New SYSA Rules 2023

We have a new SYSA rulesheet for 2023.

The highlight of this that you must be aware of is that there is no longer ANY intentional heading U12 and under and a change to where the offisdes line is when there is a build out line.

Coaches shall not practice heading and deliberate heading in a game now becomes a foul.

Download here for your reference.

New Best Practices Policy

As mentioned at the Coach’s meeting last week, Hillwood instituted a best practices policy for games to guide coaches and parents and designed to optimize positive play experiences for players. 

Seating for games

  • Parents should sit on the opposite touchline than the team (space allowed) This is already a rule for U10 and up, (though often hasn’t been followed) and standard practice at Select soccer. This allows parents to focus on cheering and allows the players to learn to look to the coach for direction and guidance. This will also hopefully help with positive sideline behavior. 
  •  Coaches and managers should choose a side of the field that allows this to happen.  Team Managers, please assist in making this happen.  This will also enable the parents to have more fun together. 

Here is a map where everyone should sit:

  • Coaches stay with the team on side and aren’t on the field, unless they need to ref. Let the kids play. We do not remote control teams from on field. Let them play and experience soccer.
  • Let Ref show them what should happen during kickoff, goal kick, etc. if they aren’t sure.  

We realize that you may play other teams from other clubs that don’t follow this rule. Let’s have Hillwood set the example.

Coaches Location

Coaches are to stay with the team on touchline/sideline and not be on the field with the team, unless they need to ref. Let the kids play. We do not remote control teams from on field. Let them play and experience soccer. Yes, even U6.  The kids will figure it out with the ref’s guidance. Let Ref show them what should happen during kickoff, goal kick, etc. if they aren’t sure.  

Referees

  • Junior Ref Program – These will be refs that are 10-13 year old kids reffing the micro leagues.
    • These are micro games not the MLS
    • Referees in this program are like the kids playing (and often the coaches), they are developing in the sport. Mistakes will be made. Don’t yell at the refs. 
    • These are kids, but they are the refs, they make the decisions, please don’t argue with them. 
    • If you have an issue with a ref you can email our ref coordinator liaison Jeff Timmons at hillwoodsoccerreferees@gmail.com
  • >U10 Refs – Don’t argue with refs. Don’t yell at the refs. Fan/parent behavior is punishable by cards to the coaches. If coaches get a red card, they have to leave the field and the game could end in forfeit. 

Starting Games

Please start the games on time. If games start late, you’ll still need to end at the scheduled time so as not to cause a domino effect for the next games.

What To Wear

  • Cold weather.
    • New people to the sport often don’t realize that all ages  play in almost any weather. We don’t wear jackets on the field over uniforms. The jersey needs to be the last closet clothing item over anything. 
    • Suggest under armor. If they want to wear sweaters or coats, wear under uniform. Costco has great cheap cold weather gear that also works 
    • From SYSA: “So we advise that players dress in appropriate clothing and even wear their jerseys over the top of a suitable jacket, etc. Other things to be mindful of at the field things like, are conditions changing, Is there freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow?
    • Players on sidelines should wear appropriate clothing until they enter the game.
    • Blankets and chairs are recommended.”

August Newsletter

August Hillwood Newsletter

THANKS FOR THE FUN DAY!

Big thanks to everyone who attended the Hillwood Day at the OL Reign this past weekend. Let’s do more things like that! It’s terrific to see Hillwood come together as a community. I thought about how nice it is to see how we progress through the club. Players start playing as early as U6 on separate teams, but then each year, teams will add players, merge, reshuffle to balance teams, eventually end up in a gold uniform, and finally on a single u17 team. But even from the micro league teams, we are one club, one community…Hillwood Soccer Club. 

PRACTICES

Players should be starting to get contacted by coaches shortly. Coaches are just getting their finalized practice field assignments this week. Hillwood teams are officially open for practice starting as early as August 14th, but some may be starting later, depending on the coach’s plans. Some of our teams might be finalizing who is coaching or some other reason, so that could be a delay as well. Just watch your emails!

NEW UNIFORMS

I’m excited to announce that all Hillwood Players will be getting new jerseys at no additional cost this year. That’s right, everyone. Thanks to SYSA and a partnership with a sponsor, all U10 and up players will be getting new jerseys, shorts, and socks. Yep, a full kit! We are getting enough uniforms that we anticipate to be able to supply kits to enough players for this season and next.  

EQUIPMENT

Hillwood Soccer Club is pleased to continue our partnership with DICKS SPORTING GOODS again this season. Below you will find a link to our coupon for 20% off during the weekend of aug 25-28. This can be used for anything in store, including back to school items.

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR DISCOUNT COUPON

All players must have shin guards, and U10+ players need GOLD socks to match their jerseys. 

BALL SIZES by age group: U6-U8- SIZE 3,  U9-U12- SIZE 4, U13+ SIZE 5

GAMES

Remember that games will be starting the weekend after Labor Day, the weekend of September 9th. We are endeavoring to get the micro team scheduled by the coaches meeting on August 30th. Coaches, check your spam inbox if you have not seen that email.  Below is a link to the standard rules that Hillwood uses, as well as SYSA league game days.

SYSA STANDARD RULES

U10 AND ABOVE GAME DAYS

PARENTS/COACHES

Big reminder as we come up to games. Aside from medical bracelets, NO JEWELRY is to be worn by players during a game. They shouldn’t be worn in practices, either. It’s good to be in the habit. Every year we have issues between players/parents and Referees enforcing this rule which, aside from safety, is an insurance compliance issue. Even if the player “just got their earrings in,” they cannot be worn during games. My goal is to make sure it is never a Hillwood player/parent/coach that gives the Referee the difficult experience. 

Even if there is no official referee for the game, as in many of the micro-games, I ask you to internally enforce this rule the same with each other. 

Please leave your pets at home! Dogs are not allowed on any school field in Shoreline or Seattle. This includes Shoreline A/B. We need to be good guests and stewards of the fields we use for games and practices, or it can result in our loss of access to those fields. If you have family or friends coming to watch your child play, please be sure they know this rule as well, and leave their pets at home.

WORLD CUP

When I started coaching, one of the biggest surprises to me was discovering how many players had never even seen a professional soccer match on television. Watching soccer live or on TV is a great way for a young player to start understanding the strategy and how all the little tips we give them lead to grand pictures. So, I just wanted to remind everyone that The Women’s World Cup is happening in Australia. If your player hasn’t had a chance to watch, please get them to watch these upcoming games over the next ten days. Truly wonderful soccer. 

REFEREE NEEDS

Refereeing is a great way for kids and adults who enjoy soccer to make a little extra money. Official referees for U10 and above can be some of the best pay kids can get before they hit 16 years old. It’s even a great way to learn more about the game. Refereeing is how I started getting involved in youth soccer locally. I loved it because I could pick my schedule, work close by, and develop a better understanding of the game. And yes, we all hear stories of bad treatment of referees. I will say from experience as a ref over the last five years that it doesn’t happen nearly as much as discussed. 

If you want to learn more about how to become a licensed referee, check out this link: https://www.wareferees.org/

FOR FUN

Q: Did you hear about the soccer player who lived past 100 years old? 

A: He’s still alive and kicking. 

Q: Why are the dirty kids so good at soccer? 

A: Because they are Messi. 

Q: What football club do sheep like? 

A: Baaaaaaaaa-rcelona.

Okay, I’ll stop now. 

Silas Lindenstein

Hillwood Soccer Club President

president@hillwoodsoccer.com

www.HillwoodSoccer.org

Hillwood Soccer Club is committed to fostering a welcoming environment through a diverse, equitable and inclusive game. We celebrate every race, gender and background to unite as one community. We believe meaningful action can positively affect important change in our sport and carry over into our everyday lives.

Inclusion in sport means that everyone in our diverse community, regardless of their gender, age, race, culture, religion, or sexual orientation is afforded opportunities to participate.

July 2023 Newsletter

July 2023 Hillwood Soccer Newsletter

Hello Hillwood Soccer family,

With summer in full swing, I hope you have many fun plans with family and friends! Hopefully, those get-togethers include some backyard kicking around of a soccer ball! I know some players take advantage of this time to develop soccer skills in one of the many soccer camps happening all around the area. My U8 daughter is going to a weeklong camp at UW which she really enjoys. 

School may be on break, but Hillwood Soccer is already preparing to ramp up for fall soccer. 

REGISTRATION

A reminder that early Registration ends on July 15th, then a late fee of $15 will apply. 

The earlier we get everyone registered, the sooner we can form teams. It is especially important for the U12 – U18 players to get registered soon, as we have to inform SYSA (the league for the U10 and over players ) how many teams we will have in each age group as they plan the schedules and balance the divisions. We want to encourage the older players to register quickly. 

Mid-July, we start finalizing teams and figuring out exactly how many coaches are needed. Speaking 

Of….

COACHES

If you are interested in coaching your child’s team (or even another team), please reach out to our registrar, Melissa (registrar@hillwoodsoccer.com), so we can set you up. As of writing this, we do have a high demand for coaches. I know from personal experience that coaching for the first time can seem intimidating, but I want to assure you that Hillwood Soccer will give you lots of support and resources to which we can direct you. We will even hold a workshop before our late August ALL COACHES meeting (exact date TBD) to teach you how to run a coaching session to guide you through how to run a practice. 

SYSA also wants to set up an in-person coaching clinic following US Soccer coaching guidelines. If you’d like to take an online version of this clinic and become a certified grassroots coach, you can go to https://learning.ussoccer.com/

And for those coaches that want to add to your summer reading list, I highly recommend this book, Making The Ball Roll. Excellent reading for a youth soccer coach. And you can find it on Amazon here – https://www.amazon.com/Making-Ball-Roll-Complete-Football/dp/1909125520 .

PRACTICES

Our official practice sessions should start around August 15th. Coaches will have rosters in early August and will contact parents to let them know when and where practices will be. While some families may take some vacations during August, it’s just good to get communications going between players and coaches and start practicing as soon as possible. 

FREE TICKET TO THE REIGN

You should’ve received the email about the free ticket for Hillwood Soccer Players for the OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns on Sunday, August 6th. If you haven’t received or missed the email, please email me, and I’ll resend you the link and instructions to get your player their free ticket. HillwoodSoccerPresident@gmail.com. We want to see as many Hillwood players and families as possible, so please order soon while tickets last! 

VOLUNTEERS

A big thanks to everyone who has offered to volunteer for soccer this fall, whether as a coach, manager, or one of our board and volunteer positions. While we’ve been able to fill several spots, we still need to get some crucial roles filled. 

#1 – Secretary. We need a secretary on the board. Not only do they take the minutes of our monthly board meeting, but they get a vote on board decisions that help shape the future of Hillwood Soccer. We are in the midst of a transition of new board members, and we have a lot of exciting things we are working on. We’d love to have many of you be a part of this. 

If that position interests you, or you would like to help in another position, please email Silas at President@HillwoodSoccer.com.

SOMETHING FUN

Why can’t you play soccer with pigs? 

They hog the ball.

How do we know that soccer referees are happy? 

Because they whistle while they work.

What kind of tea do soccer players drink? 

Penal-Tea.

Okay, I’ll stop now.

Have a great summer. Watch for more exciting news in your inbox. 

Silas Lindenstein

Hillwood Soccer President

President@HillwoodSoccer.com

June Update

Hello, Hillwood Soccer Community,

Silas Lindenstein here again. As promised, here is my monthly Hillwood Soccer update. 

I’ve got some important info, updates, and news to share this June.

  • Registrations!

We are full steam into fall registration, and it’s pretty exciting. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so soon. Our new registrar, Melissa, is hard at work building and balancing out new and old teams. For people wondering if there is a team in their age group because your player’s coach has moved on, but your player still wants to play…register! We will likely be able to get a new coach or combine teams, but we will only know there is interest if the child is registered. If you register and we can’t find a team for your player, we will issue a refund, but we are working hard to ensure everyone who registers will have a team.

 And just a friendly reminder that a late fee for registration starts on July 15th.

  • Hillwood Day At The Reign!

Be on the lookout for a separate official announcement for Hillwood Day at an Upcoming Seattle Reign game, a Hillwood Soccer community event we are organizing for the summer. We are just getting the final touches and the discount link all set up. Right now, mark your calendars for Sunday, August 6th! More info is coming soon!

  • Quick tip for parents and coaches


Because of the “No jewelry” rule, summertime is a great time to get those ears pierced for players. Piercing in the summer gives the player time for the piercings to heal before fall games start. And remember, covering earrings with band-aids doesn’t count. The No jewelry rule is part of the league insurance requirement, so we ask all coaches, parents, and guardians to ensure players are compliant.

  • Board Need

As many of you know, several of our long-time board members have moved on. Which makes sense since their U32 child is no longer playing in Shoreline. We need wonderful people like you to fill in some of these positions for a year or so. When we fill the board positions, it becomes a position with low commitment but a significant impact. There’s a saying, “Two people can move a couch real easy.” While there are many moving parts for our soccer, we accomplish a lot as a team.

One immediate need we have for a board position is Secretary. This position primarily attends our monthly board meeting and notes what is said and decided. They do other minor things, but that task alone would help A LOT. 

Two other non-board but vital positions we need to get filled are 1) Micro Teams Uniform Manager and 2) PR help – which means putting up a bunch of posters and dropping flyers off around the area to promote registration. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this monthly update. We are looking forward to a smooth fall registration season! Let us know if you have any questions or if you can help spread the word about Hillwood soccer. 

Go Hillwood!

Silas Lindenstein

Hillwood Soccer President

May Tip: Five Things To Know

May Tip: 5 Things To Know

Hello, Hillwood Soccer Club family! I’m Silas Lindenstein, the proud President of our incredible recreational soccer organization. As we find ourselves in the beautiful month of May, I’ve got five tips for youth soccer coaches, parents, and players alike. So, let’s dive into this month’s edition of our blog, covering everything from how soccer benefits our youngsters to some much-needed tips for parents and coaches. And, of course, we couldn’t forget a great Ted Lasso quote, could we? So, buckle up and prepare for some fun, informative, and light reading!

Tip #1: Soccer is More Than Just a Game You’ve heard it before, and I’ll say it again: Soccer is more than just a game. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our young players to learn valuable life skills. Soccer teaches teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and resilience, among many other essential qualities. As coaches and parents, let’s make sure we emphasize these life lessons on and off the field. After all, as the great Ted Lasso said, “Success is not about the wins and losses; it’s about helping these young folks be the best versions of themselves, on and off the field.”

Tip #2: Encourage Balanced Lives Soccer is a fantastic sport, but it’s also essential to encourage our players to maintain a balanced life. We want them to excel in soccer and academics, engage in other hobbies, and foster friendships inside and outside the team. Having a well-rounded lifestyle will make them better soccer players and happier, more fulfilled individuals.

Tip #3: Parents, Be a Supportive Sideline Presence Parents, we know you love your children, and you want them to succeed. But it’s crucial to remember that your role during their soccer games is to be a supportive and positive presence. Avoid criticizing or coaching from the sidelines; this can create unnecessary pressure and confusion for your child. Instead, cheer them on and let the coaches do their job. Your support will go a long way in building their confidence and love for the game.

Tip #4: Coaches, Foster a Positive Environment Coaches, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of creating a positive environment for our players. This includes focusing on their growth and development rather than just wins and losses. Remember, our young players are still learning, and mistakes are part of that process. Encourage them, support them, and be patient as they navigate their soccer journey. A positive environment will help them develop a lifelong love for the sport and create lasting memories.

Tip #5: Players, Always Give Your Best Effort Players, we know you’re out there to have fun and improve your skills, but remember that giving your best effort is key. Whether it’s during practice or a game, always strive to give 100%. It’s not about winning every game but rather about showing commitment, learning from your mistakes, and growing as a player. Plus, giving your best effort sets an excellent example for your teammates and demonstrates good sportsmanship.

So, there you have it, our May’s Top 5 Hillwood Soccer Youth Club Soccer Tips! As we continue to enjoy the beautiful game of soccer, let’s remember to keep these tips in mind. Emphasize life lessons, encourage balance, be a supportive presence, foster a positive environment, and always give your best effort.

Together, we can make the Hillwood Soccer Youth Club a fantastic experience for everyone involved. Thank you for being a part of our soccer family, and here’s to a wonderful month of soccer and personal growth!

As we wrap up this month’s blog, I’d like to take a moment to share an important announcement with our Hillwood Soccer Youth Club community. We are currently seeking a couple of enthusiastic individuals to join our board in the roles of Secretary and Publicity. These positions are vital to the continued success and growth of our club.

Both the Secretary and Publicity positions are low-commitment roles, but they play an essential part in keeping our club running smoothly and efficiently. 

If you’re interested in either of these positions or know someone who might be, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email at HillwoodSoccerClub@HillwoodSoccer.com. We’d be delighted to welcome new members to our dedicated team and continue making a positive impact on our young soccer players’ lives.

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to our club. Together, we can make the Hillwood Soccer Youth Club an even better place for everyone involved.

See you on the pitch,

 Silas Lindenstein, 

President, Hillwood Soccer Club