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Play Up Request Guidelines


One of the principles clearly stated in the founding mission statement of Norcal Premier Soccer was that of placing teams into proper levels of league competition.  We accept the concept, agreed upon worldwide, that clubs are best served by having teams primarily competing in games where both teams have a decent chance of winning.  Adhering to this principle, we make a considerable and honest effort  – working with Club Director’s and their coaches feedback – to develop divisions of play providing proper levels of competition.

In most cases, we believe the best choice for clubs to develop their top players is not to move the team up, but to move top players up an age group where they will be properly challenged.  Ensuring their top players are being properly challenged and offering optimal developmental opportunities should be a primary focus of all serious soccer clubs.  Although we recognize this may affect the strength of a team within a club, it properly places the individual player’s interests, the development of their potential and their need for an optimal player developmental environment, first and foremost.

Occasionally, we have found a club has an age group or team so strong, their team so dominating, that they are best served by the entire team competing in an older age group.  While we find this case to be rare, we believe if a Director of Coaching, working with Norcal Premier Soccer League Coordinators, can provide solid justification for moving a team up, the recommendation should be made to move the team to proper level.

With these principles in mind, we have clearly defined the philosophy and process guiding our decisions over the past few years.  We believe this process provides clear, objective standards for selecting those teams who need to play up for their development.

  • Team requesting to play up is a current NorCal State Cup Champion or Finalist within their own age group, AND
  • Team requesting to play up has proven in the previous season to be a very dominant team within their own age group’s competitive league, OR
  • Team requesting to play up does not have appropriate competition locally and needs to travel significantly in order to find competition within their own age group.

Teams requesting to play up will need to complete a “Team Play-Up Request Form” (above) and submit it to the event coordinator.

We believe this will ensure our policies not only properly reflect a focus on providing an optimal developmental environment for your players but will also properly consider the input of the people hired by the clubs to make such decisions – the Directors of Coaching and coaches.

Thank you,
NorCal Rules and Competition Committee