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Norwalk Soccer Club - Norwalk, Iowa


Norwalk Soccer Club (NSC) Frequently Asked Questions


1. What ages can play soccer with Norwalk Soccer Club?
The "age" of a soccer player is determined on the birth year of each player. This is a change that US Soccer mandated. Norwalk has kids as young as 6 playing on 7U teams. In the Fall, NSC has teams in 7U through 19U age groups. In the Spring, most of our 14+ year old players play high school, so we field 7U through 14U teams.

2. Who runs the Norwalk Soccer Club?
The NSC is a volunteer-based community organization run by its members, using an annually elected board. Details

3. Who chooses the coaches? Parent coaches for the U8-U19 teams are chosen through a mix of volunteerism and the director of coaching seeking willing and qualified parents/responsible adults. Coaches are required to perform a background check via the Iowa Soccer Association. Coaches are provided ideas and resources for planning practices.

4. If I sign my child up, how much will s/he get to play? Typical seasons are 8 games long, usually spread over 9-10 weeks because of holidays or weather cancellations. For all Level 3 teams or any teams that participate in the Greater Des Moines Junior Soccer League, everybody plays at least half of the game.  Playing time is not guaranteed for tournaments.

5. What does Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 mean? There are three levels of play as designated by the Iowa Soccer. Level 1, level 2 and level 3. For a full explanation of these levels please see the Iowa Soccer documentation. Level 1 and Level 2 only apply to the U11 and older age groups.

6. I've heard through the grapevine that Norwalk Soccer Club is "competitive". What does that mean? Our U8-U10 program is a learning exercise. No scores are kept at games, and no standings are kept. Team formation is based random team assignment for new players and teams previously played (see team placement policy for more details). We emphasize individual player development over trying to win as a team at these ages. We emphasize teaching soccer skills in a fun, age-appropriate, game-based environment. We emphasize the importance of good sportsmanship with players, parents, and referees. There are no tryouts or player evaluations of any sort. You just sign up and we get you on a team!

For our older players (beginning with the U11 year), we do run a more competitive program, again with an emphasis on player development.

7. Where/When will the games be? The answer to this depends on the age of your player. The U8 teams currently play with the West Des Moines Soccer Club. The U8 schedule is determined by WDMSC and most games are Sunday afternoon at Raccoon River Park. The U10 through U19 games are scheduled through the Greater Des Moines Junior Soccer League. U10 games are typically played on Saturday and the U11 and up are played Sunday afternoon, although some may be scheduled on Saturday afternoons. Home games are played at the Norwalk McAninch Sports Park with away games scheduled throughout the Greater Metro Area. U8 and U10 teams may enter tournaments at their option. Any Select (Level 1) teams will play in the Iowa Premier Soccer League (IPSL), run through the Iowa Soccer Association. This league offers flexible rostering and flexible registration of teams.

8. Who coaches the teams? Most coaches for the NSC are volunteers; either parents or others interested in developing soccer skills and a love of the game in young people. The NSC provides training opportunities for our volunteer coaches so that they can enhance their skills. The Select (Level 1) teams are coached by a paid professional coach. Level 2 teams may be coached by a paid professional coach or by a volunteer coach.

9. My child has signed up for soccer. When will I hear something? The electronic registration provides you a receipt. If you do not get an electronic receipt, contact us immediately. Practice times are provided to coaches prior to the start of the season. You should receive a phone call and or email from your coach well before each season starts. Typically you will hear from coaches a week or two before practice starts each season. All families are added to an email list to announce things like the first day of practice, game schedules, special events, and so on. Every player's family gets placed on an appropriate emailing list each season. We re-do the lists each season because so many people change their addresses. We recommend using personal email addresses, as often times the high security of work email address may block or place NSC emails into spam/junk mail folders.

10. We're going to our first practice next week. What should we bring? A water bottle. Shin guards with socks that cover them. A ball. (U5-U8: size 3; U9-U12: size 4; U13+ size 5) Sneakers or soccer shoes are ok, especially for the youngest ages. Cleats are strongly recommended for U9 and older players. Soccer cleats are different from baseball cleats in that they do not have a central cleat in the front toe area. No metal cleats are allowed.

11. Are there special rules for the younger kids or do they play the regular game? As part of the Iowa Soccer Association, we play "small-sided games" on smaller fields in our younger age divisions. Small-sided games give greater opportunities for every player to touch the ball and achieve success, something that is critically important for younger players. There are some other simplifying rules as well; here are the highlights: U8 plays 4 v 4 with no keeper. No penalty kicks. U8, and U10 play with no "offsides" rule. U10 plays 6 v 6 with a keeper. U12 plays 8 v 8, but otherwise full rules. U13 and above play on a large field with the full rules as set forth by FIFA and Iowa Soccer Association. Please visit this Parents' page and click here for Laws of the Game Made Easy.

12. What about tournaments? Teams make the decision whether to play in extra tournaments on their own. We encourage teams to play in local tournaments, such as the Kohl's American Cup and Iowa Games, but the decision is up to the teams. Teams are responsible for their own entry fees. Nearby tournaments are listed at the Iowa Soccer Association web site.


Contact Us

Norwalk Soccer Club

PO Box 431 
Norwalk, Iowa 50211

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