“Playing-up” is when a player is approved to play on a team that is a division (i.e. silver/gold) and age-group (i.e. U12/U13) above their own.

Bays United believes that a player should play within his/her own age division in order to properly learn soccer fundamentals – and for social reasons (i.e. friendship, leadership, etc). While playing-up is not encouraged, it is recognized that certain circumstances justify playing-up.

Bays only allows players to play-up ONE age division, with the exception of a U16 player if permitted to play on a U17/U18 team.

Once approved, a player can play-up for ONE full season. Single game playing-up requires a permit.

This policy allows for playing-up for the following reasons:

  1. An individual player has “exceptional” soccer ability (i.e. significantly greater ability than the group of best players in the same division); or
  2. Players are requested to play-up in an older division as the older division does not have enough players to form a team. The extraction of players to play-up should not prevent the younger age-division from maintaining a full team.

This policy does not allow playing-up for the following reasons:

  1. To strengthen the competitiveness of the team in the older age division (as this has the effect of weakening the team in the younger age division, thereby favouring one division over another); and
  2. To play with friends or siblings.
  • Exceptional players are identified through an evaluation over the course of the previous season and in assessments.
  • The player must be one of the top-3 players in their own age division and one of the top-3 players in the age division above.
  • Evaluation for exceptional players must occur each year. Just because a player played-up last year does not mean he/she will play-up the following year.
  • It is not expected that more than one or two players in an age division will be identified as exceptional.
  • A player who is identified as an exceptional player shall not be forced/persuaded to play-up if he/she does not want to.
  • Parent/Guardian requests for their child to play-up must be submitted to the the Teams, Coaches & Players working group for consideration. Email:

This policy is managed and implemented by the Teams, Coaches & Players working group.