Choosing the Right Youth Program

First off, welcome! We’re glad you’ve stopped by to check out Ballistic United Soccer Club! This page will dive a bit into the landscape of youth soccer, particularly in our Club; however, we know it can be confusing deciding where to start, especially if you’re new to town or to soccer as a sport. Click on the statement below that best applies to you and follow it to the info you need!

I am looking for programs for my daughter.

While BUSC serves the boys in the area, our sister Club, Pleasanton RAGE, enrolls girls in many different soccer programs. Reach out to them directly for information on girls’ soccer programs.

I am looking for a team experience for my son.

In 2020-21, BUSC will have a recreational soccer program for boys born between 2002-2016 and two competitive programs (Premier/Elite and Select) for boys born between 2002-2013. Recreational soccer has the lowest cost and smallest time commitment, while both our Premier/Elite and Select programs jump to a significantly higher commitment level, both financially and in terms of time.

For a comparison of the programs, please see below.

I am looking for classes/training that are not team-based for my son.

Our Winter Soccer Academy and Summer Soccer Day Camp offer recreational players or casual players ages 5-12 the opportunity to practice their skills without regular team competition. We do not usually offer training similar to these in the Fall and Spring due to the fact that most players are playing organized team soccer or other teams sports, though Camps and Clinics can be offered through the year as well.

Recreational Soccer

Recreational soccer is a large component of the Ballistic United Soccer Club with approximately 70% of all players participating at this level.  The primary objective of the Recreational program is to provide a positive, low-pressure soccer experience for the youth of our community.

Recreational soccer is the BUSC team option for traditional soccer with the lowest commitment level, both in terms of time and cost.

Tryout Required?  No. All players who register are assigned to a team as long as space is available on team rosters, and players are assigned by their home elementary school within the Pleasanton Unified School District. Per U.S. Soccer requirements, players register by their birth year, NOT by school grade. For more details on this, see Age Group Determination.

Why They Play:  For fun, for exercise, to enjoy soccer in a less competitive environment.

Who Coaches: Volunteer Parents

Season Length:  Mid-August through Late October/Early November

Practice Frequency:  1-2 Times/Week, dependent upon age group and coach preference.

Practice Length:  45-90 minutes, dependent upon age group and coach preference.

Practice Days/Times/Locations: Our U5-U6 programs take place on Saturday mornings, and our U7-U8s have one set practice each week and games on Saturday mornings/early afternoons. For all other age groups (U9 and older), practice details are determined by coaches based upon their availability, though we provide a available field options to the older age groups IF the coaches choose to utilize them. NOTE: This means we do not assign teams according to date/time preferences, nor are we able to accommodate requests for specific dates or times. Teams usually receive their schedule from their coaches in early-mid August. Locations are typically in Pleasanton parks.

Games: Usually once a week on Saturdays. Occasionally, a team may have more than one game on a weekend or may be scheduled on a Friday evening or Sunday. Our U7-U14 age groups will end their season with a multi-game tournament the last week of October.

U5-U14 age groups play other BUSC teams locally and in-town. Scores and standings are kept for U9 and older age groups.

U16 and U19 age groups play other nearby Clubs in a recreational division in NorCal. Away games will be outside of Pleasanton.

Additional Programming:  Opening Day Parade in Downtown Pleasanton

Uniforms:  Provided.

Cost of Program: $139 – $381, depending on age group. An additional $50 late registration fee is added for registrations completed after June 30. For further information, visit Rec Registration and Fees.

These fees include a $25 pre-paid raffle ticket fee for all age groups (which you may earn back by selling raffle tickets provided by the Club) and a $50 volunteer fee applied to age groups U7 and older (can be refunded after fulfilling volunteer hours–typically 3-4 hours in the office, at a tournament, or serving as one of your team’s 2 coaches).

Team Costs:  Estimated at $40 per player, to be paid to your team’s manager. Costs may be less for older age groups not participating in the opening day parade.

These fees are used by the team’s manager to cover some or all of the following: Purchase of a team banner for the Opening Day parade, team costumes and accessories for the Opening Day parade, printing of players’ names on the back of their jersey(s), end of year team party, and end of year thank you gift for volunteer coaches.

Financial Aid:  Financial aid is available to those who apply and qualify. If you hope to receive financial aid, we highly recommend applying ASAP, as registration does require online payment. This will ensure you are able to register early and reserve a spot AND that the financial aid does not run out before you apply. Financial Aid recipients typically are still required to pay an amount used to cover hard costs of the program.



Competitive Soccer

Competitive soccer at BUSC is made up of two different programs: Premier/Elite (or Youth Development Program at the youngest age groups) and Select.

Tryout Required?  Yes. Tryouts are required for all competitive teams and occur in May. More information is available at Competitive Tryouts.

Why They Play:  To improve skill, to have fun, to compete.

Who Coaches:  Licensed coaches.

Season Length:  Varies by program. Premier/Elite and YDP begin mid-July and run through summer, fall, and spring, may include winter training. Select begins mid-July and runs through summer and fall. Some Select teams may play into the Winter for State Cup.

Practice Frequency:  2-3 times per week.

Practice Length:  Usually 90 minutes.

Practice Days/Times/Locations:  Varied.

Games:  Typically, Premier/Elite and YDP teams compete in NorCal’s Fall and Spring Leagues, various tournaments, and State Cup. The U8 YDP competes in several playdates with other Clubs instead of in a structured league format. Select teams typically compete in NorCal’s Fall League, tournaments, and State Cup.

Uniforms:  Included for U8 YDP, purchased separately by all other age groups.

Cost of Program:  Full costs vary by program and age group and include several separate costs. When reviewing program details, it is important to understand that the Program Fees listed are only one piece of the overall costs.

Program Fees range from $955 (Select teams) to $2245 (older Premier/Elite teams) and do include a $50 volunteer fee that can be refunded after fulfilling volunteer hours (typically 3-4 hours in the office, at a tournament, or serving as your team’s manager or treasurer). Payment plans will be available for Program Fees only.

Additional Costs Beyond Program Fees:  Premier/Elite, YDP, and Select players will all incur the below costs, though there is some variability in uniform costs, depending on whether you purchase optional items such as warm-ups or bags, as well as in team costs.

  • Club Registration (paid online to Club during registration–$340);
  • Pre-paid Raffle Tickets (paid online to Club during registration, can be earned back by selling two $25 raffle tickets–$50);
  • Uniforms (paid directly to SoccerPro during online uniform ordering–$300-400);
  • Team Fees (varies, paid directly to team manager, est. $350-$375*).

*U8 Team Fees are significantly less, usually around $100. Select Team Fees may potentially be slightly less, depending on tournament participation.

Financial Aid:  Financial aid is available to those who apply and qualify. If you hope to receive financial aid, we highly recommend meeting our priority filing deadline of April 17, 2019. This will ensure you have a financial aid decision prior to being required to accept a spot on a team AND that the financial aid does not run out before you apply. Financial aid can ONLY be applied toward Program Fees and cannot be used to accept a spot on a team after tryouts.

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