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Semantics in Youth Sports – ‘Cutting Players’


An intriguing article was posted recently in the Coloradoan about a local youth soccer club ‘cutting players younger.’

The article mentions two local clubs and team formation practices centered around competitive teams. In one situation, there’s even a competitive ‘non-tryout’ process for teams as young as Under 9. In those situations, they don’t ‘cut’ players, but players can be ‘inactive’ for games.

The semantics are important – both in the ‘non-tryout’ situation and as far as how the article is framed.

In soccer organizations (and sports) nationwide, there is an increasing push to field competitive Travel teams that contend for championships.

That said, there are almost always Recreational opportunities that exist in those same organizations. The organizations realize that a vibrant Recreational department is a terrific feeder system for kids ready, able, and interested in playing for competitive Travel teams.

The responsibility falls to the parents to evaluate these opportunities properly. The article spends time talking about the psychological implications for a young child of not making a team, but with proper framing and opportunity, this seems to be a non-issue.

What do you think? Are organizations really ‘cutting players younger’ or is this article just highlighting a worst-case scenario?

Kris Baker

Kris Baker is the President of Demosphere and has been serving the Youth Sports Community since 2006.