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US Soccer taking the lead on improving our sport


"Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better."  --Sydney J. Harris

This week US Soccer publically unveiled initiatives that have been in the works for a while and put a timeline on implementation.  The Federation has mandated two changes that all members will need to comply with.  Iowa Soccer is a US Soccer member and as such the directives will be seen on soccer fields throughout our state.  In a nutshell the rationale behind the changes is so that we – our nation’s soccer community – get better.

The initiatives coming our way are

  1. mandated small-sided games at younger age groups (not all states do this yet!)
  2. moving to team formation based upon birth year and not school calendar year (currently September-August)


It was over 10 years ago that Iowa Soccer implemented small-sided games when it was only “recommended” by US Soccer.  The new requirements will result in some changes for us and you can read about the “new” small-sided numbers in US Soccer and US Youth Soccer press releases – links below.  But before you click those links, know that our staff will be meeting soon and regularly to plan the implementation of, and education and communication about the ways in which we’ll guide our membership through the changes in the coming months.  Changes are slated to be in effect when teams are formed for the 2016-17 season.


At this time our national governing bodies still have a few details we’re waiting on before we can begin our process and communicate specifics.  Our early September staff meeting will come on the heels of a US Youth Soccer planning session and we’ll get an update to our members after that time.  Know that our staff is dedicated to providing leadership and assistance in preparing our statewide community for as seamless a transition as we can.  Our sport is poised to “get better” and we’ll do our best to make sure the new normal feels like things never changed.


  1. US Soccer
  2. US Youth Soccer


Although we don't have specifics to report now, if you do have questions at this time please contact Executive Director Harold Kahler,