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Chatham Soccer League will be holding Classic & Challenge try-outs

By Frank Fitzgerald
Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - Chatham Soccer League will be holding Classic & Challenge try-outs and Academy evaluations at Pittsboro Elementary School from 5 pm to 8 pm on May 23 for U09-U14 boys only and May 24 for U09-U18 girls only. All players trying out are expected to attend. Any player born on or before July 31, 2003 is eligible to try-out. Teams will range from U09 - U18.

All new players will need to complete the US Club Medical Form, NCYSA Medical Form and Try-Out waiver. Both will be available at the try-outs. They are also available on the CSL website. Players that have not played on a CSL travel team before will also need a birth certificate.

Teams will be formed based on the turn out for these sessions. Traditionally, U15 and above girls teams will form in the fall only and boys teams will form in the spring only. U09-U14 teams for both genders play in the fall and spring if the numbers are present. If you are unable to attend these sessions, but are interested in playing, you will need to contact me at the email address below.

CSL currently offers three levels of travel teams: Classic, Challenge and Academy.

Classic is the highest level of play available and CSL forms teams in the U13 and above age groups for this level. Each team starts in the 2nd Division Piedmont region which allows for most matches to be played locally. There is a potential for longer travel with this level of play. Should the team place at the top of their region at the end of the season, there is an opportunity to be promoted to 1st Division for the next season. 1st Division is split between East and West Divisions and does require further travel. The highest level of play in the Classic division is Premiere. CSL has not reached that level yet. Classic teams will ideally consist of the best players from each school in Chatham County being combined to form the most competitive teams. Tournaments for this level of play are also highly competitive. There is the possibility for two to three weekends of commitment for the tournaments.

For the U9-U12 age group, CSL has offered a hybrid solution combining the Academy and Challenge level of play. This has been the solution offered the past couple of years in an effort to minimize the amount of travel for these younger players. By doing this, most away matches are played within 30-45 minutes from Pittsboro. This format is currently being evaluated and will be determined by the number of players at the try-outs.

By U.S. Youth Soccer, U.S. Soccer, and the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association standards, the NCYSA Challenge Program is a competitive level of play, because tryouts are conducted to form teams. The NCYSA Challenge Program allows for players developing beyond the Recreation Level to play at a more competitive level with modified travel time to and from games. All Challenge Teams must be a member of a currently registered association that is in good standing with the NCYSA such as the Chatham Soccer League. The challenge teams are formed under US Club Soccer and play in the North Carolina Champions League.

The Chatham Soccer League offers the NCYSA Academy Program as a level of play option. Academy programs seek to improve individual player development, satisfaction and retention, and to build a less pressured youth soccer environment for coaches, adult spectators, and match officials. The Academy Program is supported by United States Soccer Federation, US Youth Soccer and the NC Youth Soccer Association. This program is currently open to boys and girls interested in focusing on skills development in a fun, pressure free environment. Evaluations are held to determine players current skill level to group them with like players, but no players are cut as there is not a try-out for the Academy.

Academy/Challenge practices will be conducted in a group environment. Experienced, licensed coaches have volunteered to work with the players at each practice. Coaches and players can be moved between the teams based on skills and needs. No scores, results or standings will be kept for the academy teams during matches. The focus is on individual development and enjoyment free from standings and the pressure of results. Teams will be mixed up for game day to allow for like skilled players to compete against similar players. The competition will be players from other local academy programs located in the Triangle area. CSL will host some of the matches and will travel for some. During the season, there will be a couple weekends of play that will each consist of two matches on either a Saturday or Sunday. The season will also consist of a festival weekend where the teams travel and generally stay in a hotel overnight. The cost of the hotel is not included in the registration fees, but the league will arrange a group rate and assist in the reservation process.

Links to additional information can be found on the Chatham Soccer League website at under Teams > Travel Leagues. Please send any questions to

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Chatham Soccer League will be holding Classic & Challenge try-outs