We would like to make it possible for any child to play competitive soccer. If financial assistance is required, please submit the Scholarship Application Form to the Club. You would still be responsible for the $60 registration fee, the uniform costs, and team fees. Scholarship funds are limited so your form must be submitted by January 31 in order to allocate our resources fairly.
Uniforms are currently purchased through the office. Please contact one of the office personnel to purchase a new uniform. The current price for a new uniform is $70. The 2013 season is the last year we will be using the Stanno uniforms. Next year, players will be able to purchase their uniforms online. We try get a guarantee from the company that we chose to purchase uniforms from that they will carry the uniform for two years. Uniforms are selected by the uniform commitee and approved by the Missoula Strikers board.
Missoula Strikers works in corrdination with MYSA (Montana Youth Soccer Association) to get the best possible schedule for all of its teams. First, a team determines the days it would like it would like to have off from regular weekend play for tournaments, school activities, etc. Strikers representatives then attend a "scheduling meeting" in March where all the club in the state work on scheduling dates and locations of games for the upcoming season. After this meeting, there is a several weeks of adjustment before the schedules are finalised. Once sites and dates are determined, individual club field coordinators schedule game times to allow reasonable travel times (departure 6 AM or later, return 11 PM or earlier). Teams can anticiapate schedules to be complete in late March. We cannot guarantee the number of home dates nor the sites to which travel is required.
MYSA (Montana Youth Soccer Association), of which Strikers is an affiliate, does not currently offer a Regional Qualifing Tournament and does not currently send teams to a Regional tournament. Missoula Strikers has actively saught to change this is the last few years. We are attempting to get this policy changed again this year.
We try to place all players with those of comparable ability. Each local player must be evaluated, usually with their FIFA age group. By default, most players will play in their FIFA age groups. However, we may place an age-group player on an A-level (developmental) team if a younger player is a better match to the AA team skill and motivation level. For more in-depth information on the policy, look at the policies section in the web site.
All of our Board members are listed and accessible. Please contact the Chair of the appropriate committee or any Board member. Our Director, Heidi MacDonald is always open to your calls, but please be considerate of when you call. Heidi enjoys her evenings with her family and not talking Soccer! And feel free to run for the next available opening on the Board!
We prefer to describe them as "team formation", in that we "cut" as few players as we possibly can. We evaluate early to do so on grass rather than hardwood. The precise date of tryouts varies from year to year - younger players are evaluated earlier (as weather permits) but older players must wait until the end of the high school season. Because roster size is limited by FIFA, MYSA and Strikers policy, we must often determine who is most qualified for inclusion on any team (although we also try to maintain developmental teams so that all players may continue their careers). Fitness, speed, foot skills, team skills and effort are all evaluated as a part of the process, using timed runs, drills, and scrimmage settings. If a player cannot try out for health or other reasons, they may be added to the roster (subject to roster space available) by coach's decision. The Club limits team rosters to a maximum of 18 (11v11) because State and higher sanctioning bodies limit active rosters for any game to that number, but 15 is often considered an optimal number. For 8v8 play the cap is 14 with an ideal roster of about 11.
MYSA policy allows a photocopy of a certified or registered birth certificate to be accepted as proof of age.
The cutoff date is July 31, by FIFA and State policy. Although this policy is uniform across national boundaries for fairness, it is in conflict with many local school enrollment dates (including ours). Therefore, when making the jump from school-based teams (e.g., AYSO, GVYSA) to Missoula Strikers, many players lose former teammates and gain new ones.
Those decisions are made entirely by the coaches, players, and parents of the affected teams. The costs are borne by the players, parents, and teams. The Club holds fund-raising accounts of the various teams, which may be available to help defray tournament costs. The Club expects coaches to be paid and reimbursed for reasonable tournament costs, but also encourages car-pooling and efficient room use.
We want to attract and develop the best possible coaching team. We believe that the pay we offer, although not always reimbursing actual time spent on coaching at minimum wage, is a mechanism for doing that. The Club pays the best we can considering past performance, qualifications, and experience. We have a huge return rate, which is strong evidence that our coaches value their experience with your players and our club enough to re-enlist, thus to maintain coherency and consistency in the coaching process.
Costs of playing include tuition (coaching, fields, state registration fee...), uniforms, and travel (including overnight to the State tournament); optional additional gear (bag, warm-ups...); and voluntary tournament costs (elected as a team). There are no hidden costs. We pay our coaches relatively well, including payroll taxes, travel reimbursement, etc., and we discourage any additional team-based direct payments other than those associated with optional tournaments. End-of-season gifts are not inappropriate. We think of our coaches as Club coaches rather than team coaches, and hope they will serve us like teachers serve their community. Driving your coach to away games or buying them lunch on the road is a polite way to meet them!
Making soccer games happen is very labor-intensive. We honestly need at least half of you to be active in the Club; as Board members and officers, referees, team managers, field marshals, at the concession stand, lining fields - the list is virtually endless. Teams also need volunteers, and at least initially we are including those options. There are enough jobs for everyone. We do, however, draw the line at expecting a family to put in a full work week if they have four players in the club! With the tuition payments, practice and game schedules etc., we are happy if you can find just ten hours. Many of you do have competing commitments - we understand that, but if you can’t provide sweat equity, we need to ask for some other contribution to match what others are doing (the $100 volunteer deposit).
Even though a high-level referee of a high-level game can earn about $50, they do earn it! Between licensing, continuing education, equipment, and travel, they don’t make a huge profit. We need three referees per game - 1.5 per team. That is why each team must contribute 2 people to the referee pool. We are lucky in Missoula in having about a dozen unaffiliated referees (without connection to a team). This gives us more flexibility in scheduling than most clubs. But when you travel it is expected that you will bring two referees with you and they may be asked to referee one, two, or even more games while they are there. No referees - no games.
Note that, although we don't pay for referee training (because, strictly speaking, referees do not belong to the Club), all referees are paid for their work and the cost of training and equipment (shirts, whistle, flags...) can be made up in the first year if you want to referee. You will start as an assistant referee (AR, "linesman") for younger players, then move up as you are ready to older players, to center referee for younger teams, and finally to center older games. How far you go is entirely up to you. You will likely have to accept some assignments, but never ones for which you are not qualified and confident. Try it - you may enjoy it and you will learn how the game really works.
If you do not train to serve as a referee, please refrain from criticizing those who do. The abuse referees receive is the #1 reason why referees quit (and why we have to recruit more).