PHILOSOSPHY OF THE MARS AREA SOCCER CLUB AND PA-WEST SOCCER
Soccer is an international sport which follows a universal code under its guiding organization, FIFA. Clubs such as Mars Area Soccer Club (MASC) that plan to carry teams in all levels of competition including qualifying leagues for regional or national championship must be licensed under the FIFA affiliate.
US Youth Soccer (USYS) is the national organization affiliated with FIFA. Under this parent organization are each state's local branch. PA West Soccer is the local branch of USYS and therefore governs the By-Laws and Constitution of MASC. All regular game seasons and tournaments in which MASC participates are sanctioned by PA-West Soccer. PA-West classifies, organizes, and oversees all leagues within its districts.
PA-West is geographically partitioned into six districts. Mars Area Soccer Club falls within District 3 - also known as PA-West's WEST DISTRICT. District 3 carries about 24 soccer clubs.
In-House Leagues are determined by the Mars Area Soccer Club.
Leagues will have a minimum of four teams and can change from season to season.
Leagues may be broken into several skill, age, and gender brackets. Teams within each bracket will be composed in an effort to achieve competitive equity across all teams as best as is possible.
All games for teams playing in U5, U6, U7, U8, and U9 brackets will be played at home. Teams playing in U10 and U11 In-House brackets will compete in a "mini-travel" format competing against both other Mars teams as well as teams from nearby clubs with about 50% of games are played at home and 50% of games are played away.
In-House teams play on Saturdays. Games are generally played in the mornings, and are permitted to play into the afternoons as needed. Scheduled league games are not played on nationally declared holidays such as Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, Easter, etc.
The District Director determines how many leagues are formed in District 3, guided by number of teams declared in each club and the team skill level.
Leagues have a minimum of four teams and can change from season to season.
Leagues can be broken into several skill brackets. From developing-beginning teams, to experienced teams, to very skilled teams traveling state wide and playing in qualifying leagues for regional/national tournaments. MASC carries teams in every level.
About 50% of games are played at home and 50% of games are played away.
Travel teams play on Sunday. Games are permitted to begin as early as 12PM. Scheduled league games are not played on nationally declared holidays such as Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, Easter, etc.
GAMES / SEASONS: The starting and ending dates of each season are set by PA-West. PA-West requres a minimum 6-week game schedule, following the US Youth code under FIFA. Eight weeks are scheduled in order to provide the required six (6) games and an additional two (2) games considered as "cushion" in the event of cancellations due to weather, etc. during the regular season. (For further information, please see PA-West Playing Rules.)
MASC MISSION: A positive experience and player development are of utmost importance at MASC. First and foremost, the game is to be enjoyed and be FUN. The negative impact of sports is taken very seriously. Courses, certification and continuous education are required to prevent it. The life tools of respect, organization, teamwork, discipline and sportsmanship far outweigh game wins and losses. As teams move into Travel leagues they will become more competitive and the wins/losses will be ranked for standings. However the positive impact still carries precedence. There is zero tolerance for abusive language and misconduct of any kind, within the Board, coaching staff or referee crew. Also, as stated in the club By-Laws, Article V, Section 2-1, the philosophy of the travel program is to emphasize competition, rather than recreational (In-House), with team standings based on game losses and wins.
SAFETY & SECURITY: MASC takes steps to ensure the safety of our members by continually updating field maintenance, equipment, appropriate training programs and having other safety gear available for use (i.e., headgear) for the players. MASC also requires of its InHouse and Travel coaches to participate in online concussion certifications, youth module courses and NSCAA licensing. Safety and security comes with education.
MASC and PA-West also ensure that our players are in good hands. Anyone having player interaction at MASC will have passed the Act 33/34 Security Clearance of PA-West, including board members, coaches and referees. Security checks are renewed every 24 months.