Playing Up refers to a player that is playing in an age group older than the age group identified by their birth date. This practice is rarely permitted and strongly discouraged, as the club feels a player will typically benefit more by excelling in his/her own age group and being in an environment where he/she can develop team leadership skills. A player will be better served by being a starting/star player on the younger team than sitting on the bench for an older team.
The only time that playing up is permissible without a formal application and review by the Board is when the Club does not field a team at the proper age group for a player. In this case, the player may try out for the team, but must still make the team based on skills/ability.
The club does not want a ‘no exception’ playing up policy as there may be a special circumstance that warrants permitting someone to play up. However, this will be a rare and extreme exception. Players who still feel they have a case to play at a higher level must make a formal written application to the Club, ideally prior to start of team tryouts. This application should provide reasons and rationale as to why the club should permit playing up, and may include supporting letters from coaches or technical directors. Any such player should continue to attend tryouts with their ‘proper age’ team as well as the ‘playing up’ team until a decision on their request is made.
A final board decision will take into account every factor when making a decision to permit a player to play up, including, but not limited to:
1. The player having been identified by Soccer Nova Scotia technical director as an ‘elite player’ who should be playing up.
2. There are no other clubs in the region at the players proper age group, where it is reasonable to expect the player will be able to travel to/from team practices and games
3. The player demonstrates an exceptional level of skill and maturity to the satisfaction of the ‘playing up’ team coach, and in the opinion of this coach, the player will be a starting player on that team.
4. It is clear that the loss of the player to his/her proper age team will not negatively impact the overall competitive level of his/her proper age team.
5. The player should be no more than one year too young for the desired playing up team.
Any decision to allow playing up will be made by the Board, based on input from coaches, in particular, the coach of the ‘playing up’ team. The Board may request the player and parent to attend the decision hearing. The Board may also require a player evaluation by another coach or technical director be done prior to making a final decision