The following FAQ’s are intended to address questions you may have regarding the EBU – Bay Oaks Tryouts.

Q: Can my child “play up”? He/she misses the age cut-off by only a few days and has always played with the older age group.

A: Playing Up for State Teams – players (U9-U15) who are looking to play up will need to be evaluated by the coach and EBU DOC team for allowance into the age-group up. The goal is to place the player in an environment where they can grow best as a player. The ultimate decision in case of an indecisive recommendation from the DOC team will be made by the EBU coaching director. There are no restrictions on playing up in the U16-U19 age groups.

Playing Up for Regional Teams – players (U9-U14) who are looking to play up will be evaluated by the coach and the DOC team. For regional teams, the priorities will balance between what is best for the player and what is best for the team (and/or player’s desires).

Playing Up for Rec teams is a matter of the player’s fit with the team and the team’s coach. We also consider the safety of the player in playing up.

Tryout Registration for players wishing to play up: Please Register online twice, once in the true age group and once in the higher age group so that the player’s information is made available to the coaches from each age group. Player must try out for at least one day in their age group, even if he or she wants to play up.

The following is EBU’s competitive soccer tryout policy:

It is recognized that occasionally a player’s ability indicates that playing at an older age level may provide better training for that player. The only players who may “play-up” are:

Players trying out for Regional teams will be allowed to “play up,” when appropriate, with fewer restrictions, subject to DOC and TD approval.

Exceptionally talented players may be allowed to play up for State (Premier) Level teams, and it is subject to the DOC and TD approval. This will be allowed only in unusual circumstances. In making this decision, the DOC and TD will recommend whether the player is considered the best player or one of the top players in their respective age group. Other considerations the DOC and TD will factor in their decision will be whether physically and emotionally the player can play at the higher age level.

Players in the U14 or U15 age groups may play up one age group after being recommended by the DOC and TD approval. For example, an U14 player may play at the U15 age group level and an U15 player may play at the U16 age group level. Any player in the U14 or U15 age group wishing to play up two age groups or more must be recommended by the DOC and TD.

There is no playing up policy for our U16 teams and older.

Any player trying out for an older age group is not guaranteed selection on that team and must also try out for the age appropriate team.Finally, for a player to be selected to play on any East Bay United – Bay Oaks team, that player must attend try-outs for that team.This also means that you have to register online twice, once in the true age group and once in the higher age group so that the player’s information is made available to the coaches from each age group.

Q: Residency Requirement: Is there a requirement that a player be from the cities covered by the Jack London Soccer League – Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland, and Piedmont?

A: No.There is no residency requirement.

Q: State (Premier) vs. Regional Level Commitment: What is the difference between State (Premier) and Regional teams?

A: State (Premier) level teams are traditional Class I Bay Oaks teams.Regional level teams are traditional Class III teams (like the Rockridge Sting). Participation on a State (Premier) level team requires more time and financial commitment and the competition level is higher.State (Premier) teams train more throughout the year.

Q: I am interested in coaching – how can I sign up to be an EBU coach?

A: Please contact the EBU coaching director to discuss your interest and experience in coaching.

Q: Missing a Day Of Tryouts: Our child is very interested in trying out for a competitive team this year. Unfortunately, we already have commitments the first weekend of tryouts (it is a long weekend for our school and we thought the tryouts would be in Feb/March like last year). What are the consequences of missing one or more of the tryout dates?

A: Yes, it is an option to miss a day of tryouts. Register your child online and note in the comments section the date he/she will miss. Attend as many of the other tryout dates as possible. Also, check in with the Head Coach before or after the tryout session. It is best to attend all sessions so the evaluators can see your child over time and make more informed decisions regarding team selection. However, tryouts are spread over several days to accommodate those with conflicts.

Q: State (Premier) / Regional / Rec Options: My son/daughter has been playing on at the recreational level for 4 years now and we are now interested in exploring options with the competitive levels. What are the options and how will it affect the ability to play with his/her friends at the rec level?

A: Your child has 3 options:

(a) Tryout for State (Premier) level Bay Oaks (what was formerly Bay Oaks);
(b) Tryout for Bay Oaks Regional level (what was formerly Sting) or
(c) Play Recreational.

If you are interested in option (a) or (b), your child would attend tryouts at the end of January/early February. If your child prefers option (b), then he/she should choose that option when he registers for tryouts online.

If there is only one State team and one Regional team, State and Regional level teams will be selected promptly after tryouts and players will be notified if they are selected for a team. If your child is selected, he/she can decide whether to accept; trying out does not obligate your child to do so and you will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions at (or before tryouts) to help you decide. If your child is selected for a State or Regional team and accepts the offer, he/she would immediately join that new team, which is formed from the tryout pool.

If we have more than one team at a level and age group from U9-11 (for example, we might have two U10 State Teams and two Regional teams), then we will take all of those players and put them into a “pool” and assign them to teams by spring Break. The assignment of a player to a team will be based on several factors with a goal to create the best fit for each child (that is, it will not be random). The State and Regional teams play in the spring and fall; spring participation is optional for regional players.

If your child does not try out or is not selected for a State or Regional pool or team, then your child will return to his Recreational team in the spring and fall, unless he/she would like to change Recreational teams. In other words, if he/she wants to play in the more competitive league in the fall, your child needs to try out now.

In the spring, some kids play for their Recreational team and their competitive team in the year in which they switch from Rec to competitive so that they can help out their Rec team in the spring. Spring is more informal for Regional (formerly Class III) and Recreational players.

We hold tryouts every year, so if your child does not play State or Regional competitive soccer this year, he/she can always do so in the future.

Q: Vacation Time: We are trying to plan our year, including a much-needed August vacation. Will that be a problem if my son makes U9 Regional Team? He will also play baseball in the spring but I understand that won’t be a problem.

A: Kids and families are allowed and encouraged to take vacations. Communicate your trip in advance to your coach for his/her planning purposes. It is highly encouraged for the player to attend an EBU Bay Oaks summer camp, if he will miss trainings in August.

With the flexibility in US Club and NorCal rules there are ways to add players from other U9 teams or from our younger U8 Juniors teams to the roster for one or two games.

Q: Pool Concept for U9-11: I understand that if my 9-year-old son is selected to play for a Bay Oaks team, he will be placed in a “pool.”What does that mean?

A: See EBUSC Pool Concept FAQ.

Q: Why should my child play for Bay Oaks?

A: East Bay United-Bay Oaks players receive a superior age-appropriate coaching curriculum and are provided many options within the EBU-Bay Oaks program to grow as a player and person in learning and understanding the game. Due to its history of attracting quality players and coaches, the EBU-Bay Oaks teams play in the most competitive playing leagues and levels of competition in the area. If there are multiple teams, these teams are slotted in like competition. Our goal for our coaching staff is to focus on development of the individual player while coaching the team. Winning is a by-product of good application of what is learned at practice. Our club is not focused on a win-at-all-cost approach but rather on development of players who enjoy learning the game and who love to play.

Q: My family cannot afford the cost of playing for the Bay Oaks. Is there financial aid available?

A: Yes, please see our Financial Aid page for more information

Q: Can a player who is moving from a recreational team to a Bay Oaks team still play on the Rec team in the spring? Does it matter if selected to the Regional or State?

Players can still play in their REC Team in the Spring.Our guidelines for the State and Regional Teams are the same – if there is a conflict for a particular match, then the players will play for their Bay Oaks Regional or State team rather than their Recreational team.That said, the Spring activities are different for State and Regional teams depending on Age Group.For U9-U10s, the State Teams will be playing in the Spring League, which will be either Saturdays or Sundays at home or away. For U9-U10s, the Regional Teams will play in 2-3 Play Dates (these are fun special jamboree-like events with 3 games in a day). On these days the Regional players are to give priority to their Regional team, and on all other Saturdays, they can play in their recreational teams. For U11 and up, the State teams are playing in Spring league and the Regional Teams may opt to combine teams (if there is more than one Regional team) or decide as a team (Coach+Parents) whether to opt out of playing in the Spring League.

Q: If selected, how do you decide which kids will play together? Will they keep playing with their friends/schoolmates from the Rec team?

For U9-U10s – In the tryouts we select a State Pool and a Regional Pool. These pools form 1-3 State teams and 1-2 Regional Team (depending on the number of players registered and coaches we have hired). For State teams, during the Spring Season, we determine what each team will look like, based on their skills and based on their potential to develop as players. For Regional teams we look at skill, but also look at chemistry and alignment (giving considerations to aspects other than soccer skills/potential). Being school friends or sharing rides etc. sometimes will come into play.

For U11 and above teams, players are placed on teams based on soccer issues.A player can decline an offer to play on a State team to play on a Regional team.Players who are selected for a State team may not elect to play for a lower level State team without the Director of Coaching’s consent.

Q: Where and when will my team practice?

Our U9 State and Regional teams will train at Raimondi Field in West Oakland. Our other teams will train in either Oakland or Alameda, depending on our team.Practice schedules are posted on our website under our Fields tab. We try to keep the same practice schedule for the entire year, but sometimes changes need to be made.

Q: What is the process for notifying players after tryouts?

We generally have several teams at each age group/gender. We will start calling the players from the first State team the afternoon and evening after the last tryout date.After we receive acceptances to fill all spots on that first State team, we will start making calls to players who we have selected for the second State team (if there is a second State team) and so on down the list of teams, until all teams have full rosters. After the Regional team rosters have been filled, we will call players who are not selected for any team.This process may take a week or longer, depending on how quickly players respond to us.

When the coach calls your child, please ask them to be ready to give us an answer as to whether he or she will accept a spot on the team that is offered.If your child needs more time to decide, please let us know so that we can handle this accordingly; depending on the situation, we may not hold that spot open for more than a day.We require you to register your child through Sportability within 48 hours after being notified so we can solidify the teams.

There is no perfect way to timely notify players when there are multiple teams in an age group/gender. Thank you for your understanding.If you have not received a notification and are anxious that perhaps your child has slipped through the cracks, please send Glenn van Straatum, our Director of Coaching ( glennvs@yahoo.com), an email so we can check on that.

Q: Where can I find more information?

A: Our website at www.eastbayunitedsoccer.org contains a lot of information about tryouts and our program. See especially Tryout Policy and Cost Summary.