Some of you are new to Munster Soccer Club and have questions. For those of you not new to the club this will be a review, or may tell you something you did not know before.
-What is the difference between Munster Parks soccer and Munster Soccer Club?
Munster Parks Soccer is played locally and teams are supposed to be balanced. It is purely recreational and no score is kept. Munster Soccer Club is part of Northwest Indiana Soccer League (NWISL), and subject to their rules. NWISL places the teams in their competitive divisions and also sets the schedule. Teams come from all over Northwest Indiana and there is some travel involved (up to an hour away.) Scores and standings are kept, and trophies are awarded to the first, second, and third place team in each division. While Munster Parks is categorized as recreational soccer, MSC is categorized as rec-plus, which means we are a step above recreational soccer, but not full fledged travel soccer, like premiere teams. We do not have try-outs, and do not turn players away due to lack of ability. The only reason we turn players away is if we do not have the necessary numbers to form a team or we do not have a coach for a team.
-What are these divisions?
The divisions are based on the strength of the teams, with gold being the strongest. Play is the most competitive in the gold division, and gets less competitive with each lower division. This is so all players, no matter what their ability, can play in competitive games.
-How are teams placed in divisions?
That is done by the NWISL, based on past records for established players, and also club recommendations.
-How are players placed on teams?
The MSC Board places players on teams prior to each season. We try to form teams of players with similar abilities. Age, seniority within the club, and the number of players at each age level are also important factors. Some seasons we use player evaluations by independent evaluators (these are not try-outs because they are done for placement, not to eliminate players), and we always use coach evaluations to try to make the fairest placements possible.
-What are the age divisions?
We currently have Under 8, Under 10, Under 12, and Under 14. This means the player is under the given age before July 1 of that year. Each age bracket is obviously two years, so there are older teams, which will move up to the next age bracket the following year, and younger teams which will remain in the age bracket another year. We try to put teams together within the one year span whenever possible because it results in the least disruption every fall when players change age brackets. The league year birthday dates are August 1 - July 31. Below is the age group chart that is used to determine what age group you will be playing in.
-Are teams co-ed?
No. The only exception to this has been with the U-8 teams, but the league is working toward making these teams single sex as well.
-What type of equipment do I need?
The player is responsible for bringing a ball to practice (see sizing below), soccer cleats (no metal), shin guards (must be worn under the socks during practice and games), and black shorts complete the uniform for games. MSC will provide a jersey and black socks if ordered during registration. If jersey/socks is not needed or ordered, the player can use the previous season uniform for games. The player can not play a game without their jersey or shinguards. If the weather is cold outside the player is permitted to wear long sleeves underneath their jersey. NO earrings or jewelry are allowed according to SAY and NWISL rules.
U-8 - Size 3
U10 - Size 4
U12 - Size 4
U14 - Size 5
-What are the weather guidelines?
Games will be played in the rain,
but maybe cancelled due to standing water in the fields, thunder, or
lightning. If a game gets cancelled before it starts your coach will
contact you. There are times when you will arrive to an away game and the
weather conditions suddenly worsen. The referee will determine if the
game is unplayable due to inclement weather. If the referee determines
the game is not playable then the game will be rescheduled. If a game has
started and gets stopped before the first half, the game will be
re-scheduled per the NWISL Rescheduling Policy. If a game gets stopped
during halftime or in the second half of the game, then the game is
over. That game will not be rescheduled and the score at the
time of stoppage will be the final score. MSC follows the Town of Munster
lightning policy for all practices and games played in Munster.
-Who coaches for MSC?
Our coaches are all Volunteers.
Some have soccer experience, but most are learning as they go. We are
very appreciative of the time they put in. Quite frankly, some of our coaches
have agreed to coach only because we begged them to and there would be a group
of children who would not get to play soccer if they did not take the team.
We help them as much as we can, but it is a big responsibility, and we are
lucky to have them. More and more people are unwilling to take on this
responsibility. We have many excellent coaches in MSC, but if you are expecting
professional coaching you should look into a premiere club.
- What if I have a concern about my
Of course you should contact a MSC
Board Member. We want to know about playing time issues, inappropriate
language, unsportsmanlike behavior, etc. If, however, you are wanting to
complain about your coaches effectiveness as a coach please remember that our
coaches are Volunteers and we take them as they are, experienced or
not. If you are not willing to take on this responsibility yourself, or
are not offering to help them, please reconsider your complaint.
-Can I choose the team my child will
-Can my child play outside of
their age group?
No. This is a NWISL rule, not
a MSC rule. We are bound to follow the rules of NWISL.
If we have a group of kids who want
to play together can we put together our own team?
-What if I only want my child to
play for a certain coach or on a certain team?
You probably would be happier not
signing up with MSC. You can make your request
known to the board during the registration process, but we cannot promise that
we will be able to honor it. Sometimes it works out, sometimes
it does not. The factors mentioned before (age, ability, numbers, and
seniority) take precedence over requests. This is done to be as fair
as possible to all of the players in MSC. You must remember that
while you are concerned about your one child, or your child’s one team, we must
be equally concerned about over two hundred kids and around 20 teams.
-Can we sign up and pull our child
out if we are not happy with the team our child is on?
Of course you can quit, but you need
to understand what that means. When we put together teams and submit them
to the league we have very little ability to make any further changes. If
you quit after that time you could be leaving a team short of players, and
therefore penalizing all of the other players on that team. We would
rather you view signing up to play as a commitment to play for the club for
that season. If your child runs circles around everyone else on their
team they will be the star that season and will probably be moved up the next
season. If there is a problem with a coach or another player let someone
on the MSC board know and we will address it.
A refund will only be given prior to the first day of practice for the club. There is a $10 fee assessed for all refunded registrations which will be deducted from your refund. After the first day of practice, we are only able to refund 50% of the fees. After the first scheduled game, we can no longer refund any registration fees.
-Do teams stay the same from
season to season?
Sometimes, but that is never
guaranteed. Most often changes are made due to changes in the number of
players that sign up from one season to the next. Sometimes it is
necessary to move players from one team to another. For example, if a
player who had been on a gold team did not sign up for another season it might
be necessary to move a player up from the next team, usually silver.
That, of course, might necessitate a player then moving onto that team from
another team, etc. Also, each season new players sign up who also must be
placed on teams. Some seasons require little or no changes, while others
-Can I register late?
We will accept registrations after
the cut off date, but there is no guarantee that your child will get placed on
a team. That is totally dependent on our numbers and whether there are
any openings available. Sometimes we need more players to fill a team,
and sometimes our numbers are so bad we have to tell someone who signed up on
time that they cannot play. This happens when we have enough players to
fill one or more team rosters with some left over that are not enough to form another
team. When this happens players with the least seniority in the club do
not get to play. We go to great lengths to allow as many players as
possible the chance to play, but sometimes the numbers are such that it cannot
be worked out. Rosters are due to NWISL by a specific date before each
season, so our window of time to get these rosters ready is very small.
MSC is run by volunteer board members and we need as much time possible to
do all the background work before a season begins.
-What if I am having problems
Contact SI Play at email@example.com
-Can Non-Residents play for
Munster Soccer Club?
Yes! The vast majority of
players in MSC are Munster residents. There are players that do not
live in Munster, but non-residents always have the least seniority within the
club. In other words, even if a non-resident gets to play a season for
MSC there is no guarantee that they will get to play the next season.
This depends on the numbers. If we have more kids sign up than slots
available the non-resident will not be able to play. If your player is
placed on a MSC team we will need a club release form (Located in the Documents
drop down tab in the NWISL website) completed by the Club League
Representative of the city or township you live in. Once completed by
your town's Club League Rep it will need to be sent to the MSC League
Rep. If your city or town does not have a club, then simply
-What do I need for proof of
Proof of residency can be confirmed
by sending us a copy of your Town of Munster water bill or a Nipsco bill
that shows your name and address on it.
-When do the Spring and Fall season
begin and end?
The Spring season begins
around early April and ends the weekend before Memorial Day. The Fall
season starts around the middle of August and ends around the end of
-Are there tournaments?
After the spring season
there will be a tournament for the U-10, U-12, & U-14 age
groups. The tournament starts play the weekend after Memorial
Day. The tournament last for the first 2 weekends of
June. It is single elimination, which means teams play until they
lose. There is no tournament in the fall.
-When are games played?
Games are played on pretty
much every Sunday during the season, and some Saturdays. There tend to be
more Saturday games in the spring. The Saturday games for the fall season
are usually played in October due to High School games in September. The
schedule is determined by NWISL which we are a part of, and we have NO control
over. The games time start at 12:00 p.m.
-Where are games played at?
Half of the games are played in
Munster at one of our local parks. Munster game fields might change
seasonally depending on the condition of the field. The other half
of the games are away games, played in one of the other towns in NWISL.
Some are nearby, such as Highland, Griffith, Schererville, and Dyer, and some
are further away, such as LaPorte, Michigan City, Valparaiso, Lowell, Hebron,
and Demotte. Since we play eight or ten games a season this means you
travel for four or five games. Which teams you play varies from season to
-When do teams practice?
Teams typically practice two nights
a week, one to one and a half hours. The coach sets the days and
times. Practices start a couple of weeks prior to the first game.
Practice fields are determined by the coach, but usually practices are held on
-Does MSC offer training?
Traditionally we offer a trainer to
our U-14 teams for one practice a week. They may choose to use a trainer
both practices, and younger teams may also use trainers if they wish, but the
club does not pay for this. If they choose to do so they cover the cost
themselves, usually by asking each player to contribute. Some seasons we
offer training to every age group one time a week because we had the funds
to do so. In general we only pay for training once a week for all U-14
-Where and when is picture day?
We have picture day during the
Fall season only at one of our Munster Parks locations. Each
team is alotted a 15 minute window. Picture forms will be passed out to
you by your coaches and they will inform you of your time slot and
location. The photographers run on schedule, so please arrive early.
We hope this answers your
questions. If you have a question not addressed here please contact a
member of the MSC board and we will try to help you.