2016 NorCal Rules

The NorCal Premier Board of Directors approved the plan earlier this week in accordance with the recent U.S. Soccer mandates , the recent implementation plan from US Club Soccer , the recent update to age group classification outlined in U.S. Soccer's FAQ Document and extensive feedback from member clubs. 
  • Birth Year Registration: NorCal Premier competitions will transition from scholastic year (Aug. 1 - July 31) based age groups to calendar year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31) based age groups in 2016.  Birth year 2003 and younger age groups will transition prior to spring 2016 competitions, while birth year 2002 and older age groups will transition by Aug. 1, 2016.
  • Age Group Classification: NorCal Premier competitions will transition to the international age group classifications in 2016 (details below).  Birth year 2003 and younger age groups will transition prior to spring 2016 competitions, while birth year 2002 and older age will transition by Aug. 1, 2016.
  • Small Sided Games: NorCal Premier competitions will begin transitioning to the U.S. Soccer small-sided mandates in our spring 2016 competitions, and be fully compliant with the small-sided mandates by fall 2016.
The split transition timeline for implementation of birth year registration and the international age group classifications reflects the reality of the majority of Northern California's team formation windows, as well as NorCal Premier's competition calendar.  This means that 2003 and younger divisions will begin playing in birth year divisions for the spring 2016 league.  Meanwhile 2002 and older divisions will remain on scholastic year age groups through the State Cup finals weekend in May.

Due to the early team formation timeline of younger teams (U13 and below) NorCal Premier has always adjusted the playing format for teams in the spring to reflect their fall playing formats.  For example, U11 teams in spring season have played 11v11, while U12 teams have played with a size 5 ball, etc.  For the same reasons the playing formats for the spring league 2016 will be adjusted so that teams are playing in their fall playing formats.

Details for both the spring and fall 2016 league formats can be found below in the age group matrices.  Please keep in mind the following key points as you prepare your club for this transition: 
  • Field Sizes/ Goal Sizes: NorCal Premier has received indication from U.S. Soccer that there will be a common sense and flexible approach to field and goal sizes.  In the coming weeks U.S. Soccer will release ranges for all field sizes, and NorCal Premier will update our field ranges in accordance with the U.S. Soccer recommendations.   U.S. Soccer and NorCal will continue to allow the use of 7x21 goals in both 7v7 and 9v9 game formats.
  • Referees: Due to U.S. Soccer's decision to eliminate the two referee system, all games must either have a one or three referee system.   NorCal will continue with our current requirement of 1 referee for small-sided games.
Finally, at each of the RAC meetings in which we discussed the coming changes, we spoke about a change to our global calendar of competitions.  While there was overwhelming support for making a change to our calendar, we felt strongly that this was not the time to make further changes.  The issue of changing our calendar will be examined in more detail by our Rules and Competitions Committee, which will make a recommendation to the board in the coming months. 
  
NorCal Premier Spring 2016 Age Group Matrix

Birth Year

Age Group

# of Players

Max. Roster Size

Game Length

Field Size 

Goal Size

Ball Size

# of Referees

Born in 2008

U8

7v7

14

2 x 25 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2007

U9

7v7

14

2 x 25 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2006

U10

9v9

16

2 x 30 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2005

U11

9v9

16

2 x 30 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2004

U12

11v11

18

2 x 35 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 2003

U13

11v11

18

2 x 35 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

2001/2002 

U14

11v11

18

2 x 35 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

2000/2001 

U15

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1999/2000 

U16

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1998/1999 

U17

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1996/1997/1998

U19

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1 - The use of cones to form fields for all small sided formats will be allowed 
2 - NorCal will continue to allow the use of 7x21 goals in both 7v7 and 9v9 game formats 
3 - U14 and older ages will remain on scholastic year registration in the spring of 2016 

NorCal Premier Fall 2016 Age Group Matrix

Birth Year    

Age Group

# of Players

Max. Roster Size

Game Length

Field Size 

Goal Size 

Ball Size

# of Referees

Born in 2009

U8

4v4

12 

3 x 15 min

TBA

4 x 6

3

0

Born in 2008

U9

7v7

14

2 x 25 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2007

U10

7v7

14

2 x 25 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2006

U11

9v9

16

2 x 30 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2005

U12

9v9

16

2 x 30 min

TBA

6.5 x 18.5

4

1

Born in 2004

U13

11v11

18

2 x 35 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 2003

U14

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 2002

U15

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 2001

U16

11v11

18

2 x 40 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 2000

U17

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Born in 98 or 99

U19

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

Open

Adult

11v11

18

2 x 45 min

TBA

8 x 24

5

3

1 - The use of cones to form fields for all small sided formats will be allowed 
2 - NorCal will continue to allow the use of 7x21 goals in both 7v7 and 9v9 game formats 
3 - 4v4 game format will require a dual field format, where teams play two games at once