Dear Wolves-Hawks families:
As most of you are probably aware, US Soccer has mandated a series of rules changes that each of our various leagues will be implementing at the start of the 2016-17 season. Among these rule adoptions will be one that calls for players to be organized by birth year, rather than according to the traditional August 1 date. While we have just begun this season, and while these changes are 10 months away from being realized, the club would like to briefly address some of these issues now. We know that change can be unsettling, and we suspect that some may feel a sense of anxiety, so we wanted to take a moment to share the Wolves-Hawks perspective.
First, it is important for everyone to know that this change is being implemented by US Soccer, the highest governing body of our sport in this country, made up by our foremost soccer experts. They have made this move after much deliberation and after extensive research in the world's most successful soccer nations. Every state is obligated to follow the new rule, and the state of Michigan will do so beginning with next June's tryout. There is no avoiding it, and individual clubs will have no say in the matter. Our club will embrace the change, and we will work together to make this a positive transition for our players and our teams.
Second, we hope that we provide you with a sense of comfort by saying that we are one of only two Michigan clubs that already has experience with this transition. As a member of the US Soccer Development Academy, our Wolves Academy has been selecting teams by birth year for eight years. As a result, each year, we consider players from across multiple State Cup age groups in selecting Academy rosters. We have come to realize that each player's developmental pathway is slightly different, and we have had regular practice in guiding players toward their "next steps" each year. As a club, we feel well equipped to lead our players and their families through this adjustment period.
Finally, we will begin working on this transition well in advance of the June tryout. We will continue to communicate with all of you throughout the process, and we will share new details of our club strategy as those are put into place. Further, we will organize training opportunities for the players in our club according to their birth year, and our coaching staff will spend much time discussing the best placement for our individual players.
In summary, we encourage all of you to focus on the current season. We hope that your families will enjoy the experience and that the players will continue working to improve. As a club, we are confident in our ability to navigate through another new time in club soccer, and we will endeavor to make decisions that will benefit our players. We are grateful for your support.
Michigan Wolves-Hawks Soccer Club