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Moon Area Soccer Association

Travel Soccer

Travel Soccer FAQ

Travel soccer is the next level of soccer in the MASA soccer program. Teams are comprised of players from a single community/school district and play teams from other communities/school districts. Players are required to try out for the team. Teams practice twice per week and play games on Sundays between 12pm and 5pm. Teams play 4 away games that are typically less than 30 minutes but can be up to 2 1/2 hours away. The registration fee is the same as the Inhouse program, but players are required to purchase a team uniform as well.


Q1: What age groups are eligible for travel soccer in the 2024-2025 season?
A: Players born before 12/31/2016.

Q2: How does travel soccer differ from in house?
A: Travel is generally more competitive and requires a higher level of skill and more practice time.
Q3: Do players need to be invited to try out?
A: No. Tryouts are open for all MASA players.
Q4: What will players do at the tryouts?
A: Players will perform drills in three skill areas: dribbling, passing, and shooting. Then they will have the opportunity to play small sided games in a variety of field positions that will be observed by our evaluators. If a player is sick or injured, they may attend the makeup night which is usually held a week after the last tryout night.  Makeup night is not for players who wish to have a second go.
Q5: How will players be evaluated at tryouts?
A: 3-5+ evaluators will rate the players in four categories: 1. Dribbling. 2. Passing. 3. Shooting. 4. Game play (worth 2X). A semi-quantitative score is assigned to each player for all four categories and any supporting comments are recorded on the tryout sheets. The tryout sheets are collected at the end of tryout by the travel coordinator, scanned and sent to MASA's Executive Board for review (not available to parents). The evaluator scores are subsequently transcribed to a spreadsheet, averaged, tallied and sorted in descending order by the Travel Coordinator. The tryout spreadsheet is then sent to the MASA Executive Board for review. 

Goalkeepers may be evaluated for 1) shot stopping technique, 2) goal/box positioning, 3) kicking and 4) Game Play 

Note: Evaluators are selected based on past playing and coaching experience. Also, the tryout process described above, is very similar to many club tryout methods. One of the main goals of the tryout is to provide an efficient, objective, systematic and fair process to all of the players that have tried out. 

Q6: How are Head Coaches assigned to a Travel Team?
A. Head Coaches are assigned to a travel team by the Travel Coordinator and MASA Executive Board. The head coach will be selected based on: 1) Availability - Two practices per week plus games over a 10 week period (Both Fall and Spring), 2) Demonstrated commitment to MASA organization and values 3) Coaching experience, methods and temperament. 

The assigned Head Coach reviews the team roster and notifies in writing to the MASA's Executive Board of any proposed changes (must include basis/rationale) prior to notifying any players. MASA's Executive Board will review any proposed changes to the roster and provide a written response to the Head Coach. The Head Coach will subsequently contact players who attended the tryout as to whether the player made the travel team.

Q7: Will parents be evaluating their own child?
A: Parents may be at tryouts to help run drills, and the best effort is made to make sure a parent doesn't evaluate their child's groups.
Q8: Will players be cut?
A: Unfortunately, that is a possibility. It is MASA's goal to include as many players in the travel program as possible. However, there are limits on roster sizes (see answer below).
Q9: If players are cut, does that mean they are done playing soccer? 
A: No. MASA frequently has in house programs available to players in the U13 and above age group. It is our goal to provide every child an opportunity to play and have fun.
Q10: Can I see my child's scores from tryouts?
A. No. These scores are kept private and only seen by MASA board members.
Q11: Will all age groups have a team?
A: Not necessarily. To field a team, there must be enough interested players and qualified coaches.
Q12: Can there be more than one team per age group?
A: Yes, as long as the following criteria are met: 1. Enough players trying out to form two teams. 2. Qualified coaches for both teams.
Q13: If there are two teams in one age group, how will those teams be separated?
A: Two teams will be created based on the player scores at tryouts. Teams will practice on the same nights (if possible) and play in different divisions. Note that travel Division 4 (See PA West Division 4) is the most competitive soccer followed by Division 5 and Division 6 (PA West Division 5 & 6). 
Q14: If my child makes the travel team, does that mean he/she will be on the team every year?
A: No. There are new tryouts every year, usually near the end of May.
Q15: If my child makes the team, what will the time commitment be?
A: It is a two-season commitment (fall and spring). Most teams practice once a week. All games are on Sunday.
Q16: When will travel play games?
A: Sundays. Make up games may be played during the week and on Saturdays, however.
Q17: How far will we have to travel for games?
A: The will vary greatly depending on division, age group, and luck of the draw. Games could be as close as Montour or South Fayette and as far as Fairmont, WV or Altoona. However, most games are in the Pittsburgh area.
Q18: Can my child try out for an older age group and "play up"?
A: No. Teams will be created strictly according to birth year. The only exception to this would be if cut players could be used to help an older group field a team. Otherwise, players will play according to birth year.
Q19: Is there an extra fee for playing travel? 
A: No. There is one fee for both in house and travel players. However, travel players do have to pay for uniforms.
Q20: Can players play both in house and travel?
A: Yes and with no extra costs. In fact, MASA encourages players to play both. You will need a token from the registrar to get the discount. U9 Travel players must play games In-House (practice optional) unless they play for a club team, then games are optional. The club exception is due to the fact that club teams play games on Saturdays.   
Q21: Can players play both travel and club/cup?
A: Yes.

Q22: Is there a U9 Travel Team?
A: There is U9 Travel Introduction for Fall 2023 /Spring 2024 (based on player and coach quality) for players who are interested in playing U10 travel soccer.  We require all U9 Travel players to also register for In-House (free) unless they are on a cup team.  The U9 Travel includes an additional training session per week, in addition to their rec practice, during the soccer season. The training is run by MASA coaches with support from soccer club staff.  The primary focus is training, station style training and a specific theme for every session. 

Q23: Is there Goalkeeper Training?

MASA Academy Goalie Training has a program. The training is currently for older players U9+ and runs at the same time/location as the field player training described above. The program is developed specifically for travel players interested in becoming a goalkeeper. Travel goal keepers should attend this training.      

Q24: What are the maximum roster sizes for travel teams?
U9 is 12 players;
U10 is 12 players;

U11/U12 is 16 players;
U13+ is 18 players.

Q25: Can Travel Teams play in the Classic Leagues (Divisions 1 - 3)?
Travel teams can play in Divisions 1-3 however players cannot play in both Divisions 1-3 (Club) and Divisions 4-6 (Travel). Travel teams do not have to win Division 4 to play in Divisions 1-3 (previously limited to classic teams). Club players cannot play for travel teams in Division 1-3. Coaches need to have advanced coaching licenses.

This option may be taken by more advanced teams that have played in Division 4 and wish to continue playing at a higher level, keeping a team together under MASA and paying a much lower overall cost.

Q26: Can Travel Teams play in leagues outside of PAWest or just Tournaments?
Registered teams have to play in a PAWest OR PAWest affiliated league such as the Greater Lakes Associations (GLA). PAWest Spring season opens at the beginning of late September/ beginning of October to enable Middle and High School players to play in Winter and Spring tournaments (using Spring Player Cards). However, the team must play in the Spring league to be eligible. MASA does not furnish player cards to individual players, but coaches may have them on hand in order to register for tournaments.  PAWest does not permit tournament teams only. PAWest can provide Travel permits to registered teams. 

Q27: Do Travel Teams have to play a minimum of one (1) tournament per year?
A. Yes. MASA expects each travel team to play one (1) tournament per year. For a list of local tournaments see link below.

Note that MASA provides a 50% subsidy for Travel teams to attend one (1) PAWest sanctioned Tournament per year. For example, a travel team may attend Plum in the Fall season or Edinboro in the Spring season.  A Travel team may attend multiple tournaments in a year however, MASA will only subsidized one (1) PAWest tournament.   

Q28: Do i have to Purchase Travel Team Uniforms from
A. Yes. MASA expects each travel team to wear the same soccer kits. MASA Travel Soccer team kits are available at Select your team and child's first name last initial and then click on the button "Get Uniform Package". Shirts and Shorts with assigned player numbers are pre-loaded into by the registrar. 

Q29: Can My Child Pick Their Own Travel Number?

The most efficient and effective method is for MASA to assign numbers.  This permits MASA to 1) upload the numbers on mass to using a csv file (saves time). 2) Removes conflicts between players wanting the same numbers. 3) With dual rostering (to maximize participation), we remove the potential conflict of having duplicate numbers (red and white teams). 4) Merging of age groups (combining groups from U11 and U12 for example to form a team).  Finally, 5) this process allows MASA to assign numbers early in the process, which allows parents to order earlier in the summer and reduces the likelihood of delays in receiving the kit.

Q30: What if I have a question that is not answered here?
A: Email Brian Tomchak with any other questions. 

Also Click Here to read PAWest Rules

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Moon Township, Pennsylvania 15108

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