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The JI Way

The JI Way
a program overview

Mission Statement
Jr. Irish Soccer is dedicated to providing Northern Indiana the best training and competitive environment possible.  The club’s mission will focus on the overall development of the player, creating a technical skill set that will allow the player to grow in their tactical knowledge.  A professionally licensed coaching staff will give the players an opportunity to grow in the game as well as learn important life skills such as discipline, commitment, and sportsmanship.

Club Philosophy
Jr. Irish will offer a nine-month development plan with a seamless flow starting at the age of eight that takes players through to their high school career.  The curriculum properly develops players through the stages of a soccer career that will prepare them for a collegiate career.  By putting the player first, Jr. Irish will focus on creating a development-based environment to allow players to maximize their potential.   

Coaching Structure
Jr. Irish is led by a full time Director of Coaching who is responsible for providing a fully licensed coaching staff.  The club offers financial assistance to the coaching staff for opportunities to upgrade their licenses and attend professional development clinics.  It is the goal of Jr Irish to have a staff in place with specific expertise in a certain age group for development purposes.  Players will cycle through the coaching staff over time.              

Tryouts and Participation
Tryouts are held in the first two weeks of June and supplemental tryouts will be offered in August, November, and January.  Jr Irish does not accept every player and is more selective as the players get older.  The club blends the desire to offer a soccer experience to as many players as possible as long as it is a healthy environment for the player.  Jr. Irish has partnered with MSA to create the MSA Academy for those players wanting more but not yet ready for the demands of competitive travel soccer.

It is expected that players regularly attend training both during their seasons of competition and winter training.  It is unfair to the players not selected to the club or the top team if attendance is not a priority.  Failure to attend training can effect team placement and playing time on game days.  We want to create the best possible environment and it hurts everyone when players miss.  While competing in other sports at the younger age groups is encouraged, we simply ask that Jr. Irish be a priority.    

Playing Time
Playing time is guaranteed at the Academy level since the game is the best teacher at the younger ages.  While it may not be equal playing time, every player is given valuable game development.  Starting at U11, playing time is earned and minutes are not guaranteed.  The coaching staff will make every attempt to balance playing time with keeping the competitive level high. As players get older, there is more of an emphasis placed on results by state and regional competitions.  Some of the factors that determine playing time range from ability, impact on the game, level of commitment, attendance at training, discipline, and behavior.  



League Play
Jr. Irish mainly competes in the Indiana Soccer League (ISL) and if the team qualifies - the Midwest Regional League (MRL).  The league system is tiered based on competiveness even at the Academy ages.  Please see the chart below.

Age Group

ISL Academy Level 1-4

ISL 4th

ISL 3rd

ISL 2nd

ISL 2nd White

ISL 1st

ISL Premier

MRL 1st

MRL Premier


1 Being most competitive

Northern Division

Northern Division

Northern Division

State Wide League

State Wide League

State Wide League

Entire Midwest

Entire Midwest










U9, U10









U11, U12









U15 - U19





Jr. Irish player fees are budgeted to cover 1 event (MDI) for Academy aged teams and 3 events for U11 – U19 (including MDI).  Indiana State Cup competitions are not a budgeted event and the Director of Coaching will decide which teams compete on a yearly basis.  Tournaments will be selected by the Director of Coaching to assure a good competitive fit for the players.  Requests can be submitted for approval.      


Fall Tournament

Spring Tournament

State Cup Competition





U11, U12

DOC Decision


DOC Decision

U15 - U18


✔ ✔

DOC Decision

If a team wants to attend an extra event not covered within the fees, the Director of Coaching must first approve it.  All expenses MUST be paid in full to the bookkeeper prior to application.  Fees include application fee and coaches expenses (mileage, hotel, and food).                   

Club pass opportunities

The Club pass system is designed to allow players within the club to play on other teams at Jr. Irish.  There are many reasons Jr. Irish uses club passing of players throughout the season.  We sometimes have teams with low roster numbers that need support.  We have players not receiving enough playing time on their team and IF there is a need, we can get that player time on other teams.  We can reward those players excelling at their age group with opportunities.                   

Playing up in age
Players are allowed to tryout one age above their true age group as defined by USYSA.  In order for a player to be selected, they must prove to the coaching staff and Director of Coaching that they will make a significant impact on the team above age.  The player must demonstrate the ability to handle playing above age physically, technically, mentally, and socially.  The Director of Coaching is responsible for the decision and all decisions are final.       

Conflict Resolution
No system or organization is perfect and we understand that there will be some concerns from time to time.  Please do not let questions or concerns fester into problems.  Most issues stem from a misunderstanding or a communication breakdown.  Like in all areas of life, these issues need to be dealt with in the proper chain in order to maintain a healthy relationship.  It is our goal to provide a positive experience to all of our families.

Some examples:

            An Issue with a coach, other parents, team, or any team related problem.
                        1.  Discuss the issue with the coach.  If needed, contact the DOC and have him present.
                        2.  If the issue is not resolved, schedule a meeting with the DOC.
            An Issue with the Director of Coaching
                        1.  Discuss the issue with the Director of Coaching
                        2.  If the issue is not resolved, schedule a meeting with the president of the Board of Directors.

            Any Issues with club billing, facilities, or other club related problem.
                        1.  Discuss the issue with a member of the Board of Directors

Parent behavior
Indiana Soccer is taking a strong stand on parent behavior and making it the club’s responsibility to police our families.  If a parent becomes unruly at a match, the official has been instructed to stop play and warn the coach.  If the parent is not removed, the match will be forfeited and the club will be fined.  While we feel our parents have demonstrated positive behavior in the past, it is important to understand that verbal abuse of an official, player, or other spectators will not be tolerated.  If a match is stopped due to a Jr. Irish parent, that parent will be removed from all games for the remainder of the season.  If a match is forfeited, the player and parent will be suspended for the remainder of the season. 

Players make mistakes, Coaches make mistakes, and Officials make mistakes.  In most cases, the officials are young and learning just like our players so they need encouragement.  There is a serious shortage of referees in the area and across the State and parent behavior is the reason.  We would like to encourage our players to become a referee and start with our academy.  If our players see our families screaming at officials, they will not want to become officials.  We need to be role models to our players and show respect toward the officials.