Welcome to U13

Welcome to U13! This year the players are moving to a full field, 11-a-side, and the number of players per team is higher. Here is a list of frequently asked questions to help you understand what changes may occur.

When do I register?

As early as possible please! A note will be sent sometime in late March or early April to register for the upcoming season. You must register before assessments. If you wait until late August to register, your child may be put on a wait list.

How are teams formed?

Similar to U12, assessments generally start in April and run through until late May. There are generally 2-3 assessments for each age group.

Are there different divisions?

Yes. There are Gold and Silver divisions. If there is enough demand (depending on players’ abilities) there may also be a Bronze division.

How many teams will there be?

The number of teams is determined by the number of children who register. At U13 there is one Gold boys team and one Gold girls team. The remainder of players will play in the Silver division (or Bronze). At U13 there are between 14 and 18 players on each team (as opposed to U12 where there are roughly 12 players per team).

Do the Spring assessments determine what team each player is on?

Yes – but there is also an in-season evaluation done by the previous season’s coach that helps form a true picture of a player’s ability. Taken together, the Spring assessment and coach evaluation will determine team structure for the following year. Additional input from next year’s coach(es) may also be required. Goalkeepers are usually assessed separately.

If my child doesn’t make the Gold team, are there other opportunities to play at this level?

Potentially. At U12 there was “soft-tiering” between the Blue (Gold) and the White (Silver) divisions. At U13, there is no “soft-tiering”, but there may be chances to permit from Silver to Gold for the occasional match. Each player’s main priority, however, is to the team on which he or she is placed.

Who does U13 play against?

U13 teams continue to play against other Lower Island clubs. Cowichan also participates at U13, which means a couple of matches in Duncan.

When are the games?

All games are played Saturday mornings. Most home games are played late-morning (closer to noon), but this can vary due to field scheduling demands. Away games may start earlier or later. The exact time of the match and the field you will be playing on isn’t generally known until Wednesday of that week.

Are the games the same?

At U13, matches are 11-a-side and the players now play full field using the large goal frames. There is still the retreat line one-third of the way up the pitch for goal-kicks. Offsides are called from the halfway line.

Are there standings?

Yes. Unlike U12 where no standing are kept, at U13 they are tracked. All standings can be found on the LISA website. After each match the coach/manager of the team must email the score to the LISA score recorder (even if the match is cancelled).

Remind me what LISA is again?

LISA (Lower Island Soccer Association) is the umbrella organization for all the clubs in Lower Island. It is in charge of setting the schedules, monitoring the standings, promoting coach education and many other things. Click here for more information.

What is weekly rescheduling?

At the start of the season each team is given a schedule that runs from September until late February or March. After the winter break, however, this schedule is often superceded by make-up games (due to cancelled games) and cup games that take priority over league games. As a result, LISA has to restructure the original schedule on a weekly basis and will notify coaches by email on the Monday before the weekend match. This can go on for several weeks.

What’s a cup game?

A cup competition is one where all the games must end with a winner (no draws), and if you lose a game you are out of the competition. At the Silver level, each team competes in the LISA Cup, which runs through the season. At the Gold level, teams compete in B Cup. If you are the Island B Cup representative, you are automatically entered into Coastal Cup (April) and Provincials (July). Both Gold and Silver (with some exceptions) compete in District Cup which takes place at the end of the season. See a chart here.

Who are the coaches?

Coaches of the U13 teams are volunteers and usually a parent of a player on the team, however, there may be people in the community who would like to coach a U13 team. Head coaches of Gold teams at U13 and older must have taken their Soccer for Life course, offered free by LISA (contact coachcom1@baysunited.ca). Given the larger team size at this age group, it’s essential to have two coaches. One coach for 16 players isn’t enough. Please consider getting involved.

I don’t feel comfortable coaching, are there other ways I can help?

Of course! There are many other ways to help. Being a linesman, putting up nets when playing on grass pitches, managing the team and being a social coordinator are just a few of the things you can do to support your child’s team.

What’s Vancouver Island Wave?

Vancouver Island Wave plays in the BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) – the entry point to higher levels of soccer (Provincial, National etc). Wave draws players from the entire Island and intake is at the U13 level. Tryouts usually take place between February and April for the following season. Find more info here.


Further questions can be directed to: