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HIngham Youth Soccer: A 101 Guide

By Rebecca Scarlott

There are many wonderful opportunities for children to play soccer here in Hingham. There are town teams, club teams, clinics, and camps galore.

Hingham Youth Soccer

The most obvious place to start is with the town program. It’s quite robust, with age-appropriate progression (see tables below). Coaches at all levels are volunteer fathers who love the game. Registration begins in the Spring and is usually closed by mid-June. See the web site noted above for more information.

DivisionAge GroupSmall-Sided GamesGoalieRefereeBall Size
K U6 4 v 4 (co-ed) None None (coaches) 3
Kickers-1 U6 4 v 4 (co-ed) None None (coaches) 3
Juniors U8 U8 6 v 6 Yes Yes (spring) 4
Seniors U10* U10* 6 v 6 Yes Yes (spring) 4

* Once children reach 10 years of age, they can choose to play in either the town league or the travel league. In the town league, teams stays in-town and play other Hingham in-town teams. In the travel league, teams play other South Shore towns. While some of these games are at Hingham fields, approximately half are out-of-town. This league is for parents and children who are relatively more serious about soccer and willing to drive as far as 45 minutes away for games.

Travel League

Age GroupGamesGoalieRefereeBall Size
U10 7 v 7 Yes Yes 4
U12 8 v 8 Yes Yes 4
U14 11 v 11 Yes Yes 5
U16* 11 v 11 Yes Yes 5
U18/19* 11 v 11 Yes Yes 5

* The U16, U18 and U19 groups play only in the spring.

Club Soccer

If your child loves soccer and wants to play even more often there’s always club soccer. Of course, you can choose club soccer and not town soccer, but most families either participate in both or just town.

The most prominent clubs on the South Shore are the Galway Rovers, Massachusetts Premier Soccer, New England Football Club, South Shore Select, and Scorpions. Below is a brief summary of each club. They are all very strong and have a lot to offer. The key will be finding the club that’s the right fit for you and your child. The only way to accomplish this is to do your homework: go to their websites, attend their practices/games, and ask to speak with parents whose children are in the clubs.

Galway Rovers FC

This may be one of the more popular clubs in Hingham, in part because practices are at the Union Street Fields (across from the High School). Galway offers excellent, professional coaches and stresses the team. Many players that try out in the U10 group (the youngest available) stay on the teams for years (they must try out again every Spring). In late 2010 Galway will be opening an indoor facility (with one outdoor field) on Route 3A by Hingham Lumber. Throughout the year, Galway offers clinics that may be attended by non-club members as well as those who are on a club team. Tryouts for the Galway teams are usually held in June. Once you make the team for the following fall/spring season, you are on it all year. See the Galway Rovers website for more information about the club and its clinics and camps.

Massachusetts Premier Soccer

MPS is an excellent club in which many Hingham soccer players participate. It is more established in Boston and west of the city. However, their presence is expanding on the South Shore. The club’s High School Prep League offers high schoolplayers/teams the opportunity to train and play through the Winter and Spring. This is aimed at those players who do not play Club Soccer, or cannot commit to Club Soccer, due to being multi-sport athletes. The MPS School of Excellence League is an academy league for U9-U12 teams which is based solely upon development of players in the appropriate game environment. This has primarily been an internal MPS league with more than 50 MPS teams competing against each other. However, in 2009, multiple club teams from Lexington, Winchester, and Reading joined the league which is now expanding for 2010.
During April vacation week 2010, Mass Premier Soccer will launch a new program in various towns across eastern Massachusetts named Soccer Tots. This program is geared toward 3-year old players and consists of an hour-long session for players and parents.  See the MPS website for more information about the club and its clinics and camps.

South Shore Select

South Shore Select (SSS) is another popular club—at this point, mostly for girls. They pride themselves on their attention to youth development—and their players all certainly have great foot skills. SSS has a lot of teams—more than Galway at each age group. They have teams that compete at the highest level both on a regional and national level as well as teams that offer more of a developmental focus. The club is run by the Lima family who also own the South Shore Sports Center. Through the year they run many clinics for both girls and boys of all ages and abilities. Tryouts for the teams are held at specific times during the year. See the SSS website for more information about the club and its clinics and camps.

Scorpions

Scorpions Soccer is a rapidly growing, extremely competitive club. The club has 15 girls teams and 8 boys teams.  Scorpions Soccer is investing into the U10 and younger developmental pool known as Scorpions Juniors.  Scorpions Soccer typically has multiple teams in age groups younger than 16. The 'top' team in each age group is referred to as the 'Elite' team, while the second and third teams in each age group are referred to as the 'Premier' and 'Club' teams, respectively. See the Scorpions website for more information about the club and its clinics and camps.

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