Getting Started with Soccer
Are you interested in registering yourself or your child to play soccer in Georgia, but don't know where to start? You have come to the right place. This page will point you to all of the information you will need to get registered and playing soccer in no time.
Find a Club
The first step is to find a club or league in your area. You can do this by using our online Club Finder. You can search by ZIP Code and desired distance from home, or simply browse the interactive map. We recommend selecting two or three clubs in your area to look at a bit closer. You can click on "Club Info" for any club and see its contact information and website. Club websites will offer complete details on the programs they offer.
Types of Programs
As you look at a few clubs in your area, you will run across a few types of programs that may not make sense at first. Below are the different types of programs our clubs might offer:
- Recreational: Recreational programs are for youth players and are geared towards players who want to play "just for fun." Teams are not selected using tryouts and players are never "cut." Teams may be formed randomly or geographically by where players live.
- Academy: Academy programs are competitive select soccer programs designed for younger players. Academy programs are for the U09, U10, U11, and U12 age groups, though there may be "pre-Academy" programs for players as young as U08. Teams are formed using tryouts, though the primary objective of these programs is player development.
- Athena/Classic: These programs are for the competitive player in age groups U13 to U19. These teams are formed by tryouts, players are cut, and the focus is split between development and competition.
- Adult Soccer: These programs are for players over the age of 19. These leagues may be further defined by age and no youth age players will be allowed.
For youth players, which age group a player participates in is dictated by their birthdate. Please see the chart below to find out into which age group your youth player will fall. Please note that there are different cutoff dates for recreational and competitive programs. The below dates are for the Fall 2017/Spring 2018 seasonal year.
Athena | Classic | Academy
Participating in youth soccer does not require a substantial investment in equipment as is common in other youth sports. All youth players are required to wear shinguards, long soccer socks, and closed toe athletic shoes or cleats. Jerseys are issued by the club, sometimes for a fee. Recreational teams typically only have one jersey, while competitive select teams may require several full kits and warm-up gear. Your club will provide all uniform information to you when you register.