TRAVEL LEAGUE: Policies and Information

IMPLEMENTING THE DYNAMO PHILOSOPHY IN THE TRAVEL LEAGUE
JOINING A TRAVEL LEAGUE TEAM
COACHING A TRAVEL TEAM
FEES FOR TRAVEL LEAGUE

INFORMATION ABOUT PITTSBURGH DYNAMO TRAVEL SOCCER TEAMS

In the Pittsburgh Dynamo travel league, children are placed on teams that compete against teams of the same age group and skill level from other soccer clubs in the PA West Soccer Association. PA West Soccer is organized to provide non-profit, public, educational soccer, development and competition. Consistent with the goals of Pittsburgh Dynamo, the PA West goal is for soccer in western Pennsylvania to be known as a sporting activity where courtesy, common sense, and good sportsmanship prevail.

Dynamo organizes both boys and girls teams for children U10 age through U19 age.

U10 through U15 age teams play games in the fall (September through November) and spring (March through June). Following the PA West rules, U16 through U19 age teams only play games in the spring. Field sizes, roster sizes, and the number of players on the field change by age group. More information about these rules is available on the PA West website.

The Travel League games are scheduled for Sunday, to begin no earlier than noon. Weather or other cancellations may require rescheduling for other times.

Travel teams practice two evenings a week at one of the city fields in the Squirrel Hill vicinity. Practices are usually an hour and a half long.

IMPLEMENTING THE DYNAMO PHILOSOPHY IN THE TRAVEL LEAGUE

The Travel League emphasizes a stronger focus on skills development and requires a more significant time commitment from the players than Dynamo's Recreation League, though in keeping with the Dynamo Philosophy.

The Dynamo Travel League emphasizes development of fundamental soccer skills, knowledge of the rules of soccer, and good sporting behavior. We want our players to learn the game, to build character, to set objectives and to strive toward them, to gain personal confidence and pride, and to have FUN. The winning of games is the focus of the play not the measure of success. Following the Dynamo philosophy, our primary objective is to teach children how to play and respect the game of soccer. More information about this philosophy is available on the Dynamo website (http://www.pittsburghdynamo.org).

Also in keeping with the Dynamo philosophy, we encourage and expect good sportsmanship. Referees, coaches, players, and opponents should be treated with respect and there is zero tolerance for poor conduct within the Pittsburgh Dynamo organization. More details of the Dynamo code of conduct are available here.

JOINING A TRAVEL LEAGUE TEAM

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 tryout 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 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.

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.

In the event a Division 4 team experiences continued success, promotion to play in the Classic Division 3 may be an option.

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.

After assignments are completed (mid-summer), Dynamo will invite players to register for the Fall/Spring playing season, and coaches will contact their teams soon thereafter.

COACHING A TRAVEL TEAM

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 an E Certificate License or higher coaching license that is taught by instructors certified by the US Youth Soccer Association. The purpose of this policy is to ensure 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.

For a calendar of coaching courses and a list of coaching resources, please check the PA-West web site. Dynamo also provides coaching assistance to travel coaches through the season. Coaches run practices and are present at the games.

PA West provides descriptions of all the various coaching licensing courses, including the E License, along with a schedule of upcoming license courses.

All coaches have to obtain background clearance once every 2 years. Click here for a link to the clearance site (required every two years).

FEES FOR TRAVEL LEAGUE

Click here to see current fees.

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).

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