Q: What is recreational soccer?A: A soccer team is a recreational ("rec") team if it is open to all youth that meet age and gender guidelines. Tryouts are not permitted. Players are not selected based on ability, but assigned to teams according to other criteria, such as what school they go to, which team needs another player, etc. Currently all MTTSC teams are rec teams. MTTSC has fielded at least one classic team in prior years. In the Portland area most recreational-oriented clubs are volunteer-based and as a result the fees are very reasonable, though parents are expected to help their child's team or the club in a variety of roles.

Q: What if I'm interested in coaching but not sure I'm qualified? A: Thank you! We are always looking for enthusiastic coaches, and we will help you every step of the way. First off, you should contact our Coach Coordinator (coach@mttaborsoccer.org) to express your interest. We offer several new coaches' meetings throughout the summer and are always on-hand to answer questions you might have. We are a part of PYSA (Portland Youth Soccer Association) and they offer numerous coaching clinics to help you get started, and/or to help you fine-tune your coaching style.

Q: There is no way I could ever coach, but I'm interested in volunteering in some other capacity. What are my options? A: Thank you! Just like coaches, we are also always looking for enthusiastic volunteers. There are many ways to help, either long-term or short-term. One of the best ways you can help your team is by offering to be a Team Parent. This person is a huge help to the coach by helping with some of the team communication, organizing your team's photos, helping with the club's fundraisers, etc. Some coaches and teams prefer to have several people serve as Team Parents. That is a decision left up to your coach and team. Another way to help long-term, is to consider serving on our Board of Directors. There are also several instances when we need volunteers for one-time events (Soccerfest, Picture Day, etc.). If you're interested in volunteering, you can email the club Secretary (secretary@mttaborsoccer.org) , or indicate it on your registration form.

Q: What is classic soccer? A: "Classic" is the name USYSA gives to competitive soccer for youth ages 10-14. A soccer team is a competitive team if players must try out for the team or in some other way be chosen based on ability (speed, skill, size, "merit", whatever). Most classic clubs have paid staff, including coaches, so the fees are quite a bit higher than recreational fees. Some classic teams travel a lot too, which can mean a big time commitment for parents. Classic soccer is more intense, and some players really thrive on it.

Q: Can my child play in rec soccer and classic soccer?A: No. Not at the same time. But at different times, yes. We have players who have tried out classic soccer, decided it is not for them, and returned to our club. Some of our spring season players bounce back to classic each fall, or vice versa.

Q: Why is soccer such a great sport? A: Gosh, it's hard to know where to begin... I guess we could mention that soccer is the main sport of our species--the most widely-played team sport in the world. We could point out that more TVs tune in the World Cup than any other event, including the Olympics. We could talk about the fact that of all team sports soccer is among the most athletic, with a two acre pitch (American Football is barely one acre) and 90 minutes of action with no timeouts and only one break. We could mention that soccer, partly because there is no stopping the clock, is truly played by the players, not the coaches, and not the officials. But when you finally get down to it, the main thing for youth soccer is that it is FUN.

Q: Why does my kid get to have all the fun? Can I play? A: Check out the Oregon Adult Soccer Association (see Links) or visit one of the local indoor soccer centers and see what you think.

Q: My boss is sending me to our sister organization in another city. How can I get to know the people better in that organization? A: Bring cleats and shinguards. When you get there, ask a receptionist or some other well-connected person for the name of someone who plays soccer. Contact that person. He or she can probably hook you up with the local weekly after-work soccer scrimmage. This is a great way to get to know people, and to get some exercise when you are away from your usual routine.

Q: My child wants to play indoor with another club in the off-season. What paperwork is involved? A: It depends on the other club or on who sanctions their matches. Some clubs insist on player cards from OYSA. If this is the case, you need to fill out a Player Transfer form. You can get this form by going to the Forms page of the OYSA web site (see Links).

Q: Are headers dangerous? A: There has been some research to show that playing soccer for many years correlates with head injury. There is no evidence that intentional heading has a part in this. Most observers suspect, rather, that other events are more likely to be the culprit. Some candidates are: head-to-head or foot-to-head contact with another player, striking a goalpost, and getting hit in the head by the ball when unexpected. When you head the ball, you strike it on the forehead (a hard, bony part of the skull) and you tense your neck muscles so your whole upper body absorbs the impact. When you are unexpectedly hit in the head with the ball it can be on any part of the head, and the neck muscles are more relaxed. Only the head recoils, absorbing much of the impact. USYSA rules now permit the wearing of protective head bands, but recent research indicates they don't do any measurable good. Injuries in soccer are not rare, but head injuries are.