The goal of MVSC’s Recreational program is to provide children with a positive experience playing soccer, and to instill values of sportsmanship, responsibility, teamwork, and respect while learning and honoring the game. The following policies are organized alphabetically:
- Coed/Boys/Girls Play
- Practice Time & Field Selection Process
- Field Rain Outs
- Friendship Requests
- Game Time Playing Requirement
- Jamboree Tournament
- Pro Trainers
- Player Transfers
- Playing Up or Down
- Refund Policy
- Ropers Award
- Rules of Play
- Team Formation
Coed / Boys / Girls
All age groups are comprised of separate boys and girls divisions. Co-ed play is not uncommon in Kindergarten - 2nd Grade, but at older age groups coed play is increasingly unusual. Girls are welcome to play in co-ed divisions in any grade, but they should make this decision at registration, as transfers to another division are discouraged after the team formation process.
In order to promote consistency of communication, parents are urged to respect the following chain of communication:
- Players/parents to Coach
- Coach to Age-Group Coordinator
- AGC to Director of Rec
- DOR to MVSC Board
Generally, a person pursuing problem resolution outside of this chain of communication will be asked to follow this procedure in order to insure consistent process and resolution.
The bulk of fields used by MVSC are rented through the MV Parks & Rec Department. Other fields are rented through the local school districts and Parks & Rec departments in other communities (Corte Madera, Tiburon, and others as needed). Field costs comprise almost 25% of the MVSC annual operating budget. It is imperative that we respect these fields and the rules and regulations governing each of them.
Practice Time and Field Selection Process
Fields and times are assigned based on requests from team coaches. The City of Mill Valley prohibits teams from practicing on an MVSC-contracted field on a date or time other than is assigned, and from practicing on a field that is not contracted by MVSC.
Field Rain Outs
Most MVSC fields are maintained and controlled by Mill Valley Parks & Recreation Department. MVP&R makes decisions about field closures at 2:00pm on any given day, as field conditions change. The MVP&R Field Hotline is: 415.383.7818.
The MVSC Field Status Alert Window (on the MVSC home page @ www.mvsc.org) is updated as MVP&R announces the status of fields. Parents may register for our Rain-Out Notification Service by signing up for text message alerts in the Field Status Alert window.
We understand that many kids in our Recreational program want to play with their friends, and AGCs strive to make that happen as often as possible. Parents are encouraged to list friendship requests when registering their children. While AGCs do their best to accommodate requests, we cannot guarantee that all will be honored. We try to provide a positive experience for our players through balanced teams, healthy competition, well-informed coaches, and new and old friendships. With that in mind, teams will likely change from season to season, which is why requests for specific coaches will NOT be considered.
Game Time Playing Requirement
MVSC mandates that each player must play at least 50% of each game. MVSC recommends that each Coach should attempt to provide each player with an approximately equal amount of game time (assuming there are no issues with attendance, attitude or effort). It is not acceptable to play one player the whole of one game and not play them the next, or to play one player ¼ of a game with the promise or intention to play them ¾ of some game in the future.
Jamboree Tournament (4th-7/8th grades)
The season for 4th through 7/8th grade teams ends with a Jamboree tournament over two weekends. Every team goes into the tournament with a chance of winning. Flights are organized so that teams are evenly matched, with a goal of providing a fun tournament atmosphere with competitive pools of play.
Each team in the Jamboree must consist of the same players who were on the team roster during the regular season. No new players may be added and teams may not be consolidated. Violation of this rule will result in a default of the game by the violating team, and may result in the expulsion of the coach from the club.
MVSC’s professional trainers work with recreational teams during some team practices and individual skills clinics. If a team’s parents decide to hire a paid trainer to work with the team beyond what the Club provides, the expense shall be borne by the team and not MVSC. Other team parents are not obligated to contribute to any expense for a paid trainer that is incurred by another team parent. It is the responsibility of the coach to ensure that the trainer’s actions are consistent with the club’s philosophy of recreational soccer. Paid trainers may not “coach” a team during season games or the Jamboree.
In general, player transfers between teams are at the discretion of the AGC, DOR or possibly the Board of Directors. Forming teams is time-consuming for our volunteers; a great deal of thought and consideration goes into the process. We ask parents to respect that process. It is our long-standing policy to not offer refunds if a child chooses not to play because s/he is not on the same team as a friend.
Playing Up or Down
Requests to play up beyond a player’s grade or below his/her grade level must be based on a good reason and approved in writing by the AGC, DOR and/or Director of Coaching and Player Development. All requests must be made at registration, and will not be considered after team formation.
“On-Time” Registration is open from April 1 - June 1. We form teams by school grades, rather than by age, because it allows us to be more flexible when it comes to friend requests and school carpooling.
Late Registrations are accepted, and MVSC will attempt to place all players on a team, although we cannot make guarantees. Priority in late registration is given in the following order:
- to players who moved to Mill Valley after the close of the on-time registration period,
- to established Mill Valley residents, and
- on a first come-first serve basis to all non-residents.
- Players must be five years old by September 2nd of the year they are registering to play.
- Late fees will not be applied to Kindergarten families.
- Note that parents do not coach the weekday Kindergarten practices, but they do coach weekend games.
- Refund requested before July 31: Full Refund, less a $30 administrative fee
- Refund requested August 1 - August 15: 50% of registration fees, no refund on late fees
- Refund request after August 15: no refunds will be given.
- No refunds will be offered at any time if a child is removed due to concerns about team placement.
The Ropers Award
The Award commemorates Clarc Ropers, an MVSC Rec player and all-around great kid who was killed in an automobile accident at the intersection of Almonte and Miller. Clarc never scored a goal but he LOVED everything about playing the game. This award is intended to recognize the true spirit of sportsmanship and a love of soccer. Players who come to every practice, work hard, support their teammates and do what their coaches ask with a positive attitude---even though s/he doesn’t want to be the goalie--are good candidates for the Ropers award. This is a time to send a special message to the kids (and to their parents) that sportsmanship, teamwork and good spirit are recognized and appreciated. MVSC has handed out The Ropers Award to one player on every team since 1980.
Rules of Play
MVSC’s Laws of Soccer are closely based on the FIFA Laws of the Game, and are modified to suit the developmental level at each age. A complete set of Modified Laws is available on our website.
Scholarships are authorized the Scholarship Committee. Requests should be submitted as part of the online registration process, along with proof of annual income (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ). Scholarship awards will be processed on a timely basis, with parents notified of their expected level of contribution. Player registrations are not active or eligible for team placement until family contribution is received.
The volunteer Age Group Coordinators (“AGCs”) oversee team formation in all grades. Our goal is to maximize the opportunity for as many players as possible to be challenged appropriately, to experience success, to develop their skills and to have fun at games and at practice. Final rosters and teams will be announced via email by mid-June. Only under extreme circumstances are changes made after that point. Vacancies are filled as players register over the summer. We appreciate parents’ patience and understanding throughout the process. Friendship requests are also a significant component of the draft, although we make no guarantees to accommodate every request
- Kindergarten & 1st Grade (U6-U7)
Teams are formed by the AGC with a strong emphasis on school-based teams and friendship requests.
- 2nd - 3rd Grade (U8 – U9)
AGCs assemble teams with a goal of balancing skill levels and friend/school requests.
- 4th - High School (U10 – U19)
Upper grade teams are formed at a draft, which is directed by the volunteer AGC using draft procedures agreed upon by the Recreational Committee. Coaches meet in early June to select teams based on feedback received from the previous season’s coaches. The AGC will conduct a final review of all the teams at the conclusion of the draft and reserves the right to alter team(s) if there is a notable imbalance of ability and/or friend requests.
The uniform for all MVSC Rec players includes official club jerseys, shorts and socks, which are available at Sports Basement at the beginning of the season. Please re-use uniforms when possible. In addition, players must wear soccer cleats and shin guards at all times during games or practice. Baseball cleats with a toe cleat are prohibited. Jewelry may NOT be worn (i.e., earrings, watches, loose jewelry, rings, bracelets etc), which might jeopardize the health or safety of any player on the field. HOME team wears BLUE , and AWAY team wears RED or WHITE .