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What is Rec Soccer?

Some common perceptions of recreational soccer are:

  • Made up of players assigned to a team in a random manner without regard to the ability of the players – as opposed to “travel” soccer, where the players are selected to be on a team through some sort of tryout or selection process.

  • “Less competitive” than “travel” soccer.

  • “Lower intensity” for training and practices.

  • “Less travel”, fewer games

  • “Less-skilled” players.

  • “Less experienced” coaches.

  • Beginning players

  • Annual or biannual shuffling of players to new teams,  and more

US Youth Soccer definition in “Policy on Players and Playing Rules” states:


  • leagues composed of Recreational Teams

  • means a league in which:
    a. the use of tryouts, invitations, recruiting, or any similar process to roster players to any team on the basis  of talent or ability is prohibited;
    b. (the club administering the league accepts as participants in the league any eligible youths (subject to reasonable terms on registration)
    c. a system or rostering players is used to establish a fair or balanced distribution of playing talent among all teams participating; and
    d. league rules require that each player must play at least one-half of each game except for reasons of injury, illness, or discipline.


  • means a team that participates in a recreational league.

  • team formed of Recreational players to play soccer for fun


This is a soccer program that is primarily devoted to the enjoyment and development of soccer players without the emphasis on travel or high-level competition. The purpose of recreational soccer is to provide an opportunity for the participants to have fun, learn the sport and develop life skills including a lifelong love of the game.


a player who is assigned to a team without regard to his/her abilities and skills

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