Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club Travel Program
1. General Information
The RKYSC Travel Program provides a venue for players to improve their skills and to develop their game to the highest possible level by training and playing in a challenging and competitive environment with like-minded players. The Richmond Kickers Travel Program consists of Elite, Classic, Advanced Development Soccer League (ADSL) teams as well as the U9/U10 program. In addition, the Richmond Kickers along with the Richmond Strikers are the founding members of Richmond United – a collaborative partnership between the two clubs to provide an opportunity for the best U12 – U19 male and female players to train and play on the Richmond United age appropriate Academy (boys) or ECNL (girls) teams. Detailed information about Richmond United can be found at www.richmondutd.com
Elite teams represent the most competitive teams within the RKYSC structure. These teams may be comprised of players from all RKYSC geographic areas with the intent of fielding the strongest possible team. The Elite team will select the top players in each age group beginning at the U11 age group. Depending on the quality and number of players at the tryouts, there could be multiple Elite teams formed at the U11 - U12 Age groups. In the U13 – U19 age groups, there is only ONE Elite team formed in each age group. Our U11 – U19 Elite teams compete in the Virginia NPL / VA Premier League (VAPL), State Cup and numerous prestigious tournaments. The Kickers Elite players will start preparing for the 2016 – 2017 season by participating in the summer training program. Starting the week of July 11, the Kickers Elite players will be training twice a week and will continue to do so until the start of the regular season the week of August 15. The vast majority of our Elite teams have a nationally licensed coach and practice 3 times per week during regular season with a game on the weekend. Each Richmond Kickers travel program family will receive a Family Pass. Valued at $900, the Richmond Kickers Family Pass allows admission for up to five family members to all USL Pro regular season home games.
Classic teams are generally comprised of U13-U19 players from a single RKYSC geographic location. The Classic Travel program provides a competitive environment that falls in between Elite Travel and Recreational Programs. The purpose of these teams is to provide a forum for player development and competitive play. Teams practice twice per week with a game on the weekend. Our Classic programs are offered throughout the Greater Richmond area and depending on the number of players available at tryouts, there maybe more than one classic team at a single geographic location. Our U13 – U19 Classic teams compete in the Virginia Soccer League, Inc. (VSLi). All Classic teams will participate in the preseason training camps in preparation for the Fall season. The team camps will be held in July and August at Ukrop Park or Poor Farm Park and will be coached by the Kickers Technical Staff as well as current and former Kickers professional soccer players. Each Richmond Kickers travel program family will receive a Family Pass. Valued at $900, the Richmond Kickers Family Pass allows admission for up to five family members to all USL Pro regular season home games.
ADSL teams are generally comprised of U11-U12 players from a single RKYSC geographic location. The ADSL program emphasizes technical and physical development while encouraging individual creativity and expression. The program’s focus is not on winning but on developing each player to his or her fullest potential, preparing the players for success in the future. The Kickers ADSL players start preparing for the season by participating in optional summer training. Starting the week of July 11, ADSL players will have an opportunity to train once per week at the Kickers state-of-the-art facility, Ukrop Park. The summer training program will be led by Kickers Assistant Technical Director Mike Burke as well as numerous Kickers professional soccer players. Each Richmond Kickers travel program family will receive a Family Pass. Valued at $900, the Richmond Kickers Family Pass allows admission for up to five family members to all USL Pro regular season home games.
U9/U10 Program is designed to provide a seamless transition between our ADP (U7 – U8 age groups) to the ADSL / Elite teams (U11 age group). The Richmond Kickers U9/U10 program consists of geographically based pools of players training twice a week at their designated geographic area with a game on Saturday at Ukrop Park. The format for the games is 7 v 7 (6 + GK vs 6 + GK). The Kickers U9/U10 players follow a summer training program similar to that of the ADSL teams. Starting the week of July 11, the Kickers U9/U10 players will have an opportunity to train once per week at the Kickers state-of-the-art facility, Ukrop Park. The summer training program will be led by Kickers U9/U10 Director Ross MacKenzie as well as numerous Kickers professional soccer players. Each Richmond Kickers travel program family will receive a Family Pass. Valued at $900, the Richmond Kickers Family Pass allows admission for up to five family members to all USL Pro regular season home games.
Current geographic areas include:
Central (City of Richmond / Henrico County)
South (Chesterfield County)
North (Ashland and Hanover County)
Collegiate (Goochland / Western Henrico County)
Mechanicsville (Eastern Henrico and Hanover County)
Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club travel teams currently compete in four different leagues depending on players’ age and level of play.
RKYSC U11-U19 Elite Boys teams and U11 – U19 Elite Girls teams play in the Virginia NPL / VA Premier League against teams from the following clubs: Annandale United FC, Vienna Youth Soccer, Virginia Soccer Association, Chantilly Youth Association, FC Virginia, Northern Virginia SC, Prince William Soccer Inc., Virginia Rush and Richmond Strikers. More info about the VA Premier League can be found at www.vapremierleague.com
RKYSC U13-U19 Classic teams play in the Virginia Soccer League Inc (VSLi) and compete against other Classic level teams from various clubs in the greater Richmond area as well as Southeast and Northern Virginia. More info about VSLI can be found at www.vasoccerleague.com.
RKYSC U11 – U12 ADSL teams compete in the Advanced Development Soccer League (ADSL). All games (teams play a minimum of 8 league games per season) are played in the greater Richmond area and require very little travel on the part of players and parents. ADSL does not keep standings and the league’s focus is on player development, setting the stage for their future success. More info about ADSL can be found at www.adslsoccer.com
RKYSC U9/U10 Program teams play against other Kickers U9/U10 Program teams of similar abilities from various geographic locations on Saturday mornings at Ukrop Park. The format for the games is 7 v 7 (6 + GK v 6 + GK). Kickers U9/U10 teams also hold friendly games against other local clubs as well as other clubs in Virginia. More info about the U9/U10 Program can be found at www.richmondkickers.com
3. Player Commitments and Playing Time
U11 – U19 Elite Teams
Players are required to attend three (1hr 30min) training sessions a week, all league and tournament games. Supplemental training sessions and games may be added to enhance player development. Playing time on an Elite team is never guaranteed. Playing time may be more or less than that of another player on the team and will be determined by the coach. Playing time is based on attendance, attitude, commitment and ability.
U13-U19 Classic Teams
Players are required to attend two (1hr 30min) training sessions a week, all league and tournament games. Supplemental training sessions and games may be added to enhance player development. If a player regularly attends training sessions, displays good attitude and effort to learn and improve, he/she will receive playing time in league and tournament games. Playing time may be more or less than that of another player on the team and will be determined by the coach. Playing time is based on attendance, attitude, commitment and ability.
U11-U12 ADSL Teams
Players are required to attend two (1hr – 1hr 30min) training sessions a week, all league and tournament games. Supplemental training sessions and games may be added to enhance development. If a player regularly attends both training sessions, displays good attitude and effort to learn and improve, he/she will receive playing time in both league and tournament games. Playing time may be more or less than that of another player on the team and will be determined by the coach. Playing time is based on attendance, attitude, commitment and ability.
Players are required to attend two (1hr – 1hr 30min) training sessions a week, all league and tournament/festival games. Supplemental training sessions and games may be added to enhance development. If a player regularly attends training sessions, displays good attitude and effort to learn and improve, he/she will receive as much playing time as possible in all games.
Player Code of Conduct
As a Richmond Kickers player I agree:
• to represent myself, my team, my club and my family to the best of my abilities
• to commit to soccer as my primary sport or activity and to give priority to soccer whenever conflicts arise
• to work hard at practice and games
• to be punctual to all team and club functions
• to respect all coaches and game officials and to accept their decisions without question
• to respect my teammates, opponents and the laws of the game
• to demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times- in practice, in games, on and off the field
• to abide by my coach’s decision regarding playing time and position on the field
• to approach the coach with any personal soccer related problems
• to learn the rules, policies and procedures of the Team & Club
• never leave a game or practice without my coach’s permission
• never threaten, taunt nor deliberately attempt to injure another player
• never use profane or vulgar language
• never use drugs, tobacco products or alcoholic beverage
Social Media Policy
All Richmond Kickers players and parents are expected to understand what is considered acceptable and what is not when engaging in social media activities. Your association with Richmond Kickers opens you up to an increased level of scrutiny and exposes Richmond Kickers in the same way. It is your responsibility to ensure that anything that you say or post on social media is not inappropriate in any way towards Richmond Kickers, Richmond Kickers membership, Richmond Kickers affiliates or overall soccer community. When in doubt please contact Richmond Kickers for clarification.
4. Player Development
Long-term player development is the number one goal of the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club. All Richmond Kickers teams follow the club wide Richmond Kickers Player Development Philosophy, Style and Principles of play. RKYSC player development program is divided into three stages:
Developmental stage – U9-U12 age groups
Transitional stage – U13-U15 age groups
Competitive stage – U16-U19 age groups
Furthermore, RKYSC player development program encompasses Technical, Tactical, Physical and Psychological aspects of the game that are specific to each stage and each age group and that ensure adequate player development and progress over the entire course of the program. All teams follow age specific player development curriculum and follow either a 10-month (U9 – U15 teams) or an 8-month (U16 – U19 teams) periodization calendar consisting of Pre-season, Competitive season and Transitional season periods.
Developmental Stage (U9-U12):
The goal of this stage is to provide ample opportunities for players to build a solid foundation that will ensure their future success. While teams always compete to win games, results are not the main focus. During training sessions players work on learning soccer fundamentals and are, then, encouraged to try them in league and tournament play. During games players are encouraged to take risks, to try out different things and to play with emotional freedom without undue pressure of winning games from coaches and parents.
Transitional Stage (U13-U15):
During this stage the pace of player development quickens due to the acceleration of physical and mental maturation. Main emphases are on the development of individual skills under pressure of time, space and an opponent. During training sessions and games, players are encouraged to solve various problems (decision making) within the context of the game or a particular situation on the field. Team tactics and various systems of play are introduced into the training program. The game should remain fun and enjoyable and players should have a passion for the game.
Competitive Stage (U16-U19):
This stage of player development is characterized by demanding and challenging training sessions and competitive matches. All individual skills are practiced, for the most part, at match speed and under match conditions. Coaches demand excellence from players in all aspects of individual skills while understanding that mistakes will happen. Training sessions involve technical functional and tactical functional training and a great deal of coaching is within 9 v 9 or 11 v 11 situations.
Practices are conducted between Monday and Friday, starting no earlier than 4:00pm and ending no later than 9:00pm, with practices after 8pm restricted to U15 and older age groups. Practices may be scheduled on a weekend or during other days and times than the regular training schedule as mutually determined by the coach and team members. Tournament only (U16-U19) teams during the spring season will typically conduct practices on Sunday after 1:00pm or Saturday at times and locations mutually determined by the coach and the team members.
Attempts are made to schedule practices as conveniently as possible for each team based on where the respective players reside. Practice schedules for a given team may involve multiple locations and are restricted by the availability and locations of fields as assigned by the city or county locality.
In some instances, the start of seasonal practices is restricted by field openings, which are determined by the respective city or county locality. In general, practices begin as soon as fields are made available for play, which typically occurs 2-3 weeks prior to the first game, and ends with the final game, which is also restricted by locality determining field availability.
- Elite teams will conduct three (3) practice sessions each week, 1hour 30 min per session.
- Classic teams will conduct two (2) practice sessions each week, 1hour 30min per session.
- ADSL teams will conduct two (2) practice sessions each week, 1hour - 1hour 30min per session.
- U9/U10 Program will conduct two (2) practice sessions each week, 1hour - 1hour 30min per session.
Practices shall be cancelled under conditions of dangerous weather or other conditions as necessary to help ensure the safety of the player. In case of inclement weather, please call our weather hotline at 804.644.5425 then dial 2 for the weather hotline. Practices cancelled due to weather may be made up at the discretion of the coach and depending on field availability. Finally, makeup practices (or team functions) shall be scheduled for cancellations that occur due to unavailability of the coach or a suitable replacement.
The RKYSC open tryout process shall typically be held during April / May of each year to select players for the following playing year (Fall/Spring). A limited open tryout may be held at the discretion of the RKYSC Technical Director and affected coaches between the Fall and Spring seasons.
The RKYSC tryout process shall be open to all players and shall give equal consideration to each player without regard to race, religion, ethnic or social background, or economic status.
Players may be added to a team at any time during the seasonal year provided that there are open spots on the roster.
Prospective players wishing to tryout after the team roster has been established may be considered if there are open position(s) on the roster and after being evaluated by, at a minimum, the team coach.
The Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club reserves the right to offer a guaranteed spot to any player whom the Technical staff deems qualified prior to the commencement of the open tryout process.
Teams will be grouped according to player birth-date. Players born between January 1st and December 31st of a given year will constitute a single age group. There may be occasions where it is warranted to combine two age groups to ensure a sufficient
number and caliber of players – typically in the older age groups. When this is done, the teams are defined by the older age group. Thus, a U16 and U17 combined team is considered to be a U17 team.
Teams will only be formed if there is a sufficient number of players trying out to ensure adequate team depth. All teams U13 and older shall have a minimum of 14 players on their roster.
- U9/U10 - play 7 v 7 and will typically have no more than 12 players on the roster
- U11 - U12 – play 9 v 9 and will have no more than 15 players on the roster
- U13 – U15 play 11 v 11 and will have no more than 18 players on the roster
- U16 - U19 – play 11 v 11 and will have no more than 22 players on the roster
Playing in a Higher Age Division
Players may be allowed to play in a higher age division “play up” if it is clearly in the best interest of the player involved and if the following conditions are met:
1. Upon approval of the Technical Director or the Age appropriate Program Director.
2. The player in question will likely a) be able to earn significant amount of playing time on the older age group team b) be able to maintain this level of play throughout the entire season without an adverse effect on the player’s development and growth.
3. The only option for the player is to play on an older age group team since there is no team in his/her own age group in the geographical location where the player would like to play on.
7. Technical Staff
The RKYSC Travel program is guided by the club’s Technical Director, Ihor Dotsenko (UEFA “A”, USSF “A”, USSF National Youth Coaching Licenses). In addition, to ensure that all technical goals of the club are achieved, the club employs the following Technical Staff:
Ihor Dotsenko USSF “A” - Technical Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy McIntosh USSF “A” - U13 – U18 Elite & Classic Girls Director email@example.com
Mark Stollsteimer NSCAA Premier - U13 – U18 Elite & Classic Boys Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Burke USSF “B” - U11 – U12 Elite & Classic Director email@example.com
Ross MacKenzie USSF “B” - ADP & U9/U10 Director ADP@richmondkickers.com
Naci Bilgeturk UEFA “B” - Goalkeeper Coach
Each Director is assigned detailed responsibilities to ensure that all RKYSC teams, coaches and players receive sufficient support from the club’s Technical Staff.
RKYSC places high priority on hiring a highly qualified, licensed and knowledgeable coaching staff. The club provides strong support for the coaches by:
• Promoting and funding continuing education and other avenues for coaching development
• Providing competitive pay scales based upon coaching experience, licensing and performance.
• Providing a professional, supportive environment.
Coach Code of Conduct
All RKYSC Coaches shall strictly follow RKYSC Coaches Commitments. All RKYSC Coaches shall:
• Attend all scheduled practices and games unless expressly excused by the Technical Director
• Conduct a minimum of two or three practice sessions per week (as determined by the Technical Director prior to each season). Each session shall be a duration of at least 1-1.5 hours depending on the age group.
• Abide by the laws of the game and all rules and directives from the applicable sanctioning organizations, including USSF, VYSA, US Club Soccer, VA Premier League, ADSL, VSLi and RKYSC.
• Provide regular instruction and feedback to each player throughout the season.
• Create an environment where players are not afraid to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes.
• Attend all coaches meetings and RKYSC sponsored clinics and coaching seminars unless specifically excused by the Technical Director
• Ensure proper safety measures are observed for all players. Upon the completion of practice, or a game, stay with all players following a game or practice until a parent, guardian or other person designated by a parent assumes control of the player, unless appropriate arrangements are made in advance with the player’s parent.
• Ensure that all players and parents are familiar with the rules of the game and that all games are played within the limits of those rules
• Encourage sportsmanship and good behavior both on the field and at public team gatherings such as restaurants and hotels.
• Wear suitable attire to all RKYSC functions, practices and games
• Take appropriate disciplinary measures and/or address as necessary any inappropriate conduct during practices, games or tournaments exhibited by players, team managers or parents. Notify the Technical Director or the RKYSC administrative staff of serious and ongoing issues.
• Continually educate and further your knowledge of the sport and coaching. Read, watch, speak with and learn from others. Work towards higher licensing and obtain a membership with both NSCAA and USSF.
Coaches Character and Conduct – Coaches shall:
• Treat each player as an individual person who should be listened to and motivated in a unique fashion.
• Strive to set a good example in winning and losing. Remember that a player will use you as a standard more than you may expect.
• Be on time, organized, polite, positive and motivated
• Never belittle or demean any of your players. Be generous with praise when it is deserved. Provide an encouraging and supportive environment.
• Never use inappropriate, demeaning or offensive language during practices or games. Similarly, require that players, parents and spectators refrain from using such language during these occasions.
• Not attempt to intimidate or threaten a player, spectator or referee, nor tolerate such behavior by any of your players
• Not make derogatory or critical comments about opposing players, coaches, referees or spectators and will discourage players and parents from making such remarks
• Be alert to potentially dangerous situations arising because of actions by your team’s own players. Coaches should remove from play any player whose actions could lead to injuries or altercations among players
• Never enter the field of play unless specifically requested by the match official
RKYSC Technical Staff will select tournaments for all travel teams. Coaches wishing to participate in additional tournaments that are not selected by the club’s Technical Staff must first obtain approval from the Technical Director or the Age appropriate Program Director. RKYSC Technical Staff will work with the club coaches to ensure that the selected tournaments are consistent with each team’s objectives and capabilities. All ADSL and Classic teams (U11 - U15) must participate in the Richmond Kickers Columbus Day Tournament during the Columbus Day weekend, the Ultimate Cup prior to the Spring season and the Colonial Cup during the Memorial Day weekend. All Classic Teams (U16 – U19) must participate in the Richmond Kickers Columbus Day Tournament during the Columbus Day weekend and the Ultimate Cup prior to the Spring season. All Elite teams are required to participate in the Ultimate Cup prior to the Spring season.
- U9/U10 Teams have up to 2 tournaments/festivals included in travel fee.
- ADSL teams have up to 4 tournaments included in travel fee. The Kickers Columbus Day, Ultimate Cup and Memorial Day tournaments are mandatory.
- VSLi U13 – U15 teams have up to 4 tournaments included in travel fee. The Kickers Columbus Day, Ultimate Cup and Memorial Day tournaments are mandatory.
- VSLi U16 – U19 teams have up to 4 tournaments included in travel fee. The Columbus Day and Ultimate Cup tournaments are mandatory.
- Elite teams U11 - U18 have up to 5 tournaments and State Cup included in travel fee. The Ultimate Cup is mandatory.
All Tournaments must be approved by the Technical Director prior to applying.
10. Summer Training, Pool Training and GK training
Richmond Kickers youth soccer players are provided with additional developmental opportunities thru Summer Training, Pool Training and GK training sessions. Players are encouraged to take advantage of these programs in order to further develop their soccer skills and knowledge of the game.
11. Winter Training
Richmond Kickers youth soccer players will have an opportunity to participate in the Winter training programs that are provided by the club. Depending on the age and level of play, this additional training will consist of age appropriate group pool training, team training and goalkeeper training conducted during January and February 2016. While players are allowed to participate in the winter indoor play outside that organized by RKYSC, we believe that players will benefit more from participating in training activities conducted by highly knowledgeable and qualified RKYSC coaching staff. Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club cannot be held responsible for winter activities that are NOT provided by the club and for any potential issues arising from players’ participation in those activities.
Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club supports State, Regional, National and US Club Soccer ODP programs. While involved in ODP training activities the following guidelines have to be adhered to:
1. If there is a conflict between a club game and an ODP practice, the priority is the club.
2. If there is a conflict between a club practice and an ODP practice, the priority is ODP.
3. If there is a conflict between a club game and an ODP game, the priority should be decided by the club coach depending on the importance of the club game.
All Richmond Kickers players participating in the ODP programs are required to notify their coach and the club’s Technical Director, Ihor Dotsenko, at firstname.lastname@example.org of their participation in ODP and all potential conflicts as soon as possible.
13. Player Transfers
Players wishing to transfer from one RKYSC team to a different RKYSC team at any time during a seasonal year (Fall/Spring) must notify their current coach and the Technical Director. Approval of the transfer is contingent upon the following criteria:
• The transfer is approved by the Technical Director, the head coaches for both teams and the player’s parents
• The transfer will not be unduly disruptive for either team
• The transfer is realistically viewed as a “permanent” transfer and not simply meeting a short term need.
Players wishing to transfer from an RKYSC team to a team affiliated with a different club shall notify the Technical Director in writing (email is acceptable) stating the reason for the transfer.
14. Guest players
All guest players must be approved by the Technical Director or the Age appropriate Program Director
A coach wishing to invite a guest player to participate in a training session, game or tournament must notify the Technical Director or the Age appropriate Program Director explaining why he/she would like to use services of a guest player.
Any Richmond Kickers player who is invited to guest play for a different team must notify his/her coach of such an invitation, who, in turn, must notify the Technical Director or the Age appropriate Program Director.
A Richmond Kickers player is NOT ALLOWED to guest play for a non-Richmond Kickers team if there is a conflict with his/her current Richmond Kickers team.
A Richmond Kickers player is NOT ALLOWED to play against any other Richmond Kickers teams while guest playing for a non-Richmond Kickers team.
Richmond Kickers teams should only consider inviting guest players to play with their team if they have fewer than 14 healthy players available for their tournament games and fewer than 13 healthy players available for their league game.
No manager may release a player card for guest playing without full approval from the Technical Director or the Age appropriate Program Director.
15. College Guidance
Members of the Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club who desire to play collegiate soccer have the opportunity to be guided by the RKYSC College Guidance Advisors, Andy McIntosh – Girls and Mark Stollsteimer – Boys. Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club has developed a program to introduce sophomores, juniors, and seniors in High School to the college recruiting process. The RKYSC comprehensive College Guidance program includes team presentations and individual meetings for players/families interested in the college recruiting process.
16. RKYSC Concussion Policy
All Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Coaches, Parents and Players are required to follow the RKYSC Concussion Policy as posted on the Richmond Kickers Website. All Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Coaches are required to successfully complete the “Heads Up Concussion In Youth Sports” Online Course and are encouraged to use the Concussion Recognition & Response (CRR) Phone Application to assist them in identifying a possible concussion.
All Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Coaches and Players will strictly abide by the following US Soccer Guidelines:
- U11 and Younger – US Soccer guidelines are that players in U11 programs and younger shall not engage in heading, either in practice or in games.
- U12 & U13 Age Groups – US Soccer guidelines are for players in U12 & U13 programs that heading in training be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per week with no more than 15 – 20 headers per day, per week.