club- level administrative, operational and committee tasks. Volunteer opportunities include promotion and advertising, communications, website administration, accounting and budgeting, registration, game scheduling, field striping, equipment manager, scorekeeping, uniforms, tournament coordination, and volunteer coordination. You can volunteer for a particular age group or help with club-wide tasks. In short, the club cannot function without volunteers. WE NEED YOU! Please participate in volunteer opportunities so that PU can provide the best possible experience for all players and parents. When you register, you have the opportunity to indicate what volunteer role(s) you can perform. You can also contact the club to volunteer by emailing any of the board members. Please note that if you are interested in serving as a volunteer coach or team manager, who provides support to the team’s professional staff coach, you must fill out an application. Applications can be found on our webpage or by contacting the firstname.lastname@example.org.
D1/S2 $1100 plus game and tournament fees (approx. $200)
D2 $550 plus any state playoffs or tournament fees (approx. $100)