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Competitive FAQs

  • Can My Child Join PSC If I Don’t Live In Piedmont?
    Yes. Piedmont soccer club welcomes players from neighboring cities and currently has about 40% of its players who live outside of the city.
  • Tryout Process and Timelines
    Players must register in advance here: Tryouts Two placement days will be held for each age group (U9 - U12) within the window set by NorCal Premier Soccer (usually in May)
    • U7 - U8 will have one placement day
    Players are expected to attend all placement days to allow for your child to gain the most accurate assessment of their playing level and allow for us to place them on the most appropriate team.
    • If you are sick/injured during the team selection process, we may be able to offer an assessment during the first week of practice in July.
      • This should be communicated to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. prior to the first placement day
    Our goal is to create 3 teams at U9-U10 (Purple/White/Grey) and 2 teams at U11-U12 (Purple/White). U7-8 players are placed into our ‘development center’, which does not divide players into tiers.
    • Purple is the 1st team
    • White is the 2nd team
    • Grey is the 3rd team
    Players are observed by our professional coaching staff and placed upon the following criteria: Psychosocial:
    • Coachability
    • Effort
    • Focus
    • Enjoyment of the game
    • Wanting the ball
    • First touch
    • 1v1
    • Running with the ball
    • Striking the ball
    • Body mechanics
    • Alignment
    • Balance
    • Coordination
    • Communication
    • Game insight / Decision Making
    • Defensive and Offensive principles
    Offer and Acceptance
    • After both sessions for an age/gender are complete, the professional coaching staff compile notes to form recommended rosters
    • A club official will communicate with participants to either;
      • Offer a place on one of the Highlander rosters
      • Recommend a place within our Recreation program
      • In rare circumstances there may be no team within an age group. PSC will do their best to inform participants ahead of time if/when this is the case.
    • Communication for the Purple team in the age group will take place within 72 hours of the final session (this usually comes via a phone call from the Professional Coach).
    • Participants will then have 48 hours to accept the place, register for the program and remit the non-refundable registration fee (full fee or first installment).
    • Purple teams are formed first, followed by White and then a Grey team, where we have sufficient numbers, commitment and ability.
    • We are usually able to contact all players within 72 hours of the final placement day (please ensure all contact information in your team formation registration is correct).
    • We urge families to discuss the decision to join the Highlander program and ask any questions to the club before Placement Days begin, so that we can form teams efficiently and not leave players waiting to hear whether or not they have made a team.
      • You should already be prepared to provide us with your decision when we first contact you.
  • Refund Policy
    Updated as of January 2017. This policy supersedes all other refund policy references or statements published. Competitive Programs The Highlanders (competitive) program has a strict refund policy because a player’s acceptance onto a team has the effect of denying another player an opportunity to play on a competitive team. Additionally, PSC accrues fees for services provided to the team based on player headcount. Accordingly, fees are not refundable and not transferable. Fees cover the entire soccer year. A player who accepts an invitation to play with Highlanders commits to pay the entire fee for the full soccer year. No refunds, partial or full, will be made to players who choose not to participate at any point after registration, including players suspended from the program.The PSC Board may consider a partial refund ONLY for the following exceptions, which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis: (1) player has a season ending injury: the board may consider a partial refund after review of records provided by family with supporting documents from the treating physician or facility; and (2) families move during the season.
  • Playing Time Policy
    All U8 - U12 Highlander players will receive a minimum of 50% playing time every game. Exceptions to this will occur for disciplinary or commitment concerns, which will be communicated to the player and parent in advance of any impacted game.
  • Can My Child Play “Down”?
    In our Highlander program, players are not permitted to play down an age group. If they are registering for a Recreational team, a player may submit a play down request in their application. This should be on the grounds of medical reasons. Playing with classmates is not a sufficient reason. Any play down requests are sent to the playing league’s committee for approval (this is not decided by PSC).
  • What is the Playing Up Policy for Highlanders?
    Playing Up Policy
    • A player will only be allowed to ‘play up’ with the prior consent of both the Director of Coaching and Head Coach.
    • The decision will be driven by the development needs of the individual player and not for team enhancement.
    • The only exception being, when there is no appropriate team within their own age-group, or there is a need to combine players of different ages to make up a dual-aged competitive team.
    • Any player ‘trying out’ for the age group above, must also tryout within their own age group.
    • ‘Playing up’ is a one-year offer and should be reviewed by coaching staff on an annual-basis, which is inline with the development needs and best interests of the individual player.
    • The outcome of these discussions will be confirmed with the player’s parent(s) and there will be an open dialogue with the parents throughout to ensure the player’s needs are being met.
  • How are the Teams Flighted?
    • Teams participate in NorCal Premier for league play, with teams flighted in brackets between Gold - Copper for U9-10 and Premier - Copper for U11-12
    • Flighting and league applications take place in June for Fall and Jan for Spring
    • Flighting is determined based on a team’s previous season’s performance in league, with input from the Head Coach, Assistant Director of Coaching AND Director of Coaching
    • Where there is no ‘historical data’ teams should play start a mid/low level and work their way up
    • The objective is for teams to achieve a 0.500 win ratio
    • Teams should move up/down based on this win ratio (promotion/relegation)
  • How Can I Register My Child?
    Registration for Highlander team players begins once players are offered a place. Only players selected for their Highlander team are allowed to register for that team. You must also register for our placement days before attending (see Tryout Process and Timeline).
  • Who Coaches The Teams?
    All Highlanders teams are led by one of our Professional Coaching Staff from 24-7 UK Soccer Academy. Where possible, our Highlander coaches will work with a team for two years. U7-8, U9-10 and U11-12. We do our best to ensure that the Pro Coach positions are available at the first placement day in May. All teams are also required to have a Volunteer Coach, Team Manager and Affiliated Referee. These volunteer positions are filled by parents amongst the team.
  • What Is The Highlanders Tournament Policy
    Highlanders Tournament Policy (starting Fall 2023) Highlander teams will participate in up to TWO tournaments, during the Fall season (August - November), plus NorCal State Cup
    • NorCal State Cup is included in team registration fees, so is not included in this policy 
    When committing to a Highlander team, all the rostered players will contribute to the tournament entry fees, and be expected to play.  
    • Tournaments which will cost over $200 per player, inclusive of travel costs, should be voted on, with 75% of the team roster approval.
    • A player's subsequent unavailability to participate in the tournament will not release the obligation to pay for the tournament entry fees.  
    • Guest players, if utilized, will not be expected to pay towards the tournament entry fee.
    • Any additional tournaments (more than TWO) and/or tournaments outside of the Fall season, require 75% of the team roster approval.  If such consensus is achieved, all roster players will contribute and be expected to play. 
    Tournament entry fees are not part of the Piedmont Soccer Club registration fee and are instead collected by Team Treasurer and/or Team Tournament Coordinator. Tournaments will be chosen from the recommended tournament list, provided at the pre-season team meeting.
    • A team poll is recommended for dates and teams should have a minimum of one or more substitute players available for all tournament games prior to registration/entry.
    • Pro Coach should have final say on the tournament(s) selected and the playing time of all players in attendance.
    • Tournaments should be listed on team budget, with dates uploaded to Teamsnap and team budget uploaded to Teamsnap files for reference.
    A player’s tournament costs are eligible for PSC Financial Aid awards in the same percentage a player receives for their PSC registration.   If participating in a tournament is going to cause any additional financial hardship, please contact the PSC VP of Admin to discuss aid.  
  • How Long Is The Season?
    The U.S. Club Soccer year runs from June 1st through May 31st. Players who are accepted into a Highlanders team at tryouts will be guaranteed a place on a Highlanders team through the end of spring the following year. Players accepted on a team in May (at tryouts) will register for the year and are required to commit to the team for Fall AND Spring. Please speak to your pro coach prior to accepting a spot on the team, with any commitment issues and/or other conflicts. It adversely impacts the experience for the other members of the team if a player accepts a spot and then does not honor that commitment.
  • My Child Plays A Spring Sport - Can We Still Play Highlanders?
    Piedmont Soccer Club recognizes that some people participate in multiple sports. Before accepting a place on a Highlander team all other commitments and conflicts should be communicated to the Professional Coach, so that expectations can be set. It adversely impacts the experience for the other members of the team if a player accepts a spot and does not honor that commitment. For situations where a player is unable to fulfill their commitment to the team roster movement may take place between the fall and spring season. This will only happen where the Director of Coaching, Assistant Director of Coaching and/or Pro Coach believe it to be appropriate for the player AND the impacted teams. PSC provides two training sessions a week in the spring for competitive players. If both practices conflict with another ‘spring sport’, players may be able to attend a session with another Highlander team one age/level up/down. Due to field-size limitations and maintaining a good child:coach ratio, this may not always be possible. PSC expects soccer to be the first priority for all Highlander players during the fall season. Game time may be impacted, due to a lack of communication and/or poor attendance/punctuality. Attendance is tracked and is a factor that may be considered, during the team formation process (tryouts).
  • What Happen If Our Team Forfeits A Game?
    Teams are required to submit request for game cancellation (if needed) at least 96 hours before game time. If a game is cancelled within 96 hours of game time, the team is responsible for payment of all fines associated with late cancellation or forfeiture. All players are expected to update their availability on TeamSnap so that team managers can determine in advance of the 96 hour deadline if a game must be rescheduled. Players who have not updated availability will be considered unavailable and the team manager/coaches will attempt to find a guest player to play in place of them, if possible.
  • Who Are The Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA)?
    Piedmont Soccer Club subscribes to the philosophy of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) ( Piedmont SC sponsors a PCA meeting for coaches and parents each year. Every Highlanders parent is strongly encouraged to attend a PCA meeting each year to learn about the power of positive coaching and every Highlander team is required to have a PCA Ambassador, who must be able to attend the PCA meeting on behalf of the team.
  • Do We Practice Over The Summer?
    Practices for the Fall season begin in Mid-July and run through to the end of the Fall season (U8: Early Nov, U9-10: Mid Nov, U11-12: Mid Dec). Teams will also receive a week-long summer camp (2 hours per day for 5 days – Monday thru Friday). Dates, times and locations of summer training and summer camp are posted on the website and will be available at the pre-season meeting (team camps are usually available by March for families to plan accordingly). The cost for the week-long team camp is included in the registration fee. Players are expected to attend all practices/games and should communicate with their Pro Coach if they are unable to attend any events throughout the season.
  • When Is The Fall Season?
    • Fall: 2nd week July - 1st week November
    • Spring: 1st week Mar - 2nd week May
    • Fall: 2nd week July - 3rd week November
    • Spring: 1st week Mar - 2nd week May
    • Fall: 2nd week July - 2nd week December
    • Spring: 1st week Mar - 2nd week May
    Extended State Cup: Some Purple level U11-12 teams will also be part of the ‘platinum’ or ‘gold’ level state cup, which extends into Jan-Feb. This consists of 6 additional weeks of practice in Jan and Feb and 2-3 weekends of games in Jan/Feb. Players are expected to be available for these sessions and games. Please speak to your pro coach prior to accepting a spot on the team, with any commitment issues and/or other conflicts. It adversely impacts the experience for the other members of the team if a player accepts a spot and then does not honor that commitment.
  • When Are Schedules Available?
    We do our best to get schedules to our members at the earliest possible time and work closely with our partners at PUSD, PRD and the many other community user groups, who we share facilities with to improve this timeline each year. Highlander Placement Days: Schedules and registration available in April – Placement Days run in May. Team Camps: Schedules available in March – Camps run mid-July and August. Fall Training: Schedules available in mid-June
    • U7-U8: Fall: 2nd week July - 1st week November
    • U9-U10: Fall: 2nd week July - 3rd week November
    • U11-U12: Fall: 2nd week July - 2nd week December
    Winter Schedule: Schedules available in October – Winter training is an additional fee and there are many options available for individual players and/or teams that wish to continue practicing (sessions run in Dec and Jan) Spring Schedule: Schedules available in January – Spring season runs from early March to early May (depending on US Soccer Tryout Window)
  • How Often Do We Train And Where?
    Highlander teams will practice twice a week in Fall and Spring, with an option to sign up for a third practice through our partners at 24-7 (additional fees apply for these programs). For players striving to play at the higher levels, we strongly recommend that players getting additional practice outside of their regular team training. Fall – Twice a week in Piedmont (plus team camp in summer) Spring – Twice a week (teams should expect to have at least one practice per week in Alameda – Bladium / Alameda Point)
  • What is AFC?
    Association Football Club (AFC) is the competitive level for our players at U13 - U19. AFC was formed in 2017, by Piedmont, Castro Valley and Montclair Soccer Club to provide competitive youth soccer for our players, as they transition from 9v9 to 11v11 soccer. Teams are coached by the same coaching staff from 24-7 UK Soccer Academy, with facilities provided by the founder clubs. By bringing the three clubs together, we are able to form teams with a greater parity of skill and give more players the opportunity to continue playing soccer at a level that best suits their development needs. For players that do not wish to continue with competitive soccer, PSC still has a Rec program that continues for high school age players. The AFC board of directors is made up of 3 members from each of the founding clubs. Each PSC representative for AFC is also a current member of the PSC board.
  • What are the roster sizes for Highlander teams?
    In order to give maximum playing time to all players and for teams to participate at the most competitive league and State Cup level, we have the following roster size recommendations:
    • U7-8 (4v4 or 5v5) (No minimum/maximum rosters, since there are no formal ‘teams’)
    • U9-10 (7v7)
      • Purple: 10-11
      • White: 11-12
      • Grey: 12-13
    • U11-12 (9v9)
      • Purple: 12-14
      • White: 13-15
    Occasionally there may be extenuating circumstances that require us to form teams with roster sizes outside of the above ranges. When this occurs, it will be communicated to families at pre-season meetings.

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