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Moon Area Soccer Association

New to Community Soccer?

It usually takes many years for new MASA parents to the learn the finer details of all of the programs and activities that MASA has to offer. This article is intended to get parents up-to-speed quickly. Below is a summary of where MASA fits into US Soccer, the MASA program and opportunities within and outside of MASA. It will take 5 -10 minutes to read all of the information below, but please find the time. If however you just wish to register your child, then click on the Register button located at the top of this website (or click Login if you have an account).     

1) PAWest Overview

Pennsylvania West State Soccer Association (PA West Soccer) is the National State Association of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the United State Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer), and the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA). PA West State Soccer Association has a current membership of over 130 youth clubs and eight adult leagues with 45,000 youth players, 2,500 amateur adult players, 7,000 active coaches, 2,100 referees and thousands of volunteers involved across the western half of the state of Pennsylvania. Moon Area Soccer Association (MASA) is a member of PAWest.

2) Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Overview
At the youth level, PAWest has divided soccer into two groups; 1) Community Soccer (MASA) 2) Club Soccer.

1) Community Soccer (i.e MASA) is non-profit, low cost ~$85 per season,  geographically limited soccer program (teams based on Townships or Districts) where players are coached by volunteer parents that have been trained by either the community and/or PAWest.

2) Club Soccer, higher cost ~$2,500+ per year (including hotels, travel and tournament fees), with no geographical restrictions (players from anywhere who are willing to travel for games and practices) where players are coached by part-time professional coaches with varying levels of coaching licenses (A license being the highest) and experience. 

Both Community and Club soccer programs are scheduled to play eight (8) weeks of soccer in both the Fall and Spring seasons. Fall season generally runs from the beginning of September through to the end of October. The Spring season generally runs from the beginning of April through to the end of May. Note that tournaments may fall outside of these core soccer seasons. 

3) Moon Area Soccer Association (MASA) Community Soccer Program
The MASA community soccer program has approximately 600+ children playing soccer per year between the ages of U5 to U18. This equates to 50-70 teams in any given season, which requires a dedicated group of volunteers to make it work!

The MASA community soccer starts with In-House soccer from U5-U8 (Click here see available programs and schedules). The focus for these age groups is learning the fundamentals of soccer and having fun! Parents register their kids during the Summer for the Fall season and during the Winter for the Spring season. One (1) game per week is scheduled for Saturday mornings and one (1) hour long training session is scheduled during the week in the evenings. The assigned practice evening is dependent on assigned coach however, please contact your Age Group Coordinator if you have any questions or review the In-House FAQ webpage.

Registration is performed by logging into this website during the registration period and registering your child for the In-house Program (add child as a participant and provide basic background information, pay registration fee, upload photograph and birth certificate). Once this task has been completed, order the In-house MASA soccer shirts (both red and white) through soccer.com (more information coming very soon). MASA fanware can also be purchased through the soccer.com website. 
 
Approximately two (2) weeks before the start of the season, the Age Group Coordinators will assign players to teams through this website (Blue Sombrero system). Parents will receive an email notifying them of their child's head coach and other team members. The Age Group Coordinators will also provide a schedule of games,times and field locations. Parents can download the Team Manager app for to view team schedules, roster and perform intra-team communications (only positive communications permitted). Parents will also have access to the team webpage (under the Team Central Tab) when logged into the website. Note that parents will only be able to see their team's information. The Age Group coordinators will work with the coaches to try to balance the teams. During the normal season, it is the coaches' responsibility to try to balance the teams, even if that means swapping a player during a game with the opposition to attempt to re-balance the teams (only when games are extreme 6:0).  

At U9, players that are interested in additional skills practice will register through the website (additional $25 fee) for a second practice session per week (scheduled on Monday nights). The training sessions are managed with a combination of MASA and Riverhounds coaches. The additional practices are held in both the Fall and Spring seasons to help get players ready for the competitive U10 Travel Program. Note that the U10 and U11 players will also be in attendance for the training. Goalkeeper training is also offered as a separate training program for players looking to develop goalkeeping skills (age ranges to be confirmed).

At U10, this is where community soccer diverges into both In-house and Travel programs. The Travel soccer teams get to play competitively against other communities with Travel teams (such as Montour and West Allegheny). Players who wish to play for a Travel team must attend tryouts that are held in May (see Travel FAQ for more information). If there are sufficient players and coaches with advanced skills, then two (2) teams per age group may be formed. Players are encouraged to play both In-house and Travel (no additional fees). Travel teams play on Sunday afternoons and practice two (2) times per week.    

U11-U18, both Travel and In-house teams are supported by the MASA community. A Travel team can choose to play in Divisions 4-6 (Travel Division 4 being the toughest) or may choose to play in Club Divisions (1-3) as long as coaches are certified to play at that level and teams are capable (plus a few other restrictions on players). Generally, Club Divisions 2 & 3 are comparable to Travel Division 4.   A graphical overview of different soccer paths in youth soccer in the PAWest region is presented here. For perspective, it is MASA's understanding that an average of 2-5 players per year from Moon Area High School (boys and girls combined) achieve Division III or IIII scholarships to play soccer at a local college. Every once in a while a player may get a Division I or II scholarship.

On a separate note, U13-U18 Travel teams with lots of Middle and High School players may wish to only register early for the Spring Season in October to be eligible to play tournaments throughout the Winter season (see Travel FAQ for more information).   

Volunteer Coach/Assistant Coach/Team Manager
If you wish to be a parent volunteer coach, start the process by logging into the website and completing the volunteer forms, background checks (these can take a few weeks) and Safesport training. See the Coaches webpage for more information regarding training and additional resources.

Team Managers will need to complete the SafeSport training. Please contact your Age Group Coordinator for details or Risk Management Coordinator.  See Board of Directors webpage for contact details.

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and directly contribute to the local community.  If existing coaches/assistant coaches or team managers would like to take on additional responsibilities by joining the MASA Board, please contact a member of the Executive Board via email.  Click here for more information about Volunteer positions at MASA.

The MASA Board and Coaches meet two (2) times a season. The first meeting is usually scheduled approximately two (2) weeks before the beginning of the season (planning and information dissemination) and the second meeting one (1) week before the end of the season (season review and handing out medals).  Details about dates and locations are posted in the News section of the website prior to the meetings.    

Player Safety
As discussed above, all coaches are required to have background checks and Safesport training. In addition, MASA takes concussions very seriously and is always looking for additional ways to 1) avoid concussions, and 2) support players with concussions. 

MASA has inclement weather, goal safety and player equipment policies. Click here for more information on player safety.  

MASA Soccer Fields
MASA uses a combination of their own fields, school fields, park fields and Montour Junction during the soccer season.  MASA owns two (2) soccer fields:  Minton (U5) and Pronto (U10,U11,U12). MASA pays external contractors to maintain these fields. At the beginning of the season MASA will have a field day to make improvements.  Moon Parks owns and maintains three (3) soccer fields for MASA. These include: Discovery (U8, U10,U11 & U12); Challenger U11 & U12; and, Endeavor U10.    Moon Schools provide access to their fields for MASA. These include: Allard U6, Lower Hyde (Spring U8), Upper Hyde U10, McCormick (u10 Fall). Moon High school (U13+ Spring). Montour Junction is owned by a non-profit organization - Friends Of Pittsburgh.   

MASA has to pay for a contractor to paint lines at these fields (excluding Montour Junction) and maintain equipment such as goals, nets, flags, sand bags.

MASA has a Capital Improvement Program to improve facilities and equipment owned by MASA. Click here for information on completed, in progress or future projects. The capital improvement projects are primarily paid for by generous donations and corporate sponsorship. Parents can donate to MASA through the website during registration or contact the Executive Board directly. In addition, MASA has a sponsorship program for local businesses, where they can have a banner on the website or at our fields. Click here for more information on corporate sponsorship and donations. 

4) Winter Leagues and Training Programs
MASA does not officially endorse indoor teams at Sportrak (located in Sewickly). However, historically a number of MASA In-house and Travel coaches and Team Managers have put together teams to play at Sportrak and other winter soccer programs (U6, U8, U10, U12, U14). Sportrak usually has two eight (8) week indoor Winter sessions. Winter I session starts around mid-October and finishes the end of December. Winter the II session starts at the beginning of January and finishes in April. Teams for Winter I need to be submitted to Sportrak usually by October 1 and Winter II by December 15.  Sportrak will expect to be the paid in full and receive all signed waiver forms before the first game. As such, parents usually form teams in mid-September for Winter Session I and early December for Winter Session II. So if you are interested in participating, it means getting organised for Winter I at the beginning of September when MASA's Fall season has just started!  At the end of MASA's Fall season there is usually a one (1) to two (2) week overlap with Winter I indoor session which can make things a little hectic. The same with the end of Winter II session overlapping with the beginning of MASA's Spring season.

Other travel teams/In-house/combination teams from neighboring areas such as Montour, Sewickley and West Allegheny as well as club teams (FC Pittsburgh) often enter the Sportrak Winter leagues. Some teams may only play one session but most play both Winter sessions. Sportrak will try to group teams by capability but they are not always successful. Coaches will need to work with the Sportrak administration or other team coaches to rearrange games if necessary (swaps).

MASA has noticed that players who play and practice soccer during the Winter months usually make significant developmental improvements by the Spring season. We suggest contacting your coach and/or Age Group Coordinator to obtain a list of parent coaches who are putting together teams in your age group for the Winter Sportrak sessions.

In addition, many Travel coaches have historically used Sharon Presby Church one day a week during the winter for indoor futsal training. This facility is covered under MASA insurance but travel teams must book directly through Sharon Presby. All other teams that are interested in using Sharon, must be approved by MASA Executive Board prior to registering with Sharon Presby.

A few parents take their kids to The Landing during the week for friendly pickup soccer game. MASA does not officially support indoor teams at The Landing. The Landing is located on Hookstown Grade Road and is open to the public most days of the week. Players from Moon and surrounding communities informally play pick-up soccer at this facility.  

For more information https://impactthelanding.com/ 

Finally, some players make the trip to Southpointe and enroll in the Beadling Winter training programs. You do not have to be a Beadling Club player to enroll in their training sessions. 

Click Here for more information about venues that support soccer.

5) Summer Camps
MASA does not officially endorse Summer camps however there are a number of local summer camps in the area. Take a look at the Other Soccer Opportunities webpage for a list of programs.

6) Soccer Tournaments
MASA's Inhouse tournament program currently covers the U8 age group. The tournament is arranged by the U8 Age Group Coordinators in collaboration with the head coaches. The U8 Spring tournament focuses on preparing kids for the more competitive environment at U10. Angelias Pizza in Moon was the prime sponsor of the 2019 U8 Spring tournament, donating 30 pizzas.

MASA's travel teams (U10+) are expected to play at least one (1) PAWest sanctioned tournament per year.  This usually includes the Plum tournament held at the end of August or the Erie tournament held in June. Click here for more information on local tournaments.

7) Referees 
U5-U8 In-house games are refereed by the coaches. This permits coaches to provide real-time feedback when appropriate and adjust the games when necessary.

U10-U18 In-house referees are volunteers that have been trained by MASA's referee coordinator. The referees are usually parent volunteers or other young players who play for MASA or have historically played for MASA. Two (2) referees are assigned to each game, one referee manages one side of the field, the other referee manages the other side of the field. Referees are paid a nominal fee for each game. MASA believes that this is a great way for getting young players interested in refereeing. 

U10-U18 Travel referees have to be Grade 8 certified to referee Travel games. To acquire this certification, referees must complete online training courses and attend an Sn-person training session sanctioned by PAWest. Referees need to be a minimum of 14 years of age and be interested in continuously developing their refereeing skills. As such, Travel referees are paid at a higher rate than In-house referees. MASA provides approximately 18 referees to cover home Travel games per weekend.

MASA's Referee Coordinator provides regular training and feedback to referees to help them improve their skills.

Finally, we ask that MASA parents support all referees. No referees = No soccer!

  








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Moon Area Soccer Association

PO Box 1002 
Moon Township, Pennsylvania 15108

Email Us: [email protected]
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