Joining a Travel League Team

Joining a Travel team starts with attending Tryouts. The team formation, identification of volunteer coaches and registration occur in the months following Tryouts.

Tryouts

Boys and girls interested in joining a Travel League are invited to participate in open tryouts.

  • Tryouts for players entering the U10 through U15 age groups are held at the end of the spring season (for the upcoming Fall / Spring playing season). Children entering the U9 age group are invited to try out for the U10 travel division.
  • Tryouts for players entering the U16 to U19 age groups are held between Nov - Feb (depending on the size of the player pool).

Players must register for tryouts via our Affinity web site. Tryout registration is free but mandatory. Tryouts are conducted by experienced third party youth soccer coaches and involve activities such as small-sided games/full field games, skills demonstration and physical fitness. The requirement to participate in tryouts applies to players already on travel teams, as well as to new players.

Follow this link to sign up for tryouts. You'll need to select the date that works for you and correct age group: Dates, Times and Age groups are:

Thursday May 24 Schenley Oval (check in at pavillion between tennis courts)

U9/U10 (Birthdays 2009-2010) - Check in at 6:10 pm; Session 6:30 pm -7:30 pm
U11/U12 (Birthdays 2007-2008) - Check in at 7:10pm; Session 7:30 pm-8:30 pm
U15/U14/U13 (Birthdays 2004-2005-2006) - Check in at 8:10 pm; Session 8:30pm-9:30 pm

Wednesday May 30 Schenley Oval (check in at pavillion between tennis courts)

U9/U10 (Birthdays 2009-2010) - Check in at 6:10 pm; Session 6:30 pm -7:30 pm
U11/U12 (Birthdays 2007-2008) - Check in at 7:10pm; Session 7:30 pm-8:30 pm
U15/U14/U13 (Birthdays 2004-2005-2006) - Check in at 8:10 pm; Session 8:30pm-9:30 pm

U16 - U19 - Travel Tryout dates still TBD!

Team Formation

Using input from coaches and from the tryouts, travel teams are formed to create the opportunity for children to play at a level appropriate for their skills and abilities. To accomplish this, teams are formed at multiple levels of competition available through the PA West leagues ranging from Division 4 (most competitive) through Division 6 (least competitive). The final number of teams depends on the number of players, the skill of the pool of players, and the availability of coaches. Because of limits on roster size and the competitive nature of the Travel League, some of the players who try out may not be placed on a travel team.

Before the start of each season, Dynamo reassesses the composition of travel teams at each age level. It is common for children to be assigned to different teams and for teams to switch divisions, depending on their skill level. These trends are natural outcomes of children developing soccer skills at different rates and roster sizes growing in older age divisions. Children may play on a team with the same children from year to year, as the players age-up through the travel league. However, keeping children together from year to year is not the primary consideration guiding team formation.

Volunteering

Dynamo is an all-volunteer organization. There are several opportunities to volunteer with a Dynamo Travel team.

Coaching

Coaches run practices and are present at games. Travel coaches are volunteers who are interested in soccer and in coaching at a more competitive level. Dynamo requires (and will pay for) coaches to obtain the appropriate coaching license. Coaching can be demanding on your time with 2 practices and games over the course of 8 -10 weeks. Ideally, 1 - 2 assistant coaches will be identified to help out. Assistant coaches may take on one aspect of the game, such as goalkeeping that will allow them to work with small groups of players. Having a couple of assistant coaches lined up will make it seamless if any of you are unable to be at a game or practice.

The licensing of coaches ensures that coaches have the teaching skills to be able to teach players the game of soccer. Coaches, including those who have played soccer in high school, college or beyond, will also benefit from taking coach courses/clinics. PA West is now mandating that everyone have the appropriate in person Grassroots course for the age they coach.

Currently held F and E licenses will no longer be recognized starting in the Fall 2018 season - we will be unable to roster you in Affinity. This is a rule change from PA West.

Your first step to getting the correct license is going to the US Soccer Digital Coaching Center and creating an ID. Then take the 15-minute online "Intro To Grassroots Coaching" module. On that site, you can find access to additional online and in person training. The club is planning to schedule the in-person courses for at least 7v7 and 11v11 in the Summer of 2018 to be ready for the Fall 2018 season.

Team Manager

It's not just about the snacks anymore! The team manager will assist the coach with the paperwork, logistics, communication and scheduling aspects of the team. The Team Manager does not need to have any coaching education or license. A good team manager will do the following to support the coaches:

  • Manage player and coach ID cards that must be presented to the referees at each game.
  • Access the Affinity System and print a Game Day Roster (2 copies) that must be presented to the referees at each game
  • Enter the game score in Affinity (only when your team wins)
  • Facilitate communication with the other parents to create a schedule, organize car-pooling, snacks and game day attendance.
  • Assist with first aid if needed, which will allow the coach to keep focus on the other players and the game.

Many Dynamo teams use TeamSnap or other free apps to manage team schedules and communications

General Volunteering

The Travel Commission will periodically need help with a big job that requires 6 -10 people to show up and help out for an hour or two. This might be prepping fields at the start of a season, replacing nets or staffing the registration table at tryouts. These opportunities will come to you via an email with a subject line "Volunteers Needed".

Travel Commission

If you just can't get enough Dynamo, we're always looking for new members to join the Travel Commission. Reach out and let us know! travel@pittsburghdynamo.org

Registration

When teams have been formed, you will hear from the head coach, with information about registering. All players and parent volunteers must register when we open the registration in late July. Child registrations will require a birth certificate and photo. Adult volunteers will need to submit clearances and photos.

Registration is done through the Affinity System. Travel player families will need to create accounts and use this tool to present themselves and their credentials to the organization. Use of this system is currently mandated by PA West and not something we have control over. Registration is only open for a short window each year. When you register you are committing to being part of a Travel team. Knowing that we have people registered is what allows us to finalize teams and declare to PA West which divisions we will play for the upcoming season.

Children who are Under 10 and up to Under 15 will register in the summer to play both Fall and Spring with their team.

High School age players in U 16 - U19 age groups will register for the Spring only season in January.

Clearances

All team admins (coaches and managers) must obtain both of these documents collectively called your "clearances". These documents verify with the state, PA West and Dynamo that you are fit to work with children. You can learn more about this on the state website. You will upload copies of these documents when you register in affinity:


Criminal Record Check aka "PATCH"
Child Abuse Record Check aka "CY113"

And additionally obtain only one of the following:

Volunteer Affidavit aka "Residency Aff" [ if you have been a PA resident for 10 or more consecutive years ] This document should be signed and Notarized.
or
FBI Fingerprint Check aka "FBI BC" [ if you have been a PA Resident 9 or fewer years ]

Once you have all three documents, upload them via the Risk Management Portal. Login and Continue; only play level is "background check" [still must select], and then "Click here to show photo or certification upload" and you may have to scroll right

Fees

Fall Registration for Fall and Spring: $230

Spring Only Registration (U16-u19 only): $125

The Travel League is still part of Dynamo's all volunteer non-profit organization. The fee for Travel registration covers many costs of running a Travel League. We are able to keep costs down by relying on volunteer coaches. With your fee, we are able to participate in PA West divisions competing across the region, we cover training for our volunteer coaches, pay professional referees, and provide teams with game balls, first aid kits as well as maintaining the goals and other equipment we share at Schenley Park.

Dynamo offers financial aid for families in need of assistance. Email president@pittsburghdynamo.org to inquire.

Uniform

All registering players are also required to purchase a uniform. In any given year, the uniform kit consists of one or two shirts (either a unique shirt, or separate home and away shirts), a pair of shorts, and a pair of socks. Subsequent years, the jersey only will be offered during registration (until the current style uniform is no longer being produced; usually 3 to 5 years).

Uniform Kit (required to play U16 and under): $65 (2 jerseys, blue shorts/socks). Uniforms are ordered through Soccer.com

Get in Touch

For general inquiries, please get in touch with the Dynamo Travel Commission

travel@pittsburghdynamo.org for general inquiries

To Learn more about PA West

PA West

For registration and rosters: pa-pghdynamo.affinitysoccer.com
For information about age and gender brackets:
pawest.affinitysoccer.com