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Monday, July 04, 2005
Exploring Free Agency
J asked:

> I don't understand why she has to sign a contract at her age. Is it that competitive?

I started out with a reply in the comments section, which was becoming lengthy, so I decided it was worthy of a post here.

At age 10, players must either play on recreational teams, or competitive teams. In competitive soccer, a player must commit to one team for a year. Hence the contract. The North Texas Rules can be found here. I have included the appropriate paragraphs at the bottom of this post. It really is pretty nutty - but the bottom line is that Marissa is a Free Agent and our experience is not unlike pro free agents in any other sport who are trying to find a home!

Marissa has the skill, but she lacks size. On her last rec team she was the leading scorer. But at the competitive level, she is too small. She is somewhat handicapped by a June Birthday (the age groups run from Aug 1 to July 31), which makes her the youngest on her team. She is generally the smallest as well - a gift that she recieved from her mother. Many of her coaches have had a problem with her size. The Genesis coach noted her size as an issue in his decision to cut. As I mentioned yesterday, he picked a player that Marissa outplayed in practice, but was literally twice her size.

I don't think that Genesis team was a good fit for us. I liked the coach, but I did not like ANY of the parents and Marissa only made friends with one of the kids. When we went out to the Texans, all of the parents were real friendly and we were all swapping stories about the various coaches our kids had played with. It really felt like family. Joe Lawson has a great reputation as a development coach too.

I have confidence that she will make a team and I just hope that we find a coach that will work with her. Bruno Ferretti, who was coaching her at Longhorns was wonderful. Its just a real shame that we could not put together a team under Bruno.

As I tap this out, Marissa is up at Everton, checking them out. I expect Everton is our Plan B, if she does not get picked up by the Texans. I saw that Solar, still has some spots for U11 Girls, so that might be Plan C!

I can't wait for July 10 to come and put an end to the madness!

From the NTSSA bylaws:

Youth players may only be registered with one NTSSA sanctioned team at any given time during the soccer year. The soccer year will coincide with the soccer year of the United States Soccer Federation. Youth players may change teams during the year in the following manner: NOTE: Read Rule 4.7.

1. Member Associations who reserve the right to reassign players at the AssociationÂ’s desire may reassign said players and re-register the new teams by filing with the Registrar of the State the new team roster. All reassigned players are considered "transfers" for rostering purposes.

2. Youths who play on teams which will be involved in state and national competitions as well as inter-association play may only change teams during the soccer year in the following manner:

a. Obtain a written release from the team with which he was last registered during the soccer year. NOTE: Player must use NTSSA "Player Release Form".

b. New team must complete Add/Transfer/Delete form on a transfer player; pay a transfer fee set by NTSSA in order to register a transfer player on new team; and submit form and fee to their Home Association.

c. The player's home association or the association within which team plays, must file with the State Association the Add/Transfer/Delete form and proper release forms.

3. Youth players will become "free-agents" on July 1 providing their team is not registered for any tournament or competition in July. No USSF player application, club contract, or any agreement may be signed before July 10 for the coming seasonal year by or on behalf of competitive players desiring to change teams for the following soccer year. Competitive players returning to the team on which they played the immediately preceding soccer year may sign a contract to return to their team beginning July 1. Any player signing with a team other than the team they played on in the immediately preceding soccer year before July 10 may be declared ineligible for the team. NOTE: Exceptions to this rule may be made by the Youth Commissioner when an entire association has an earlier registration.

Definition of "Free-Agent": A free agent is a player in the U-12, U-14, U-16, and U-19 age division who desires to try out or be selected for a competitive team between July 1 and August 31 of the present soccer year. A free agent does not need a release from his team to try out or be selected to play on a competitive team.

NOTE: The "free-agent" rule applies only to those players trying out or being selected for competitive teams. The rule does not apply to movement of players in the recreational leagues.

Wow. This is amazing...
---Julia (in case you are wondering who J is. :o))
I know who you are! :-)

enjoyed your blog. we are leading up to the competive level. in texas next year. it is nice to read your trials and tribulations. Good luck with the Texans.
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All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012