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Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

Change to birth year

Tryouts

Games, Practices, and Coerver Academy nights

Travel

Competition

Fundraising, Parent Participation and Donations

What age does my child have to be to play Premier soccer?

Premier soccer typically begins at the Under-8 age group (i.e., players aged 8 or younger).  Highline Premier does not generally recommend that children “play up” except in circumstances where the team coach identifies that a child is specifically capable of competing with players who are older. Premier teams in PSPL follow two different age charts, one for girls and another for boys.  You can find the age chart here.

How much of a commitment is it to play soccer with Highline Premier?

Most Highline Premier teams practice at least three times a week for most of the year, and the practice schedule may be increased during preparation for tournaments. (U8 and U9 will only train 2 times per week) Typically teams from older age groups will require more of a time commitment than younger age groups. Most teams will also participate in several tournaments each year, which may require travel and overnight stays in other cities. Again, older teams are generally required to travel more than younger teams, and due consideration is always given to school and holiday schedules. See the Annual Schedule for more information about the year-round calendar of activities.

NOTE:  U-8 and U-9 Developmental teams will have a lighter schedule with fewer tournament commitments than U-10 and older teams

What is the annual Highline Premier club fee? 

The Highline Premier club fee pays for all costs associated with the delivery of the club program, including Coaching Director, Technical Director, Goalkeeping Director, registration fees, league fees, a base number of tournaments, equipment (excluding uniform), fields and lighting rentals, referee fees, and league fees as well as other administrative costs for running our programs.   

For 2017-2018 , Highline Premier's annual club fee depends on the age group your child is playing in. The annual club fee for the Developmental U8 and U9 age group is $1275, U10 age group is $1800, U11-14 is $2400 and U15+ is $2200. Annual club fees are collected after an age group’s tryouts are concluded. Parents may opt to pay the fee in full or a payment plan is available to allow parents to break up the fee into installments.. A portion of annual club charges can be defrayed with a financial aid grant for qualified (approved) applicants. Financial aid applications are available on the Highline Premier website, under Forms.

Highline Premier is a non-profit organization and we are dedicated to keeping competitive soccer available to all talented youth players. The club tries to keep costs as low as possible by using unpaid volunteers for most administrative functions, and balancing training fees with unpaid assistance whenever possible. We also work hard to identify areas where costs can be shared between more teams and players, to find sponsors for our programs, as well as to provide opportunities for team and club fundraisers. 

What is the annual Highline Premier team fee?

Team fees are different than the Highline Premier club fees. Each team incurs a modest amount of miscellaneous costs such as additional tournaments and additional team gear. These costs are all paid at the team level and will vary from team to team within Highline Premier depending on the specific activities a team participates in. It is anticipated the average team fee will be $100-$150, not including additional tournaments. For information about annual estimated costs for a specific team, contact the team manager or coach for that team. 

My child is playing for a different soccer club or association - can I still have him/her tryout for Highline Premier?

Yes, any youth player of the correct age can try out for Highline Premier - if selected for a team, we will register him/her with the appropriate state and national associations.

Can my child play for a recreational team while still playing for Highline Premier?

Typically players are only allowed to play for Highline Premier and cannot participate with another recreational team while rostered to a Highline Premier team. However, players may participate on their school soccer team and/or their CYO team.  In addition, for the recreational season, HSA players may complete their spring recreational league commitments while participating with Highline Premier.

What does the "U" in U10 or U11 mean?

In the State of Washington, teams are formed based on the players age and not school grade.  The U means ’under’ and the players age must be under the number on January 1st for boys & girls  teams. See the chart on the tryouts page for specific age ranges.

What is the difference between Highline Premier and Highline Select Soccer?
The terms “Select” soccer and “Premier” soccer are often used interchangeably, although there is a difference in the terms.  Our club has both Premier Soccer and Select Soccer programs.  Both terms indicate that players must try out and be chosen by one of our coaches to make the roster for a team, unlike recreational soccer where everyone that signs up is guaranteed a spot on a team.  The “Premier” designation, which is a top level of play on the state level, is a full year commitment to the club with paid coaches, 2-3 practices per week, 2-5 tournaments per year, state-wide travel, and a club expectation that soccer is your primary sport.  The “Select" designation, which is a strong top level of play, is a 8-10 months season, volunteer coach, has 2 practices per week and 2-3 tournaments per year. Highline Select is a good program for multiple sports.

What are the benefits of playing premier soccer? 
The benefits are professional coaching, higher level competition, more intensive skills development, longer seasons, more playing opportunities, more training sessions, and having teammates who share a common commitment for becoming high level soccer players.  Players who strive to play on their junior high, high school or college soccer teams will benefit from the high quality soccer training they receive from playing premier soccer.  In fact, most all of today’s high school teams are comprised of players that play at a premier level.  The simple truth is that soccer requires advanced foot-eye coordination which is only mastered by putting a lot of touches on the ball at a relatively young age. Many coaches believe that proper "feel" for the ball must be learned before the age of 14. In countries where soccer is the primary sport, the game is played early and often by young players. Premier soccer gives an aspiring player more opportunities to develop their skills at a young age so that they can reach their true potential.

What is the difference between the A and B Premier Teams?
Traditionally, the club selects two boys teams and two girls teams to represent each age group. The "A" team is designated as blue, and the "B" team is designated as red. The makeup and character of each team is at the discretion of the coaches. Teams often train together and coaches pool their resources to meet the needs of the players.  Many "B" team players develop into "A" team players during their playing careers with Highline Premier.  "B" teams play a full schedule of tournaments and train as often as their "A" team counterparts. The "B" teams are frequently very good and it is not unheard of for them to beat the "A" team in scrimmages. The club strives to provide equal training resources for all teams in an effort to help each and every player reach their potential.

When will the change to birth year age groups take effect? 

U.S. Club Soccer has mandated that all players move to the Calendar Year by August 2016.  HPFC will conduct our next tryout cycle (Feb 2017-May 2017) and form teams based on the calendar year (Jan-Dec). 

What does Birth Year Mean?  

Birth year means a player will play in the age group of the year of their birth. The Birth Year calendar dates run from January 1st to December 31st. 

How do I know in which age group a player will participate? 

Players born between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 of any given year will all play on the same team, unless a player is “playing up” in an older age group. For example, a player born on or after Jan. 1, 2000, would play on the Under-17 team in 2017-18.  See the US Soccer Age Chart or the chart we have in our tryout section.

Why is the US Soccer Federation going to Birth Year?
The US Soccer Federation is going to Birth Year to align youth soccer with the rest of the world. Every country in the world plays Birth Year and all international youth soccer competitions are Birth Year, including all Youth National Team competitions and Youth World Cup competitions. The US Soccer Federation recognizes that the change will help our players develop faster. They hope it will benefit in the short term by producing better players and in the longer term by producing players who can compete on the world stage and win a World Cup.

What will teams made up of 8th and 9th graders on the U15 teams do when half their team leaves for the high school season? Potentially some players of a team will be participating in High School Soccer as Freshmen and the other players will be 8th graders based on a birth year format.  HPFC is evaluating what will create the best experience for the 8th graders and will post our plan when we have ironed out the details.

Will I be allowed to play up a year to stay with my old teammates? As a Club we will continue to hold the stance that in order to play up a year you will need to be identified by your coach as meeting the following criteria:  The level is safe and appropriate for the players development, coaches have identified you as candidate by ranking you in the top 3 of your age group, and identified you as a top 5 player in the age level up.

How will the coaching assignments work since player pools are being shuffled?  The coaching assignments for next year will be evaluated as it has in the past and will not be determined until a couple months before tryouts. Coaches will be assigned to teams that will be the greatest benefit to the players. 

My son is currently a Heat 01 playing U14, but will be a 2001 trying out for U15 at tryouts. How will this work since tryouts are in February and he will still be playing in WA Cup with his 2001 U14 team? Your son will continue playing with his U14 team through the end of WA Cup, but will pause in February to tryout for the next year's U15 team. 

My daughter is an Eagles 01 playing U14, born March 2002.  Will she tryout for U15 or U14 next year?  According to the age chart she will tryout for the U15 age band to compete against others born in the same birth year. 

What happens if 2 players have the same jersey number once new teams are formed? Since there will be a blending of teams, there will likely be cases where players have the same jersey number.  We will ask the players to work it out themselves first. If the players can’t come to an agreement, then the player who has the number the longest within our club will retain their number.  The player who doesn't keep the number will choose from a list of available numbers. Note: Next year will be the beginning of a new 2 year cycle for uniforms and all players will be ordering new kits.

How do the tryouts work?

Tryouts are conducted annually, over the course of two or three 90-minute sessions for each age group.  All player candidates are asked to register and pick up a numbered bib.  Players will then be organized on the field to perform various soccer drills and scrimmages.  Coaches will organize the drills and perform evaluations for each player by number.  At the end of all sessions, coaches will discuss the evaluation results and select players in order of choice.  The ‘A’ team coach will have first choice to pick the top 12 to 18 players, after which the ‘B’ team coach will have the second choice to pick the next 12 to 18 players, etc.  Players may be informed of their team selections at the end of tryouts, or they may receive a phone call or email from the coach within a few days. Selected players’ names (first name, last initial) may also be posted on our website.

Additional information regarding tryouts is on our Tryouts Page

Does a player trying out for a Highline Premier team have to attend all the tryout sessions for that age group?

We recommend that each new player trying out for a Highline Premier team attend all tryout sessions if possible, unless specifically informed by the coach. Attending every session provides the best opportunity for the coaches to see the players in action and make the best selections, and it also provides the player the opportunity to overcome any problems from a single day’s session.  Players returning to a team under the same coach as the previous year should plan to attend all sessions.  All players must go through a tryout process each year.

How many teams are selected?

Highline Premier will form two teams for each age group, depending on the strength of the player turnout for the tryouts. The first squad selected will form the ‘A’ team, and the second squad selected will form the ‘B’ team, etc.

How many players make the team?

Youth teams may have a maximum of 18 players on their game roster, with the exception of U-9 to U-11 teams which may have a maximum of 16 players. Coaches may choose to have fewer than the maximum number of players on their team rosters, as this provides the coach with more flexibility with playing time.

What is Highline Premier’s affiliation with Coerver® Coaching?

Highline Premier is fortunate to partner with our Technical Director, TR Stoneback, who collaborates with our DOC to ensure all programs and training curriculum are developed based on the technical, tactical and physical training objectives of Coerver® Coaching. Coerver Club Academy sessions are integrated into training schedules and included in Highline members’ annual club fees (~$1000 value).

Do all players get equal playing time?

Although coaches will attempt to make sure that all players get a chance to play as much as possible in each game, the amount of playing time per player in Premier soccer will depend on game circumstances and the competitive situation. This is especially true for older teams playing at Premier levels, where substitutions may not generally be done as often as for younger teams. 

Highline Premier coaches are trained on youth soccer development, and understand that "the game is the teacher” and that players need field time to develop their skills. For younger age group teams the emphasis will be on player development which means that playing time will be based on the growth of the individual players and the team as a whole.   

When do practices start? How many practices per week?

Practices generally start soon after tryouts are completed and team rosters are set.  Most teams practice two or three times a week, but this depends on the schedule and the team’s requirements.  Teams preparing for certain competitions throughout the calendar year may have more practices before those events.  Teams may also have additional optional scrimmages (either indoor or outdoor) when convenient.

Where are practices held?

Highline Premier considers Mt. Rainier HS, Valley Ridge (SeaTac), Highline Stadium, Moshier Park, Delridge, Walt Hundley and Hiawatha as its primary practice fields.  In addition, Highline Premier may use other local Highline area fields. Maps to these fields can be found on the Highline Premier website.

How long is the season?

All Highline Premier teams participate in a fall league, which generally runs from early September to mid-December.   The number of games will vary by league and level, but in most cases teams will play 10 to 14 games during the fall season. Teams will also play in a shorter spring league (5-9 games).  Teams will also play in various summer tournaments in preparation for the fall season, or in post-season State tournaments.  See the Annual Schedule for more information about the year-round calendar of activities.

NOTE: The Developmental U8 through U-10 teams will typically have a lighter schedule with fewer tournament commitments.

When are games played?

League games are usually played on Saturdays or Sundays during daylight hours (9AM to 6PM). Some games or scrimmages may be played on lighted fields after 6PM, but games will not be scheduled for late in the evening. Some make-up games may be scheduled for weekday evenings.  Summer tournament games may be played any time on Thursdays through Mondays.

Where are games played?

Highline Premier considers Moshier Field, Highline Stadium or Mt Rainier as it's primary home fields. In addition, Highline Premier may use Valley Ridge, and other West Seattle area fields. Maps to these fields can be found on the Highline Premier website here .

Depending on the league the team is participating in away games will be played as close as West Seattle, SeaTac and Tukwila and as far away as Spokane, Yakima, and Vancouver, WA. 

Tournament locations will vary in geographic location as well. Younger teams will be more likely to participate in local area tournaments, whereas older, competitive teams may travel out of state at least once a year. 

Annual Schedule

Typical Year Schedule for Highline Premier Teams

Our annual schedule is based on the Puget Sound Premier League schedule and may change from year to year.  Our teams are formed annually at competitive tryouts and play soccer from late spring to the tryouts for the following year, with holiday breaks. The annual schedule may change periodically as adjusted by Puget Sound Premier League, US Club Soccer or other governing authorities. 

  • Annual Tryouts (February thru May) All players (new and returning) go through competitive tryouts for each age group, with evaluation by HPFC coaches.  Teams from different age groups may have tryouts at different times based on schedule requirements published by the Puget Sound Premier League and other governing bodies.  Highline Premier will publish tryout dates as early as possible each year.  All players are required to try out each year. 
  • Pre-season (May – August):Teams generally practice two or three times a week, 90-120 minutes each session.  The weekly schedule will be determined based on field availability. Additional practice sessions, scrimmage games and training camps may also be scheduled.  
  • Summer tournaments (May – August): Most teams will typically participate in a number of tournaments before the end of August – more information will be provided at the first team/parent meeting after tryouts.  Check with the coach or team manager for details for each team. 
  • Fall Season League Play (September – December): Teams will play in Puget Sound Premier League according to age and competitive level.  The fall league season typically runs 10-16 weeks, from early September to December and will take into account girls’ high school soccer season.  
  • Winter Tournaments, Spring Leagues, State Cups (January - May): Teams may participate in winter tournaments or spring leagues as schedules permit.  The tournaments and league schedules will vary for different age groups, and will take into account the boys’ high school soccer season.  U11 to U19 teams may participate in the Washington Cup tournaments at the appropriate level to be determined by the coaches. Check with the coach or team manager for details for each team.‚Äč 

How far do Highline Premier teams travel for games?

The amount of travel done by a Highline Premier team can vary from season to season. Development teams (U8-U10) generally only travel around the Seattle metro area, while older teams playing at State Premier levels may travel around the state. Teams may travel further for summer tournaments (including out of state) depending on the coach's and parents’ decisions.

Are there "away" tournaments that would require staying overnight?

Yes, some tournaments may require overnight stays, especially for older teams. This is usually decided between the coach, Director of Coaching, and the parents for each team. Some teams may choose to travel and stay together, while others may prefer to arrange for individual travel plans. While tournament registration fees are typically included in a team’s budget, teams will incur additional out-of-pocket expenses for away tournaments such as meals, lodging, transportation, etc. 

 Do the teams play at different competitive levels?

Yes, there are several levels of play organized by Puget Sound Premier League.  Please refer to the league page for more information.   

Highline Premier teams will play at the highest competitive level judged to be appropriate for them by the head coach of each team and the Technical Director, and teams may move from one level/division to another each year as best fits their competitive level.

What is the Puget Sound Premier League?

The Puget Sound Premier League (PSPL) is a competitive US Club Soccer league.  The league is open to all clubs within Washington State and northern Idaho that are affiliated with US Club Soccer. 

Do I have to participate in fundraising?

Fundraising is a necessary part of any volunteer organization. Fundraising and/or donations serves to reduce the cost of participation for all team members and enables a team to provide financial assistance when necessary. All parents and players are expected to do their fair share of fundraising for the team’s expenses. 

In addition to the individual team fundraising events, Highline Premier conducts an annual auction dinner to off-set club costs not covered by the annual club fee. Each Highline Premier team is required to purchase and/or sell a certain number of tickets (determined annually) to the auction dinner. Additionally, each player must donate an item or cash worth a minimum value (determined annually). 

What participation is expected of parents? 
Highline Premier is run by volunteers, and each family is expected to volunteer at either the team or club level – or both, if you wish! We prefer that our coaches concentrate on coaching and training and leave the organization and management of the team up to the parents. There are a wide variety of volunteer positions available with each team, so there’s bound to be something for everybody.

Can I donate to Highline Premier for operating costs, tournament fees, etc.?

Yes, please contact our Club Treasurer for details on how to contribute.  Highline Premier is a 501c3 non-profit organization, so all or part of your contribution may be tax deductible. Your employer might also have a charitable donation matching program which could allow you to increase your donation to Highline Premier.