Illinois MWC Qualifier

New Competition Will Give Teams A Pathway Into Midwest Conference Premier II

CLICK HERE FOR THE AUGUST 30 WEBINAR ABOUT THE NEW ILLINOIS MWC QUALIFIER
 

Illinois Youth Soccer is excited to announce a new pathway for member teams to qualify for the Premier II Division of the US Youth Soccer Midwest Conference.  We have consulted with our member clubs to come up with this new model that would replace the current Midwest Conference Qualifying Divisions that historically have been all Illinois teams but run by US Youth Soccer.  This is new format will

  1. Save teams money. The fee for the Illinois MWC Qualifier will be $450 plus league registration fee and referee payments made at the field. In comparison, the current Midwest Conference fee is $975 plus league registration fee and referee payments. Moving the competition “in-house” will save each team $500
  2. Provide localized play including the opportunity for a division specifically for member teams in the Central & Southern part of the state, if enough teams participate.
  3. Provide scheduling flexibility for teams to play more games, ideally 7-9 in a season.
  4. Ensure that those teams that do not want to play in Premier II or higher in the Midwest Conference will only be placed in a Illinois MWC Qualifier.
  5. Keep registration open longer for 15U-17U teams to ensure they can field a team instead of requiring a commitment in before league registration closes
  6. Still earn division winners promotion into Premier II the following season.

How the new process will work?

  • Illinois Youth Soccer will post a list of teams (CLICK HERE FOR THE SPRING 2024 15U-17U LIST) that have earned their place into the Midwest Conference and will be endorsed for placement into the Midwest Conference Premier I and Premier II.  Each of those teams have to complete the Spring 2024 Midwest Conference application by the September 8 deadline.
    • Teams on this list can chose NOT to play in the Midwest Conference and register for the Illinois MWC Qualifier if they do not want to play in the multi-state Premier II division.
    • Any team that applies for the Midwest Conference that is not on our list of endorsed teams will be contacted with information on registering for the Illinois MWC Qualifier.*
    • Should the opportunity for more teams to be placed into Midwest Conference Premier II, IYSA will contact the next Illinois team on ranking list from the previous season's Midwest Conference results*. *Based on performance in the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championship or Illinois State Cup teams could bypass the Qualifying Division and be placed into Premier II, if they have previously not compete in the Midwest Conference. 
    •  Final placement and selection into divisions is done by the Midwest Conference selection committee. Teams on this list will be approved by Illinois for placement into Midwest Conference but final decision on selection and placement are done by USYS.
      •  Any team not selected for Premier II or higher will have the opportunity to then register for the Illinois MWC Qualifier
    • With the current combination of 18U/19U Division done in the Midwest Conference, the oldest Illinois MWC Qualifier will be the 17U age group.
      •  IYSA will endorse all 18U/19U teams that apply for the Midwest Conference   
  •  Teams not on the list of endorsed teams should apply for the new Illinois MWC Qualifier by the registration deadline of February 9, 2024.   The winner of this Illinois MWC Qualifier division will be ranked the following season for placement into Premier II. 
    • If enough teams for a Chicagoland and Central/South Division either
      • Winners of both divisions will be ranked for placement into Premier II
      • Or the winner of each division will play a playoff to earn their spot into Premier II

What are the requirement to play in Illinois MWC Qualifier?
The competition is open to any Illinois Youth Soccer member team that meets the following requirements:

  1. Teams is a registered an Illinois Youth Soccer member competitive league for the Spring 2024 season.
  2. Teams MUST register to compete in either the Illinois State Cup or Illinois Presidents Cup for Spring 2024.

What are the ages of the competition?
The Illinois MWC Qualifier will be run for the 12U-17U age groups.

The 12U age group will continue to operate as it has since 2021.

The 13U-17U age groups wil begin in Spring 2024.

The competitions will run per season in the following age group: 

Spring Season

  • 13U-14U Girls
  • 13U-17U Boys

Fall Season

  • 13U-17U Girls
  • 13U-14U Boys

What is the cost?

  • Any team wishing to participate must be registered to an Illinois Youth Soccer member competitive league. Most leagues have a special pricing for teams that play in the Midwest Conference or State Premiership that strictly covers player insurance, required registrations with US Youth Soccer & US Soccer, player passes and administrative fees.
  • The competition cost will be $450.
  • Referee fees paid at the field. The referee fees for the Spring 2024 season would will be

o 13U/14U:  $80 per team per game

o 15/16U: $85 per team per game

o 17-19U: $95 per team per game

Again this new “in-house” structure will save the teams more than $500 while still serving the purpose of earning a team a spot into Premier II the following season.

Does the pathway to the Midwest Conference Premier I change?
No, the promotion system into Premier I would remain the same.

  • Teams start in the Qualifying Division*. Winners earn a promotion into Premier II.
  • Winner of the multi-state Premier II, earn a promotion into Premier I.
  • Teams in Premier I retain their position based on their performance in Premier I or are relegated to Premier II

*Based on performance in the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championship or Illinois State Cup teams could bypass the Qualifying Division and be placed into Premier II, if they have previously not compete in the Midwest Conference. 

Will there still be a State Premiership?
Yes, the State Premiership will continue to be offered as a more economical alternative to other in-state and regional based competitions.  While the new Illinois MWC Qualifier will provide the opportunity for teams to play more matches, teams can play in both the Midwest Conference/ Illinois MWC Qualifier and the State Premiership if looking for more games.

Marketing opportunities
The Illinois MWC Qualifier will get marketing benefits similar to the ones in the State Premiership include:

  • Pre-Made Social Media graphics for teams to use
  • Weekly campaigns highlighting standings and individual players

Questions? Contact Chris at chrisj@illinoisyouthsoccer.org or 847-290-1577

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