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Getting Started with Soccer

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. We recommend selecting two or three clubs in your area to look at a bit closer. 

Types of Programs

  • Recreational: for youth players; geared towards players who want to play 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: competitive select soccer programs designed for younger players; for the 9U, 10U, 11U and 12U age groups, though there may be pre-Academy programs for players as young as 8U. Teams are formed using tryouts, though the primary objective of these programs is player development.

  • Athena/Classic: for the competitive player in age groups 13U to 19U. These teams are formed by tryouts, players are cut and the focus is split between development and competition.

  • Adult Soccer:  for players over the age of 19. These leagues may be further defined by age and no youth age players will be allowed.

Age Groups

For youth players, the age group within which a player participates is dictated by their birth date.

Please see the chart below to find out into which age group your youth player will fall.  

Player classification for the soccer year shall be determined based on the official age group chart of Georgia Soccer-Youth. The below dates are for the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 seasonal year.

Recreational age groups are as follows. Single-year age groups can be used if that better serves your membership. State-level Recreational competition is configured on two-year age groups, i.e. 4U, 6U, 8U, 10U, etc. 


Single-year age groups for Classic, Athena and Academy programs are as follows:



Participating in youth soccer does not require a substantial investment in equipment. All youth players are required to wear shin guards, 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.