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Hasbrouck Heights Aviators

Hasbrouck Heights Aviators

Travel Soccer Guide

A Parents Guide to Travel Soccer

Updated for 2022/2023 Registration Season


HHSA develop this guide to assist you in answering some of the more common questions concerning travel soccer. Travel soccer team play requires that your son or daughter be capable of playing at a high level relative to the rest of their age group.

It also involves a substantial time, energy, and money commitment from the player and their families. Therefore, while we attempt to respond to many situations, some extraordinary circumstances, based on your family's demands, should be included in this guide.

What is Travel Soccer?

Organized by age and gender travel soccer program provides a highly competitive training and playing environment for those players (and their families) with the required athletic ability, soccer skills, and commitment and can meet the other demands.

When is the Travel Soccer Season?

The Travel Soccer Season begins August 1st and concludes July 31st of the following calendar year. There is a 12-week Fall Season and a 12-week Spring Season. A player gets assigned to a roster, and their pass card is valid with a specific Hasbrouck Heights Soccer Association team.

What are the differences between travel soccer and recreation soccer league?

HHSA travel teams are competitive. Therefore, making and staying on the roster must be earned based on the team member's play. In recreational soccer, all players are placed on a team roster regardless of playing ability. Recreation soccer also has unique requirements to encourage participation by all players. Travel soccer playing time is based on the team's needs and is at the coach's discretion.

How does HHSA's travel soccer program work?

HHSA sponsors travel teams in each age and gender bracket. The first team formed in each age and gender bracket is frequently the more highly advanced team that may eventually compete for state and regional championships and other honors. Each HHSA soccer travel team is independent and has different goals and characteristics based on their team players and coaches.

What is the Travel Soccer mission?

All travel teams have the same fundamental mission for the players - to create a meaningful, positive experience, promote player development, and improve technique and tactical understanding of the game through advanced and consistent training in a highly competitive environment.

How does competition affect the travel soccer program?

Soccer travel teams currently play in the Northern Counties Soccer League (NCSA) for boys/girls ages U-9 through U-19. Based on team records each season, teams are placed in a higher or lower division (Flight) based on their win/loss record. Generally, the top two teams moved up a division, and the bottom two moved down a division, eventually balancing the competition for the level of play.

How does my child get on a travel team?

Invited players must try out to join a travel team. HHSA requires all travel teams to have a tryout each year, generally in mid-April. Some groups, however, may have tryouts at other times during the year. Teams are formed by late May/Early June for the upcoming Registration Season beginning August 1st

When and where are the tryouts?

HHSA holds open tryouts in the mid-Spring season at one of the listed soccer fields. Tryouts (for prospective new players) typically consist of 1-2 or more practice sessions to evaluate your child's athletic ability, skills, and interest. Coaches will notify parents whether they have made the team after tryouts.

Some teams invite players to guest play in a tournament as part of the evaluation process. Occasionally, teams may pick up a player or two between the fall and spring seasons. However, NCSA limits the number of guest playing between seasons. However, once the season starts, coaches cannot add players to the roster.

What is the level of training?

All U9-U14 HHSA travel soccer teams have a professional coach and a parent volunteer as team manager. If a parent volunteer helps to coach, they generally have coaching experience, have taken coaching courses, played soccer, or been licensed to coach.

Trainers, like coaches, have areas of strength and experience. Some are better with younger teams; some trainers have more experience and a better record with a particular gender; and some trainers are strong teachers of specific skill sets, such as fast footwork. Our club employs professional Coaches impacting the overall cost of being part of our travel soccer club.

Understand the Coach's role and responsibilities: The trainer is the head coach, while the parent coach is the assistant. The head coach decides what skills to work on during training; how to run the training session; how to play the games; and, most importantly, the team's priorities, tone, and tenor. The parent coach helps with game day warm-ups, implements the coaching plan (line ups/check-in), manages the bench, and watches the clock.

When do travel soccer teams play their games?

Most HHSA travel soccer games are on Sundays, but some are Saturday games (Boys in the Fall). It is uncommon to play games on a Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend. Occasionally, there may be a game on a weeknight based on weather cancellations at the end of the season. The fall season runs from September to the beginning of November. The spring season runs from the end of March until the first part of June.

Some teams also participate in tournaments. Tournaments consist of 3-5 games during a weekend. Generally, matches are played several weeks before the season begins (i.e., in August and March), after the season (November and June), and during breaks in the season, such as the Columbus Day and Memorial Day weekends.

How many players are on a team?

Experienced travel coaches try to keep their rosters small, especially when coaching younger-aged teams. The players are training hard and want to play. Their parents certainly want them to play. If a team is carrying too many players, there is simply no way that the team will be able to provide adequate playing time for every player. The league also has a maximum number of players allowed on a roster.

  • U9-U10 = Ideally 10 players (12 max)
  • U11-U12 = Ideally 12 players (14 max)
  • U13-U15 = Ideally 15-16 players (18 max)
  • U16+ = Max 18 allowed per game

What are the volunteer positions needed to support a team?

A team manager supports the team by organizing and scheduling. In addition, the team manager typically handles many of the team's administrative details, such as league matters, applying to tournaments, communication with parents, and talking to other team coaches. The team manager position is the most time-consuming job on the team besides the coach. It takes a great deal of time and energy to operate a travel team and requires significant help at times from all player families.

What is the player's time commitment?

HHSA travel teams operate a 9-11 month per year program, including outdoor league play in the fall and spring, indoor soccer in the winter, and camp and tournament play at various times throughout the summer.

Most HHSA travel teams train once weekly for 1 to 11/2 hours per session. Our more competitive teams train 2x per week. Including tournaments, most HHSA travel teams play approximately 10-12 games each spring and fall season (respectively) and possibly 8-10 games if participating in indoor league play.

While most HHSA travel teams, particularly younger ones, encourage their players to participate in other sports, travel teams also expect that team members will prefer travel team games over conflicts with other sports.

Where do travel soccer teams travel to for league play?

Locations for league games are generally within the Hudson, Bergen, and Rockland Counties (NCSA) area.

Is there any financial assistance available?

HHSA Travel Soccer Program makes every effort to ensure that all accepted children onto a travel squad can participate without regard to financial considerations. Please reach out to the Club Administrator to discuss any financial concerns, and we will help as much as possible.

What are the advantages of playing for an HHSA travel team rather than for another club?

The objectives of HHSA Travel Soccer are to:

  • We are a community of volunteer parents that understand your needs. And want every child to have equal opportunity and a great experience playing soccer for Hasbrouck Heights.
  • Maintain a positive but challenging environment that allows players to develop physical, technical, and tactical soccer potential;
  • Competitive equal-level play to all Hasbrouck Heights players
  • Provide the opportunity for the most talented and dedicated players and allow teams to play at the highest level of competition possible;
  • Promote fairness, equity, and good sportsmanship in pursuing the above objectives.
  • Supervise and support each team to attain the above objectives.

What to Expect From Travel Coaches?

HHSA soccer travel team coaches must meet high standards for technical competence; knowledge of soccer rules and tactics; ability to work effectively and positively with travel team players; and the ability to interact effectively and positively with travel team parents, other coaches, and club league administrators.

Travel coaches are responsible for the selection of travel team members; for team training; for all on-field decisions; and for the overall conduct of the team on and off the soccer field. In addition, the travel coach is the official representative of HHSA Soccer in dealing with players, parents, league officials, and the public.

Most volunteer coaches, but not all, may have a son or daughter playing on the team. The volunteer coach has given significant time and effort to ensure the team receives all the necessary attention it requires and deserves. Players and parents should respect coaches. In the case of paid coaches, some off-the-field responsibilities are vested in the team manager, as discussed above.

Coaching a travel soccer team is a beautiful and gratifying experience but also a challenging and, at times, terribly frustrating experience. HHSA Soccer is very proud of its lineup of our coaches and volunteer Parent Coaches; we appreciate them very much.

Can my child be cut from the team?

If a child makes the team after the spring tryout, he/she will generally stay on throughout the Fall and following Spring seasons. Players may be added in the Spring season if there is room on the rosters, subject to an evaluation. If a large number of players for an age group are looking to join in the spring, it is possible to add another team for that age bracket. Depending on the number of players signing up, existing players may be asked to try out every spring for the following year.

What are the costs involved?

The registration fee is currently $300 per season. In addition to the registration fee, players (after the U9 level) will be expected to purchase their own customized uniform, which ranges from $95 to $195, depending on the package ordered. Those are the only mandatory costs. Optional costs can include tournaments that the team wishes to join, pictures at Picture Day (in the Fall), and sometimes additional optional training offered by the team's trainer. Private or small group training is also usually an option.


Hasbrouck Heights Soccer Association
P.O. Box 472 
Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey 07604

Phone: 551-427-2385
Email: [email protected]

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