Birth Year Matrix – hot off the press, after some confusion these last few months, here’s the final version from US Soccer


Author: James

Lifelong player and student of the beautiful game in Germany, England, and USA. Volunteer futsal coach and USSF referee.

6 thoughts on “Birth Year Matrix – hot off the press, after some confusion these last few months, here’s the final version from US Soccer”

  1. yes, NorCal is doing it’s own thing here from what I can tell…u12 playing 11v11 and size #5…
    Note that Official USSF age group info (see shows: u12 is size 4, u13 is size 5.

    NorCal’s logic is they want the spring season to match what the format the team will play in fall…i.e., spring is prep for fall.
    But since the age group is determined by spring age, this means teams play 11v11 a year earlier than maybe ussf had wanted.
    I think this kind of defeats part of the motivation for all these age group and game rule changes…that is to get kids playing small sided longer.

    Fortunately there’s futsal :).


  2. One piece of info missed out is ball size. NorCal had a chart in December that said U12 (04 Spring) would be size #4 and move to #5 in the Fall. Now it says #5 starting now, Spring 2016.

    I am of course one of those parents that bought my 04 kid a “good” #4 ball for xmas – and now its useless. Thanks NorCal!!


  3. I guess one other thing that deserves a mention is that u13 will have it’s own academy age group starting in Fall 2016, this wasn’t highly publicized when the u12 academy was announced.
    It makes sense as there’s a big gap in u13 to u14 players due to growth spurts.


  4. It’s more complicated than that for the next year and a half.
    in 2016-2017, the matrix is still optional for all the leagues, but I think most leagues will be on it by then…except…drum roll…USSDA!
    USSDA not change to this new matrix until 2017-2018.

    So if you’re a 2004 birth year, u12 academy will start for you in Fall 2016, and in fall 2017 the 2004 birth year kids will be in u14+u15 academy group (which matches the above chart).
    In 2017, I understand the plan is to support: u12, u13, u14+u15, u16+17, u18+u19 to account for the bump in ages.


    1. Agreed. Will the usda12 da players be using size 5 balls then? (Because they are 2004s and therefore would be 13 if the were not in the usda). I hope do because most of them have been playing u13 with size fives for over a year.


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