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  #11  
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Easy to check that theory. Find out if CT has a participation decline similar to the rest of the country. If so, then the birth year change may not have much to do with the drop, since CT school age cut-off is Jan 1st.
I'm from CT - yes I read around the boards now and then. It would impossible to read CT data because the state has had more people moving out than moving in, especially families. The high cost of living, the state economy is a mess, companies are moving out (GE to Boston). My kids have said goodbye to a lot of friends in the last few years. School districts are shuttering schools because of big declines in the number of school aged children. I know our town sports numbers are down and soccer clubs are struggling to fill teams. But I do think that's a combination of the population drop, costs, and other factors. The age thing may keep some from playing but I doubt many. It's still a stupid thing to do though for any program other than DA. There's a lot of kids who have been left with no team or poor options for 8th grade and senior year.

Our school age cutoff is one of the few that is so late in the US and it's a source of angst among many families. A lot of helicopter parents in high performing districts red shirt their fall birthday kids, especially boys. If your kid isn't ready for school that's one thing. But people will tell you they're doing it to give their kids advantages in academics and sports. I kid you not. It's a bizarre place.
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  #12  
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Why 70% of kids quit sports by age 13 (highlights below). The kinds of reasons haven't changed much over the years but I think the impact of the different reasons have. For sure #2-#4 have gotten worse. Now there's fewer kids playing soccer before age 12.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.30b5e91a1a62

Itís not fun anymore because itís not designed to be.

Our culture no longer supports older kids playing for the fun of it.

There is a clear push for kids to specialize and achieve at the highest possible level.

There is a cost to be competitive and not everyone is willing or able to pay it.

And, of course, itís just the age.
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  #13  
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Not saying it's the only reason, but one of many. Your town also isn't the same as the one next to you, or the one next to that...etc.
When the age change ruling went in to effect my kid was on a U14 team that was made up of 13 and 14 year olds. The club was small (maybe 16-18 teams). When the age change happened they split it in to two teams...they couldn't get enough kids to field two teams and about half the kids switched to another club and the rest stopped playing soccer. Not saying this is the norm...just saying that my personal experience is that the age change might've caused a drop in players.
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  #14  
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Is any of this new or surprising? I think there are a couple of important indisputable facts:

1. Participation has been declining.
2. The reasons are multi-factorial and no one can really quantify them with certainty.

With respect to the first point, it doesn't matter very much to me that some activities are experiencing a similar decline or that other activities are not. With respect to the second point, it doesn't matter much to me that we have more than a general understanding of the factors causing the decline in participation, so debating the degrees that not having fun or not being able to play in the same age group with an elementary school classmate or neighborhood friend cause choosing something else doesn't seem as important as being aware of these kinds of things and addressing them.

And this is my point, what has USSF (or anyone else for that matter) demonstrated in recent policy rollouts, GDA launch, etc. that demonstrates supporting participation and love for the game at the grassroots more than pay-to-play? Until I see the governing organization demonstrate that in order to build the best national teams, there needs to be this support for the soccer culture, my expectations won't change.
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  #15  
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Why 70% of kids quit sports by age 13 (highlights below). The kinds of reasons haven't changed much over the years but I think the impact of the different reasons have. For sure #2-#4 have gotten worse. Now there's fewer kids playing soccer before age 12.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.30b5e91a1a62

Itís not fun anymore because itís not designed to be.

Our culture no longer supports older kids playing for the fun of it.

There is a clear push for kids to specialize and achieve at the highest possible level.

There is a cost to be competitive and not everyone is willing or able to pay it.

And, of course, itís just the age.


The fact that youth sports has become such a big business with many incompetent, selfish and degenerate coaches influencing our kids is another reason. With the social climate changing and people realizing what bullying looks like in all aspects of life, many people are waking up and realizing their kid has been at practice with some of the worst bullies out there. All for what?
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  #16  
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Is any of this new or surprising? I think there are a couple of important indisputable facts:

1. Participation has been declining.
2. The reasons are multi-factorial and no one can really quantify them with certainty.

With respect to the first point, it doesn't matter very much to me that some activities are experiencing a similar decline or that other activities are not. With respect to the second point, it doesn't matter much to me that we have more than a general understanding of the factors causing the decline in participation, so debating the degrees that not having fun or not being able to play in the same age group with an elementary school classmate or neighborhood friend cause choosing something else doesn't seem as important as being aware of these kinds of things and addressing them.

And this is my point, what has USSF (or anyone else for that matter) demonstrated in recent policy rollouts, GDA launch, etc. that demonstrates supporting participation and love for the game at the grassroots more than pay-to-play? Until I see the governing organization demonstrate that in order to build the best national teams, there needs to be this support for the soccer culture, my expectations won't change.
You need to stop thinking that soccer is every kid's god given right. The article someone posted is spot on. Being an athlete isn't for everyone. Your angst at the USSF is misdirected. It's not their job to force this country into becoming a soccer culture. USSF doesn't actually care about 99.99% of the country's soccer players, nor should they for that matter. As you note, their job ultimately is to create the very best national team they can. Believe or not 99.99% of the soccer playing population could care less about that goal so why SHOULD the USSF factor them into their thinking.
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  #17  
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But it is their job to promote it.

United States Soccer Federation, Inc.
Bylaw 102. PURPOSES
The purposes of the Federation are:
(1) to promote soccer in the United States, including national and international games
and tournaments, soccer for women and men, indoor soccer and beach soccer;
(2) to govern, coordinate, and administer the sport of soccer in the United States;
(3) to provide for the continuing development of soccer players, coaches, referees and
administrators;
(4) to provide for national cup competitions; and
(5) to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of grievances.

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You need to stop thinking that soccer is every kid's god given right. The article someone posted is spot on. Being an athlete isn't for everyone. Your angst at the USSF is misdirected. It's not their job to force this country into becoming a soccer culture. USSF doesn't actually care about 99.99% of the country's soccer players, nor should they for that matter. As you note, their job ultimately is to create the very best national team they can. Believe or not 99.99% of the soccer playing population could care less about that goal so why SHOULD the USSF factor them into their thinking.
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  #18  
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Soccer Culture Cry-Daddy,
are you doing equally well with getting teen culture to look up from their phones?
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  #19  
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Default Kids playing soccer

This topic has been on my mind for a very long time now and I myself was afectes by it. I have a group of kids, 9 as of now to be exact that are dying to play club soccer where they will be noticed because all they can afford to play is High School soccer. These kids arenít coming from poverty obviously but their parents make no where near enough to support putting their kids on club teams. Letís also say these kids arenít the most easily coachable kids that would thrive in under any environment. Which is why I decided to start my own club team in which these kids will have their fees fully paid for and give them a chance to play. I donít ask that ty donate but at least spread the link and give us awareness. That would be greatly appreciated!!!

https://www.gofundme.com/club-soccer...18b053bad73bef
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  #20  
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I actually think this (one of the points in one of the articles linked above) is the biggest issue:
"Our culture no longer supports older kids playing for the fun of it" I know so many kids that felt " I am not going to make high school team" (ANY sport - not just soccer) so why keep playing, or "I am not going to make varsity" so why keep playing?

By no means do I think this is the ONLY reason but I personally put it at the top. I looked for some statistics on overall youth participation and basically what I found is that in the same time period overall youth sports participation went down 8-9% so soccer is greater than average.
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