Competitive FAQs Recreational FAQs
Competitive Program Questions
- 1. What are the different competitive programs that CVSC offers?
The CVSC Competitive Program is an alternative to the traditional recreational and select (traveling) team programs and offers the opportunity for the advanced development of the young soccer player. This program is for boys and girls ages 6-12 years old. We offer 3 distinct programs:
- U8 Development - 2 x per week training with a volunteer coach
- U8-10 Competitive - 2 x per week training with a professional coach
- U10-12 Competitive - 2-3 x per week training with a professional coach
- 2. Why play for CVSC competitive vs CVSC recreational?
Competitive soccer emphasizes maximum development of the player and the person. We look to develop 7 specific key qualities and provide our players with the opportunity to apply those qualities in a competitive environment. Young players with commitment, talent and a determined attitude will find our competitive program to be a good introduction to Youth Soccer.
- 3. What is the time commitment?
Team training occurs twice weekly with games on weekends. Our U11-12 teams get an additional session in the Fall between August and November as part of their training fees. All players have additional training opportunities via our coaching partner 24-7 UK Soccer Academy. The competitive teams will participate in 2-3 tournaments per season.
- 4. Is the competitive program year round?
No, our competitive teams play from August through May, with small intermittent breaks as we understand players may play alternative sports in the winter and spring. The season starts in July and runs through until the completion of the State Cup, typically in November/December. The season then resumes again in March and goes until the completion of Spring league in May.
- 5. Who coaches the competitive teams?
All of our teams are trained by appropriately licensed, professional Club coaches to provide the players with the best possible foundation of skills and knowledge of the game.
- 6. Who will the competitive teams play?
Throughout the season, games will be played against other NorCal Region 3/4 teams. NorCal leagues keep games within a specified region so the traveling distance is minimized. NorCal state cup however may require traveling further distances (such as Manteca, Ripon, and Woodland) to play at centralized locations.
- 7. Does the competitive program create teams from birth year or grade level?
CVSC competitive age groups will be based on a player’s birth year, per US Soccer guidelines. Players can try out to play up an age group, however, they cannot play down - no exceptions.
- 8. How do I join?
Evaluations for our competitive teams are held according to the state soccer calendar, usually in late May. Recreational players can sign up to play without tryouts and as long as they are registered within our given deadlines, are placed on a team. Players in both programs can attempt to try out or sign up provided they are not registered with another club.
Recreational Program Questions
Below are the answers to the most asked questions. If you have additional questions or can’t find an answer, please email
- 1. What ages can participate in the Recreational Programs?
The CVSC Recreational Program is for children ages 3-18 as of July 31 of the current year.
- 2. Should my child play in their grade?
All Recreational players shall play in their age group as determined by their age on January 1st of the current year in line with the USSF birth-year registration mandate. Birth dates shall be established by a birth certificate issued by a public agency, a resident alien card, a valid passport, or other means approved by Cal North or U.S. Club Soccer.
- 3. Can my child play “Up”?
No recreational player, U5 through U12 will be allowed to move up to an older age group except by Board action as recommended by the respective Program Directors, and then for only the following reasons:
- Parent is the registered head coach having been so identified before the teaming process (limited to children of at most one coach per team), or
- There is no opportunity or space to play in their age group. The petition to play in an older age group based on parental coaching must be made in writing and delivered to the appropriate Program Director; the Program Director can then make a recommendation to the Board.
- If siblings of the same gender and different age would like to play on the same team the guardian(s) will need to make a request to the board prior to season start.
Recreational U14-16 players may move up to an older age group based on evaluations provided by the previous season’s coaches and as appropriate, evaluations provided by coaches from other seasons. All requests for players playing up will be reviewed and approved by the age group Program Director. Prior to approving such a request, a parent or guardian of the player must submit a written acknowledgement and acceptance to the Program Director (direct email is acceptable).
- 4. Can my child play “Down”?
No CVSC player shall be allowed to move down to a younger age group, except for documented medical reasons and with the approval of the Board.
- 5. Can I request a buddy for my child?
Requests will be considered for U4 through U12 players for one (1) buddy to be placed in the same recreational team provided the following conditions are met:
- The players shall be in the same age group and gender as one another; exceptions will be reviewed and approved by the board member responsible for the specific program .
- The buddy request must be mutual (Player A requests Player B and Player B requests Player A as his/her buddy).
- The buddy request must be made prior to the date of late registration. Registrants after the deadline or on a wait list cannot request a buddy. Any buddy request changes must be made before June 1st. It will not be accepted and cannot be altered once the teaming process has begun.
- 6. Can I request a specific coach for my child?
No, however coaches can request players. Head coaches can request one assistant coach and a limited number of players, specified below, using the mutual buddy system if they meet the following conditions:
Both coaches must have all coach paperwork submitted to the CVSC registrar before the coaching application deadline and before the teaming process begins. All requested players must be registered on time, during the regular registration process. Buddies must be mutual and declared during the regular registration process as described above. No exceptions.
- 7. Can I request not to have a specific coach for my child?
Players of all ages may request not to have a coach by filling out the Form on our website under document and forms. Form must be emailed to the registrar before June 1. If you cannot find the form please email
- 8. What if a head coach wants two assistant coaches?
For Academy to U19 (born 2005-2017), each team can have three volunteers that get their volunteer fee refunded. That’s usually head coach, assistant coach, and team manager. A team could also have a head coach and two assistant coaches, or a head coach and two managers, or three co-coaches. However, for registration purposes, the players assured for the team can only be four. Meaning, the head coach’s kid (player 1), the head coach’s kid’s mutual buddy (player 2), and assistant coach’s kid (player 3), and the other assistant coach’s kid (player 4). Only one mutual buddy pair will be honored between the coaches.
- 9. I missed the registration deadline, can I still register?
Team assignment and collection of fee will be on the basis of available space, with no priority placement.
- 10. How are teams formed?
Recreational team assignments will be made by the respective age group Program Director. CVSC will assign players to Recreational teams emphasizing balanced teams in each age group based on available player evaluation forms and registration information. During the teaming process and prior to roster distribution, the following criteria are to be used, including but not limited to:
- Personal residence and school areas.
- Player’s gender, age and experience.
- Player’s ability, based on their previous year’s rating or playing level.
- The age group Program Director shall attempt to make the teams age pure. If age pure teams cannot be formed then, the age group Program Director will place equal numbers of older/younger, new/returning players on each Recreational team in an age group.
- A manageable number of substitute players per team will be considered to keep an even number of teams per age group.
- Coach and/or assistant coach(s) abilities and experiences.
- 11. What is the playing time policy?
On a game-by-game basis, players shall play at least half of each game, with playing time in both the first and second halves, with the exception of a hurt player, an ill player, or in rare cases where a player is being disciplined or is improperly equipped. Over the course of the season, players shall be given an opportunity to play different positions.
- 12. What is the practice schedule?
Hour long practices kickoff July 31st. The days, times, and fields are chosen by the coaches. Times are 4:30-5:30, 5:30-6:30, and 6:30-7:30. Starting September 25th, the times are adjusted due to the limited daylight: 4:30-5:20, 5:20-6:10, and 6:10-7:00:
- Bumblessbess, born in 2020 do not practice but have scrimmages on Saturdays, starting August 12th.
- Grasshoppers, borin in 2018 and 2019, have one practice a week, usually on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
- Academy to U12 players, born 2012-2017, have two one-hour practices a week.
- Older players, born 2005-2011, have two practices a week, the length is 1 to 1.5 hours depending on the fields we secure.
- 13. What is the game schedule?
For players born 2012-2020, teams have one game a weekend starting August 12th and ending October 28th. No games September 2 (Labor Day weekend) and October 14th (CVUSD long weekend). If we need to reschedule a weekend due to weather or smoke, we will reschedule them on October 14th. Earliest games could be at 8:00, the latest could start at 5:00. Game length depends on the divisionsee our website. Players born 2005-2011 play teams outside Castro Valley, so their game schedule is not as predictable. They should start games August 25th and end November 5th, could go as late as November 18th.
- 14. What size ball should my child be playing with?
Each player should have their own ball for practice. U5-U8 Size 3, U9-U12 Size 4, U14 and older Size 5.
- 15. What equipment does my child need?
Every player is required to wear shin guards to every practice or match. Soccer cleats are recommended. Baseball or football cleats are not permitted.
- 16. Where can I purchase the equipment my child needs?
We partner with Soccer Pro in Dublin. Please refer to our Recreational Uniforms page for more information.
- 17. What happens if we have adverse weather conditions?
Please refer to our Air Quality and Weather Policy listed under Cancellation Policies.
- 18. If I have an issue that needs to be addressed, who can I contact?
We encourage you to first reach out to the relevant program director by referring to our board of directors/contact page.
- 19. Can I cancel my registration?
Yes, reach out to our Registrar, Brendan MacManus:
- 20. How can I get more involved?
Castro Valley Soccer Club is a non-profit volunteer-run organization. The club is primarily operated and successful through the efforts of its many volunteer members.
We are currently looking for volunteers to assist with running the soccer programs at CVSC. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit our Coach Volunteer Registration page for more information.
- 21. When is picture day for the 2023-24 season?
Picture Day is August 19, 2023. This year we will have three locations at the fields where our teams are playing. Our aim is to have teams take their pictures before they warm up for their games.