What is the new uniform ordering system for travel players?

Uniform kits for travel players will be purchased by parents at the time of registration for the Fall 2013 season. Players will keep these kits until they no longer fit, are worn out or a family chooses to purchase a new kit. There will be no need to purchase a new kit every season, but all players must purchase a uniform kit in addition to registering to play next season.

Why did the league change the way travel uniforms are ordered?

The biggest reason is flexibility. Every season, the league has to wait to order uniforms until every player is registered and all coaches are in place so that rosters can be created and then sponsors put in place. Under the new system, there will be no team sponsors. No matter what team a player is placed on, they will be able to use the same kit.

Do other leagues do this?

Yes. Several leagues in our area use this system for their travel teams. When you see players from other towns that have unusual numbers, it’s generally a function of the system used to keep numbers from repeating.

How will numbers be assigned? Will players be able to pick their numbers?

Players will not be able to choose their number. Players will be assigned a jersey number that will be theirs as long as they continue playing in SYSL. Numbers will be assigned in such a way that each number can only be used once in a division. For example, a “class” of players entering u10 soccer would be assigned a jersey number from a certain set (example: odd numbers or even numbers from 2-50). The “class” entering their second year of u10 soccer would be assigned a jersey number from the opposite set (in this example, even numbers or odd numbers from 51-99).  Assignments would alternate from “class” to “class” to avoid duplicates as players advance through divisions.

Will younger siblings be able to use uniforms previously used by older siblings?

That issue has not been worked out. It may be too difficult for our vendor to manage. In theory, it would be possible for a younger sibling to take over a uniform that no longer fit their older sibling. It would only be possible if the players were in classes that drew numbers from the same sets. And since the league is just transitioning to the new system, it’s not clear how difficult it would be for our vendor to make this work. It is being considered.

Is this going to cost players more?

Initially, yes. That’s why SYSL is picking up $10 toward the cost of each uniform for the Fall 2013 season. But going forward, since players won’t have to purchase a uniform every season, player costs will only include the registration fee, which should not have to increase as often to cover escalating uniform prices.

 Why isn’t the registration fee going down, if it no longer includes the uniform cost for travel players?

Uniform sponsors are no longer going to be solicited for travel teams. Revenue generated through sponsorship covered not only the cost of the uniform kit, but other expenses incurred by the league. To help families cover the cost of new uniforms, SYSL will be paying the first $10 for travel uniforms purchased for the Fall 2013 season. Increases in registration fees should also be reduced going forward.

 How long can a player keep their uniforms?

Players will be able to wear their uniforms until they grow out of them or wish to purchase a new one due to wear, having lost the uniform or other reasons. After the Fall 2013 season, players will no longer be required to purchase a new uniform every season.

 Will the uniform itself change?

The uniform will change in the Fall, but SYSL has worked with our vendor to select a uniform style that should be available for 3-5 years. If/when the style becomes unavailable, players will NOT be required to purchase the new kit immediately. The league will select an available replacement kit that is similar in style to the old one. While the South Shore Soccer League is fairly strict about making sure teams all wear matching kits, they do give some latitude to leagues that are transitioning from uniform styles that are no longer available if the old and new styles are not substantially different by their judgment.