What is the difference between Munster Parks soccer and Munster Soccer Club?
- Munster Parks soccer is played locally and teams are supposed to be balanced. It is purely recreational and no score is kept. Munster Soccer Club is part of Northwest Indiana Soccer League (NWISL), and subject to their rules. NWISL also sets the schedule. Teams come from all over Northwest Indiana and there is some travel involved (up to an hour away.)
Scores and standings are kept, and trophies are warded to the first, second, and third place team in each division. Teams are placed in competitive divisions by the league. While Munster Parks is categorized as recreational soccer, MSC is categorized as rec-plus, which means we are a
step above recreational soccer, but not full fledged travel soccer, like premiere teams. We do not have try-outs, and do not turn players away due to lack of ability. The only reason we turn players away is if we do not have the necessary numbers to form a team or we do not have a coach for a team.
What are these divisions?
- The divisions are based on the strength of the teams, with gold being the strongest. Play is the most competitive in the gold division, and gets less competitive with each lower division. This is so all players, no matter what their ability, can play in competitive games.
How are teams placed in divisions?
- That is done by the league, based on past records for established players, and also club recommendations.
How are players placed on teams?
- The MSC board places players on teams prior to each season. We try to form teams of players with similar abilities. Age, seniority within the club, and the number of players at each age level are also important factors. Some seasons we use player evaluations by independent evaluators (these are not try-outs because they are done for placement, not to eliminate players), and we always use coach evaluations to try to make the fairest placements possible.
What are the age divisions?
- We currently have Under 8, Under 10, Under 12, and Under 14. This means the player is under the given age before July 1 of that year. Each age bracket is obviously two years, so there are older teams, which will move up to the next age bracket the following year, and younger teams which will remain in the age bracket another year. We try to put teams together within the one year span whenever possible because it results in the least disruption every fall when players change age brackets.
Are teams co-ed?
- No. The only exception to this has been with the U-8 teams, but the league is working toward making these teams single sex as well.
What are the game duration?
- For U8 and U10 – two 25 minute halves.
U12 – two 30 minutes halves
U14 – two 35 minutes halves.
What Ball Size do the teams use?
- U8 – Ball #3
U10 & U12 – Ball #4
U14 – Ball #5
What are the referees paid?
- U8 – $20
U10 – $23
U12 – $25
U14 – $30/$20/$20
Who coaches for MSC?
- Our coaches are all volunteers. Some have soccer experience, but most are learning as they go. We are very appreciative of the time they put in. Quite frankly, some of our coaches have agreed to coach only because we begged them to and there would be a group of children who would not get to play soccer if they did not take the team. We help them as much as we can, but it is a big responsibility, and we are lucky to have them. More and more people are unwilling to take on this responsibility. We have many excellent coaches in MSC, but if you are expecting professional coaching you should look into a premiere club.
What if I have a concern about my child’s coach?
- Of course you should contact a MSC board member. We want to know about playing time issues, inappropriate language, unsportsmanlike behavior, etc. If, however, you are wanting to complain about your coaches effectiveness as a coach please remember that our coaches are volunteers and we take them as they are, experienced or not. If you are not willing to take on this responsibility yourself, or are not offering to help
them, please reconsider your complaint.
Can I choose the team my child will play on?
Can my child play outside of their age group?
- No. This is a NWISL rule, not a MSC rule. We are bound to follow the rules of NWISL.
If we have a group of kids who want to play together can we put together our own team?
What if I only want my child to play for a certain coach or on a certain team?
- You probably would be happier not signing up with MSC. You can make your preference known to the board, but we cannot promise that we will be able to honor it. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it does not. The factors mentioned before (age, ability, numbers, and seniority) take precedence over requests. This is done to be as fair as possible to all of the players in MSC. You must remember that while you are concerned about your one child, or your child’s one team, we must be equally concerned about over two hundred kids and around 20 teams.
Can we sign up and pull our child out if we are not happy with the team our child is on?
- Of course you can quit, but you need to understand what that means. When we put together teams and submit them to the league we have very little ability to make any further changes. If you quit after that time you could be leaving a team short of players, and therefore penalizing all of the other players on that team. We would rather you view signing up to play as a commitment to play for the club for that season. If your child runs circles around everyone else on their team they will be the star that season and will probably be moved up the next season. If there is a problem with a coach or another player let someone on the MSC board know and we will address it. Also, once we have submitted our teams to the league you will not receive a refund because we have already payed for them to play.
Do teams stay the same from season to season?
- Sometimes, but that is never guaranteed. Most often changes are made due to changes in the number of players that sign up from one season to the next. Sometimes it is necessary to move players from one team to another. For example, if a player who had been on a gold team did not sign up for another season it might be necessary to move a player up from the next team, usually silver. That, of course, might necessitate a player
then moving onto that team from another team, etc. Also, each season new players sign up who also must be placed on teams. Some seasons require little or no changes, while others need more.
Can I register late?
- We will accept registrations after the cut off date, but there is no guarantee that your child will get placed on a team. That is totally dependent on our numbers and whether there are any openings available. Sometimes we need more players to fill a team, and sometimes our numbers are so bad we have to tell someone who signed up on time that they cannot play. This happens when we have enough players to fill one or more team rosters with some left over that are not enough to form another team. When this happens players with the least seniority in the club do not get to play. We go to great lengths to allow as many players as possible the chance to play, but sometimes the numbers are such that it cannot be worked out.
Can non-residents play for Munster Soccer Club?
- The vast majority of players in MSC are Munster residents. There are occasionally players that do not live in Munster, but non-residents always have the least seniority within the club. In other words, even if a non-resident gets to play a season for MSC there is no guarantee that they will get to play the next season. This depends on the numbers. If we have more kids sign up than slots available the non-resident will not be able to
- The following equipment is needed to play in our Travel program:
- Uniform consisting of a jersey, shorts, and socks.
- Shin guards are mandatory and must be worn at every game and practice. They can be purchased from a retail or sports store.
- Soccer shoes should be worn and can be purchased at retail or sports stores. Soccer shoes have rubber cleats. Soccer shoes differ from other cleated shoes in that they do not have a front toe cleat. Cleats under the front edge of the shoe (ex. baseball cleats) are illegal for reasons of safety.
- Water bottle should be brought to practices and games.
- Every player must bring a soccer ball to practice and to the games. The recommended sizes are as follows:
- U8 -size 3
- U10 & U12 – size 4
- U14 – size 5
When are games played?
- The fall season starts around the same time as school, and the spring season begins around mid-April. Games are played on pretty much every Sunday during the season, and some Saturdays. There tend to be more Saturday games in the spring. This is determined by NWISL which we are a part of, and we have no control over it.
Where are games played?
- Half of the games are played in Munster at one of the local parks. The other half of the games are away games, played in one of the other towns in NWISL. Some are nearby, such as Highland, Griffith, Schererville, and Dyer, and some are further away, such as LaPorte, Michigan City, Valparaiso, Lowell, and Hebron. Since we play eight or ten games a season this means you travel for four or five games. Which teams you play
varies from season to season.
When do teams practice?
- Teams typically practice two nights a week, one to one and a half hours. The coach sets the days and times. Practices start a couple of weeks prior to the first game.
Are there tournaments?
- At the end of the spring season there is a tournament which lasts for two weekends, usually until the second weekend in June. It is single elimination, which means teams play until they lose. There is no tournament in the fall.
Does MSC offer training?
- Traditionally we offer a trainer to our U-14 teams for one practice a week. They may choose to use a trainer both practices, and younger teams may also use trainers if they wish, but the club does not pay for this. If they choose to do so they cover the cost themselves, usually by asking each player to contribute. One season we offered training to every age group one time a week because we had the funds to do so. In general we only
pay for training once a week for all U-14 teams.