Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the games on Saturday or Sunday? Your child will play consistently on either Saturday or Sunday (rather than fluctuating between the two), depending on age group and gym availability. This means that if, for instance, you have Saturday afternoon games, all games will typically be within a 4-5 hour “window” (e.g., 1-5 pm). It is very important that you let us know if you have any scheduling conflicts (e.g., Hebrew school, church, etc.). If your weekend schedule allows more flexibility, that will make it easier to place your child on an appropriate team, according to ability.

Are there mid-week practices? No, there are no practices – only the one game per weekend.

When do we get our schedules? The schedules for the WISL season can only be arranged once we have a firm picture of how many teams exist within each age group, and have determined how best to assign those teams to divisions, based around playing level and scheduling needs. The targeted time for the schedules to be finalized and posted is about two weeks prior to the start of the season.

Can my child play all her games at the closest gym to where we live? We put our best effort into offering teams a majority of games at close-to-home locations. However, we cannot guarantee this, for several reasons: WISL is a countywide program, so some teams are composed of players from different communities. Some gyms are too small for our older age groups; some others are too large for the younger ones. Some facilities are only available to us on one day (Saturday or Sunday) but not the other, so the scheduling needs of teams or individuals may preempt concerns about location.

I’m going to be coaching both my son’s U7 team and my daughter’s U12 Girls’ team. I want to be sure I don’t have to be in two places at the same time – can the league make sure that the games won’t be conflicting? For those coaches who preside over more than one team during a WISL season (there are typically around ten or eleven such coaches each year), we can absolutely guarantee that your games will be set up to avoid scheduling conflicts. In fact, we take all possible effort to make such arrangements as convenient as possible for the coach in question – scheduling the two games back-to-back at a local gym site, for example. In cases where the games need to be at different locations (for example, if one of the teams is in the U5 or U6 age group, and consequently would play in one of our smaller gyms), we make sure to schedule the games to allow enough travel/transition time between them.

What is the appropriate age group for my child? The online registration process determines your child’s age group based upon the age group (s)he played in (or would have played in) during the fall season. In general, a child’s age group in WISL should match the age group of the previous fall season. For example, if your child played in U10, but has since turned 10, (s)he would still stay in U10’s. The technical cut-off date for an age group is August 1st – meaning that a player who turned 7 in August (or later) would still be eligible for the U7’s. If your child played up or down from his or her age group, please indicate this in the special requests section of the online registration along with any other pertinent concerns. It is also useful if you let us know whether your child plays recreational or competitive soccer.

Will my child be able to play with 3 or 4 of his friends? Among players who sign up as individuals (i.e., not affiliated with an already-formed team), we do everything possible to accommodate requests for specific teammates, provided that the placements are age-appropriate (and that the players don’t have conflicting scheduling needs). Among a group of friends, if one or more players’ parents can volunteer to coach, we can create a team that will include all of the requested teammates. If your child (or requested teammate) is already affiliated with a team, it may be more difficult accommodating such requests, due to roster-space limitations.

How are teams formed? Many teams carry over from fall outdoor leagues; some others are formed from school groups. WISL places all individual registrants on teams: we try to match players by age, experience, and school and geographical location, when possible.

Are uniforms required? What do the players wear? There are no required uniforms; players should just wear comfortable clothes – whatever they would put on to run around in a gym. We provide scrimmage vests to distinguish opposing teams. Players should wear regular sneakers or indoor soccer shoes (definitely not cleats). Shin guards are not required, but are strongly recommended. Any team coming into WISL may, of course, take the initiative to create their own uniforms if they wish.

Why doesn’t the league have all-girls’ divisions in the U7, U6, or U5 age groups? The simple answer is that we don’t tend to have enough girls’ teams in that particular age range. The divisional make-up of any age group is dependent, naturally, on who signs up for the league in a given year. The U8’s are our youngest age group in which we get enough all-girls’ teams to comprise their own division. While we do have many girls playing in our younger age groups, very few of them register as part of (pre-formed) girls-only teams. They are much more likely to come into the league affiliated with mixed-gender, school-based teams (a group of kindergarten classmates, for example). We have, however, had individual cases in which all-girls’ teams playing in the U6’s or U7’s (or U7 girls’ teams playing against slightly older girls in the U8 girls’ division) have competed very admirably. If we should find ourselves, in any given season, with enough all-girls’ teams (preferably 6 teams) to structure a girls’ division in the youngest age groups, we will gladly jump at the opportunity.

My 6 year-old is on a U7 team made up of 6 boys and 4 girls. Several teams we play consist of all boys. Shouldn’t all U7 coed teams be some mix of boys and girls? As noted in the previous question, the U8’s are the youngest age group in which we get enough all-girls’ teams to form a girls-only division. So we designate divisions in that age group (and the older ones) as “boys” and “girls” – although individual girls are still welcome to play on boys’ teams. U5, U6, and U7 teams are called “coed”, even though there will ordinarily be more boys than girls. A majority of teams come into WISL with their rosters already completed by their coaches, which makes it impossible for us to alter the gender ratios of those teams. Ideally, we would structure our youngest age groups to have all-boys’ teams play each other, while more legitimately coed teams would play in a separate division. However, scheduling restrictions (teams’ own specifications) often preempt other factors.

Our team has had a couple of lopsided games in a row, and we lost our last game something like 9 to 1. Why were we playing such a strong opponent? Can the league do something about this? Are there other teams we can play? In WISL, a concerted effort is made to match teams with the most equitable opponents. Divisions are arranged, to whatever extent possible, around the goal of compatible skill and experience levels. However, many factors make this less than a perfect science: Coaches’ self-assigned power ratings may turn out to be inaccurate (overestimated OR underestimated); teams may have gained or lost key players between a previous WISL season and the current one; and one dominant player (or, conversely, a few passive or timid players) can often affect a game’s score much more dramatically than in outdoor soccer. First and foremost (see earlier questions), the scheduling needs of particular teams often must take precedence over the ideal match-ups. When we run into problems with unbalanced matches, we look at our game records to determine whether they are part of a trend, in which a given team appears to be consistently overwhelmed or dominant. We then turn to the upcoming games on the schedule, assess whether they are likely to be mismatches of a similar degree, and try (if logistically possible) to arrange schedule revisions to create more even games – or at least, what we hope will be more even games. This is often tricky, however, given that any switch in game time runs the risk of introducing schedule conflicts for certain players.

How do we know where our team stands in relation to the other teams in our division? WISL, throughout its history, has maintained a policy of not having official standings. This is in accordance with the league’s emphasis on fun and skill development, and makes it possible to enlist coaches in this overall mission – for example, by loaning a player to a short-handed opponent, or agreeing to a schedule revision that might help avoid a mismatch. It also fits with our referees’ dual tasks of officiating and coaching (where they see the need). We do keep track of all game results (as reported by our referees), in order to monitor the respective divisions, and to see if certain alterations in the schedule might create more evenly matched games. So information regarding teams’ records relative to each other is kept “in-house,” rather than being posted. Coaches may inquire into this information if they consider it important, but we try to de-emphasize the notion of competitive “standings” as part of our overall approach to WISL.

Three of our players are on a ski trip this weekend, and a fourth just called in sick. We have only 5 players coming, or maybe just 4. Should we cancel the game? It is important that all WISL coaches, with support from parents, make a strong effort to field a team for every game. Please bear in mind that it is not only your team that misses out on its full 8-game allotment if your players are unavailable; you also have an opposing team, which is counting on having someone to play. So we ask that, even if you know in advance that your team will be short-handed, you arrive with as many players as you can. Even if only 3 or 4 players are available, the less-formal nature of WISL competition (see previous question) opens the door to creative solutions, which our referees will help facilitate. An opponent can offer to lend a player. A game can be played 5-on-5 (or even 4-on-4). A younger sibling can be enlisted as an emergency fill-in. If the previous game at the same gym site involves the same age group as your team, a player or two may be willing to participate in a second game. If it is absolutely impossible to field a team (as in, no more than 1 or 2 players are available), please notify us as far in advance as possible, and we can look for alternatives, such as rescheduling the game. We do have a small allotment of gym hours for make-up games on the Sunday following our final regular weekend (this is usually the second Sunday in March), but we try to limit our use of those hours to matters of necessity, not convenience.

Does WISL give out trophies or awards? The league does not give out any end-of-season awards – but many coaches or parents take the initiative to provide special prizes for their own teams.

Why is the eighth game not listed on the schedule at the beginning of the season? Is that because of playoffs? The WISL season has no playoffs – all teams participate in the same 8-week season. We post the final game of the season as “To Be Determined” until about the fourth week of the season. At that point, we assess how each division has been going – specifically, which teams match up well against each other, and (conversely) which teams are more disparate in ability. We then schedule and post the final weekend’s matches based on what we anticipate being the most balanced, satisfying finales for the teams involved.

Are the games on Saturday or Sunday? Your child will play consistently on either Saturday or Sunday (rather than fluctuating between the two), depending on age group and gym availability. This means that if, for instance, you have Saturday afternoon games, all games will typically be within a 4-5 hour “window” (e.g., 1-5 pm). It is very important that you let us know if you have any scheduling conflicts (e.g., Hebrew school, church, etc.). If your weekend schedule allows more flexibility, that will make it easier to place your child on an appropriate team, according to ability.

Are there mid-week practices? No, there are no practices – only the one game per weekend.

When do we get our schedules? The schedules for the WISL season can only be arranged once we have a firm picture of how many teams exist within each age group, and have determined how best to assign those teams to divisions, based around playing level and scheduling needs. The targeted time for the schedules to be finalized and posted is about two weeks prior to the start of the season.

Can my child play all her games at the closest gym to where we live? We put our best effort into offering teams a majority of games at close-to-home locations. However, we cannot guarantee this, for several reasons: WISL is a countywide program, so some teams are composed of players from different communities. Some gyms are too small for our older age groups; some others are too large for the younger ones. Some facilities are only available to us on one day (Saturday or Sunday) but not the other, so the scheduling needs of teams or individuals may preempt concerns about location.

I’m going to be coaching both my son’s U7 team and my daughter’s U12 Girls’ team. I want to be sure I don’t have to be in two places at the same time – can the league make sure that the games won’t be conflicting? For those coaches who preside over more than one team during a WISL season (there are typically around ten or eleven such coaches each year), we can absolutely guarantee that your games will be set up to avoid scheduling conflicts. In fact, we take all possible effort to make such arrangements as convenient as possible for the coach in question – scheduling the two games back-to-back at a local gym site, for example. In cases where the games need to be at different locations (for example, if one of the teams is in the U5 or U6 age group, and consequently would play in one of our smaller gyms), we make sure to schedule the games to allow enough travel/transition time between them.

What is the appropriate age group for my child? The online registration process determines your child’s age group based upon the age group (s)he played in (or would have played in) during the fall season. In general, a child’s age group in WISL should match the age group of the previous fall season. For example, if your child played in U10, but has since turned 10, (s)he would still stay in U10’s. The technical cut-off date for an age group is August 1st – meaning that a player who turned 7 in August (or later) would still be eligible for the U7’s. If your child played up or down from his or her age group, please indicate this in the special requests section of the online registration along with any other pertinent concerns. It is also useful if you let us know whether your child plays recreational or competitive soccer.

Will my child be able to play with 3 or 4 of his friends? Among players who sign up as individuals (i.e., not affiliated with an already-formed team), we do everything possible to accommodate requests for specific teammates, provided that the placements are age-appropriate (and that the players don’t have conflicting scheduling needs). Among a group of friends, if one or more players’ parents can volunteer to coach, we can create a team that will include all of the requested teammates. If your child (or requested teammate) is already affiliated with a team, it may be more difficult accommodating such requests, due to roster-space limitations.

How are teams formed? Many teams carry over from fall outdoor leagues; some others are formed from school groups. WISL places all individual registrants on teams: we try to match players by age, experience, and school and geographical location, when possible.

Are uniforms required? What do the players wear? There are no required uniforms; players should just wear comfortable clothes – whatever they would put on to run around in a gym. We provide scrimmage vests to distinguish opposing teams. Players should wear regular sneakers or indoor soccer shoes (definitely not cleats). Shin guards are not required, but are strongly recommended. Any team coming into WISL may, of course, take the initiative to create their own uniforms if they wish.

Why doesn’t the league have all-girls’ divisions in the U7, U6, or U5 age groups? The simple answer is that we don’t tend to have enough girls’ teams in that particular age range. The divisional make-up of any age group is dependent, naturally, on who signs up for the league in a given year. The U8’s are our youngest age group in which we get enough all-girls’ teams to comprise their own division. While we do have many girls playing in our younger age groups, very few of them register as part of (pre-formed) girls-only teams. They are much more likely to come into the league affiliated with mixed-gender, school-based teams (a group of kindergarten classmates, for example). We have, however, had individual cases in which all-girls’ teams playing in the U6’s or U7’s (or U7 girls’ teams playing against slightly older girls in the U8 girls’ division) have competed very admirably. If we should find ourselves, in any given season, with enough all-girls’ teams (preferably 6 teams) to structure a girls’ division in the youngest age groups, we will gladly jump at the opportunity.

My 6 year-old is on a U7 team made up of 6 boys and 4 girls. Several teams we play consist of all boys. Shouldn’t all U7 coed teams be some mix of boys and girls? As noted in the previous question, the U8’s are the youngest age group in which we get enough all-girls’ teams to form a girls-only division. So we designate divisions in that age group (and the older ones) as “boys” and “girls” – although individual girls are still welcome to play on boys’ teams. U5, U6, and U7 teams are called “coed”, even though there will ordinarily be more boys than girls. A majority of teams come into WISL with their rosters already completed by their coaches, which makes it impossible for us to alter the gender ratios of those teams. Ideally, we would structure our youngest age groups to have all-boys’ teams play each other, while more legitimately coed teams would play in a separate division. However, scheduling restrictions (teams’ own specifications) often preempt other factors.

Our team has had a couple of lopsided games in a row, and we lost our last game something like 9 to 1. Why were we playing such a strong opponent? Can the league do something about this? Are there other teams we can play? In WISL, a concerted effort is made to match teams with the most equitable opponents. Divisions are arranged, to whatever extent possible, around the goal of compatible skill and experience levels. However, many factors make this less than a perfect science: Coaches’ self-assigned power ratings may turn out to be inaccurate (overestimated OR underestimated); teams may have gained or lost key players between a previous WISL season and the current one; and one dominant player (or, conversely, a few passive or timid players) can often affect a game’s score much more dramatically than in outdoor soccer. First and foremost (see earlier questions), the scheduling needs of particular teams often must take precedence over the ideal match-ups. When we run into problems with unbalanced matches, we look at our game records to determine whether they are part of a trend, in which a given team appears to be consistently overwhelmed or dominant. We then turn to the upcoming games on the schedule, assess whether they are likely to be mismatches of a similar degree, and try (if logistically possible) to arrange schedule revisions to create more even games – or at least, what we hope will be more even games. This is often tricky, however, given that any switch in game time runs the risk of introducing schedule conflicts for certain players.

How do we know where our team stands in relation to the other teams in our division? WISL, throughout its history, has maintained a policy of not having official standings. This is in accordance with the league’s emphasis on fun and skill development, and makes it possible to enlist coaches in this overall mission – for example, by loaning a player to a short-handed opponent, or agreeing to a schedule revision that might help avoid a mismatch. It also fits with our referees’ dual tasks of officiating and coaching (where they see the need). We do keep track of all game results (as reported by our referees), in order to monitor the respective divisions, and to see if certain alterations in the schedule might create more evenly matched games. So information regarding teams’ records relative to each other is kept “in-house,” rather than being posted. Coaches may inquire into this information if they consider it important, but we try to de-emphasize the notion of competitive “standings” as part of our overall approach to WISL.

Three of our players are on a ski trip this weekend, and a fourth just called in sick. We have only 5 players coming, or maybe just 4. Should we cancel the game? It is important that all WISL coaches, with support from parents, make a strong effort to field a team for every game. Please bear in mind that it is not only your team that misses out on its full 8-game allotment if your players are unavailable; you also have an opposing team, which is counting on having someone to play. So we ask that, even if you know in advance that your team will be short-handed, you arrive with as many players as you can. Even if only 3 or 4 players are available, the less-formal nature of WISL competition (see previous question) opens the door to creative solutions, which our referees will help facilitate. An opponent can offer to lend a player. A game can be played 5-on-5 (or even 4-on-4). A younger sibling can be enlisted as an emergency fill-in. If the previous game at the same gym site involves the same age group as your team, a player or two may be willing to participate in a second game. If it is absolutely impossible to field a team (as in, no more than 1 or 2 players are available), please notify us as far in advance as possible, and we can look for alternatives, such as rescheduling the game. We do have a small allotment of gym hours for make-up games on the Sunday following our final regular weekend (this is usually the second Sunday in March), but we try to limit our use of those hours to matters of necessity, not convenience.

Does WISL give out trophies or awards? The league does not give out any end-of-season awards – but many coaches or parents take the initiative to provide special prizes for their own teams.

Why is the eighth game not listed on the schedule at the beginning of the season? Is that because of playoffs? The WISL season has no playoffs – all teams participate in the same 8-week season. We post the final game of the season as “To Be Determined” until about the fourth week of the season. At that point, we assess how each division has been going – specifically, which teams match up well against each other, and (conversely) which teams are more disparate in ability. We then schedule and post the final weekend’s matches based on what we anticipate being the most balanced, satisfying finales for the teams involved.