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Understanding Age Brackets

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Effective August 2017, the grouping of players will also change nationwide, with encouraged adoption of best practices in August of 2016. U.S. Soccer will go back to calendar birth years to align with international standards and Youth National Team programs.

US Youth Soccer will implement the best practice of calendar year age grouping for player registration beginning with the 2016-2017 soccer year for US Youth Soccer programs and competitions.

Using the school calendar for age groups is practiced only in the United States and Canada; as all other FIFA members go by the calendar year. 

Previously, age groups were determined based on players born between Aug. 1 and July 31. The change to calendar year age groups will reflect the calendar year, or Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. Players are still allowed to “play up” or play in an older age group.

US Youth Soccer, a respected leader in player development for more than 40 years, has seen the evolution of the game and various changes. The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program has used the birth year for the grouping of players since it was established in 1977. In fact, the James P. McGuire Cup, the oldest trophy in youth sport, awarded at the annual US Youth Soccer National Championships also shows the history of teams named for their calendar year age group.

Calendar Year FAQ: [Download PDF]
Calendar Year Age Matrix 2016-2025 [Download PDF]

Click here for U.S. Soccer's official statement on the changes. More details will be provided as available regarding specific implementation for these mandates from U.S. Soccer.

US Soccer Birth Year and Season Matrix

Fall 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Spring 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Birth Year                  
2020                  
2019                 U6
2018               U6 U7
2017             U6 U7 U8
2016           U6 U7 U8 U9
2015         U6 U7 U8 U9 U10
2014       U6 U7 U8 U9 U10 U11
2013     U6 U7 U8 U9 U10 U11 U12
2012   U6 U7 U8 U9 U10 U11 U12 U13
2011 U6 U7 U8 U9 U10 U11 U12 U13 U14
2010 U7 U8 U9 U10 U11 U12 U13 U14 U15
2009 U8 U9 U10 U11 U12 U13 U14 U15 U16
2008 U9 U10 U11 U12 U13 U14 U15 U16 U17
2007 U10 U11 U12 U13 U14 U15 U16 U17 U18
2006 U11 U12 U13 U14 U15 U16 U17 U18  
2005 U12 U13 U14 U15 U16 U17 U18    
2004 U13 U14 U15 U16 U17 U18      
2003 U14 U15 U16 U17 U18        
2002 U15 U16 U17 U18          
2001 U16 U17 U18            
2000 U17 U18              
1999 U18