For information about our Challenge Soccer program, to check Field Status for Challenge Games and Practices, to see team pages, or to Register for one of our sessions please use the link on the left menu for "Challenge Soccer".
If you have any questions about Challenge Soccer, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about our Classic Soccer program, to check Field Status for Classic Games and Practices, to see team pages, or to Register for one of our sessions please use the link on the left menu for "Classic Soccer".
If you have any questions about Classic Soccer, please email us at email@example.com.
Overview – There are three main levels of soccer in The North Carolina Youth Soccer Association and at GCAA: Recreation, Challenge, and Classic.
Rec soccer is for all age groups from 3 years old through 15 years old. There is limited travel. The primary focus is on skill development and having fun. Competition is mild and secondary. All children who register before the registration deadline are placed on teams.
Challenge soccer is for ages 8 and up. There is a bit more travel involved. This level requires a bit more commitment to the sport from the players and the parents. The focus is still primarily on skill development and having fun. But the competition level is higher than Rec. Scores and standings are typically kept at this level. Players must try out and be selected to play on a Challenge team.
Classic Soccer is for ages 10 and up. There is travel involved for games. This level requires significant commitment to the sport from the players and the parents. This is the highest level of competitive play (excluding State Select). There is serious focus on skill development and competition at this level. The players enjoy playing at the highest level and pushing themselves to be the best. Players must try out and be selected to play on a Classic team.
This is the beginning soccer program that is committed to the enjoyment, development and love of the game for those individuals that prefer limited travel and/or a less competitive level of play. Rec's main purpose is to introduce the game of soccer at a young age and to give all previous participants an opportunity to learn the sport and evolve what skills they already have and most importantly have fun playing the game. Typically scores and standings are not kept in any age group for Rec Soccer. At GCAA there is a 50% playing time guarantee for all those that sign up to play at this level. There are no try outs required for recreation soccer for GCAA. Recreation level soccer normally holds 1 practice per week and 1 game per week, which are played on Saturdays. In the younger age groups U04 through U08 (3 to 7 years old) all games are played at our home location, which is the GCAA main sports complex. Starting at U10 and up (8 to 15 years old) there is some travel involved as GCAA pairs up with other local soccer organizations that also offer recreation soccer. In most cases travel games are within a 30 minute drive from the GCAA home fields although occasionally travel may extend to a club that is 45 to 60 minutes away.
This is the next step in a player's soccer journey. It is considered competitive play and is for players who have the desire to advance their skills. Challenge soccer begins at the U09 age level and goes up to U19 (8 to 18 years old) for youth. Travel is more prevalent at this level as you will travel to surrounding organizations to play against other Challenge level teams. However, travel is usually limited to being within a smaller area or region of the state. Try outs are required for this level of play and are usually held after state cup finals have completed. Once a player is chosen for a Challenge team they can expect to have 2 practices a week that last anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours depending on the age group. All games are played on Sundays in the afternoon, but may require you to leave before noon to allow for travel time to another location. Each team plays in tournaments each season. The usual number of tournaments is between 2 and 4, but can be more than 4 based on the coach's wishes and the team's needs. In Challenge soccer there is NOT a guaranteed playing time. Players must earn their time to play on the field during games by attending all practices (unless otherwise arranged with the coach), being on time to practice, paying attention to the coach, showing the desire to be there and showing the passion to learn more about the game while still having fun.
This is the highest level of soccer. Within the Classic level there are 3 divisions, 2nd division (entry level Classic), 1st division (mid level Classic) and premier (highest level of Classic). This level is for players that wish to play at the highest level for youth soccer, are ready for extremely competitive soccer and will be dedicated to the increased time that it involves. Travel for this level is statewide for seasonal games, but still played within regions that are larger than at the Challenge level. Players should expect to practice 2-3 times per week that last anywhere from 2-3 hours and games are generally on Saturdays, but some can be played on Sundays. Tournament entries do increase to anywhere from 6-8 per year (3-4 per season) and can be out of state, which requires multiple overnight stays. Once again there is no guaranteed playing time at this level. It is even more geared toward being a responsible, respectful player who shows more desire to play and of course the talent and skills to compete.