WHAT IS THE US YOUTH SOCCER LEAGUES PROGRAM?
The US Youth Soccer Leagues program features the National League and a network of 13 conferences (formerly known as US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues) across the country. The competitions provide teams with the highest possible level of competition at the national and multi-state levels. The Midwest Conference is one of 13 conferences that fall under the scope of the Leagues Program and operate at a multi-state level — providing high-level competition on a consistent basis primarily at a targeted local level (Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota). The National League is the top level of competition in the Leagues Program and features the best US Youth Soccer teams in the country. The National League’s 14U-18U age groups feature up to 32 teams per gender, while the 19U age group features up to 16 teams per gender. The winners of each National League division earn direct entry into the US Youth Soccer National Championships, the oldest and most prestigious youth soccer national championship in the country. Top finishers in the 14U-18U National League age groups also earn automatic qualification back into the National League for the following season.
Teams must earn their place in the National League, making it the highest level of youth soccer in the country. National League participation offers increased exposure to college, professional and U.S. National Team coaches. National League alumni have gone on to earn success collegiately at the Division I, II and III levels; professionally in Major League Soccer, the National Women’s Soccer League and the UEFA Champions League; and internationally with U.S. Soccer and other national teams.
The Midwest Conference’s Premier I Division tier offers its teams an opportunity to qualify for the 2020-21 National League. In addition to providing a pathway to qualifying for the National League, the Midwest Conference provides teams with a chance to advance to the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships, which are held annually each summer.
Any team looking to participate in the US Youth Soccer Leagues Program Midwest Conference must understand the level of commitment it takes to participate in a League that stretches across 11 different state associations. All teams understand that this is a multi-state league and that teams may travel hundreds of miles to participate in conference games. Teams understand that they may not play any true “home” games. A limited number of teams are accepted into the US Youth Soccer Leagues Program Midwest Conference, so it is important that each team makes the commitment to travel BEFORE applying to the conference.
BOYS and GIRLS AGE GROUPS OF COMPETITION
The 2019-20 US Youth Soccer Leagues Program Midwest Conference will include the following Boys and Girls age groups:
The Fee for an Illinois team to participate in the US Youth Soccer Leagues Program Midwest Conference is $750 per team, per season (paid to Illinois Youth Soccer) and is non-refundable if a team is accepted into the conference and later drops out. The Team Fee does not include Referee Fees, which will be paid in accordance with the Conference Operating Procedures. Team Fees are paid to your respective State Association and are to be paid to your State Association as determined by your local State Association. The State Association pays US Youth Soccer for all teams entered in the US Youth Soccer Leagues Program Midwest Conference. Teams do not pay entry fees directly to US Youth Soccer. Teams may also be required to pay additional event fees for conference hosted events, which can be seen later in this document.
US Youth Soccer Leagues Program Midwest Conference boundaries are for youth teams that are members of US Youth Soccer State Associations of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana, although teams from outside these areas may also apply to participate. B13U-19U and G13U-14U teams from Michigan may choose to play in either the Midwest Conference or the Great Lakes Conference based on their location. G15U-19U teams from Michigan will play in the Midwest Conference due to fall conflicts with High School in Great Lakes Conference states. B13U-19U and G13U-19U teams from Indiana may choose to play in either the Midwest Conference or the Great Lakes Conference based on their location. Once a team from Michigan or Indiana selects a conference they must remain in that conference for subsequent seasons, or start from the lowest tier. For Minnesota, G13U and G14U teams are expected to play in the Midwest Conference, while at G15U-19U teams are expected to play in the Great Lakes Conference due to their high school soccer season conflicts in the fall season.
SEASONS OF PLAY
2019 FALL SEASON
Boys and Girls 14U competitions. The 14U competition during the 2019 Fall Season will feature Premier I, Premier II, and First Division tiers of play with promotion and relegation between the tiers to determine the 2020 Spring Season placement of teams into tiers.
Girls 15U through 19U competitions. Due to avoiding conflicts with high school soccer, the Midwest Conference will offer its 15U through 19U competition during the 2019 Fall Season
Boys Developmental Competition. This age group generally features 8th and 9th graders. We will offer development play for the Boys 15U age group. Teams interested in this competition which will not involve promotion or relegation but rather creating a competition platform for players born in 2005 that are in 8th grade while their 9th grade teammates are participating in high school soccer.
2020 SPRING SEASON
Boys and Girls 13U and 14U competitions. The 13U competition during the 2020 Season will feature Premier I, Premier II, and First Division tiers of play with promotion and relegation between the tiers for the following soccer season (2020 Fall Season). As the 13U’s is the entry age group for the Conferences, the State Associations at the time of the team application period will rank teams for admission into the Conferences and team placement into tiers. The 14U competition during the 2020 Spring Season will feature Premier I, Premier II, and First Division tiers of play (primarily based on the results of the 2019 Fall Season of 14U play) with promotion and relegation between the tiers for the following soccer year (2020-21).
Boys 15U through 19U competitions. Boys competitions in these age groups during the 2020 Spring Season will feature Premier I, Premier II, and First Division tiers of play with promotion and relegation between the tiers for the following soccer year (2020-21).
Girls 15U Developmental Competition. This age group generally features 8th and 9th graders. Teams interested in this competition which will not involve promotion or relegation but rather creating a competition platform for players born in 2005 that are in 8th grade while their 9th grade teammates are participating in high school soccer.