MSI Recreation FAQ

When is registration, and how do I register?

  • All players may register by credit card at beginning in November for the Spring and May for the Fall season.
  • Players who are applying for financial aid must email a copy of their current  FARMS (Free and Reduced Meals) voucher to

I am a returning player. Will I be placed on my current team?

Returning players receive priority placement only if they register by the deadline as stated on the Recreational Program registration page. After that deadline,  all returning and new players are placed on a first-come, first-served basis, as space allows. Families of returning players are notified prior to the opening of registration and are sent several reminders prior to the deadline.

The returning player deadline has passed. Can I still sign up to play soccer this season?

Absolutely! Registration will still be open, and players should still register at the earliest date possible to maximize their chances to be placed on the team of their choice.

How do I transfer to a new team?

Returning players are given the opportunity to request a transfer during registration. Please be sure to specify a second choice in case there is no room on the team you are requesting. If no second choice is indicated, you will be placed on your current team IF you register by the stated deadline. Transfer requests that are made prior to the returning player deadline will be given priority consideration.

I am a new player, but I want to request a specific team. How do I do that?

You will be given an opportunity to request a specific team during registration. Please be sure to specify a 2nd choice in case your 1st choice is not possible. We will try to accommodate your request if possible, but we cannot guarantee all requests. Roster limits are strictly enforced by MSI.

Coaches and parents may not assign players to a team, and coaches may not promise open roster spots to specific players. Only Age Group Commissioners may place players on teams.

When does the season start?

The Spring season typically begins on the first Saturday in April, though the timing of MCPS Spring Break will affect that somewhat differently in certain years, and concludes the 1st or 2nd weekend in June.  The Fall season typically begins on the first Saturday following Labor Day and concludes the 1st or 2nd weekend in November.

How do I know if I’ve been placed on a team?

Rosters will become available in March (Spring) or August (Fall). You will be able to log in to your family account and view the placement(s) of your children. Returning players who register by the returning player deadline are guaranteed a roster spot on their current team.  The status of new players and transfer request players will not be available until early March/August. 

During the months of February and July, the rosters will not be available so that Age Group Commissioners can begin the process of placing players and forming teams. Once you are able to view your placement, you will be able to access your coach’s name and contact info. 

If you are not yet placed, this information will not be available. Coaches will begin contacting assigned players beginning in mid-March or mid-August when they receive their rosters.

Will I get a new uniform?

Yes! All players receive an MSI Soccer uniform. MSI is now working with a new uniform distributor! Please stay tuned for more updates!

Will we play on the same field as last season?

Not necessarily. MSI competes with many other organizations for fields. Each season we request fields from the County and are issued permits for those fields that are available. Some fields that we use in the Fall are used for baseball in the Spring, and others may be under renovation. When we receive our permits, we will match fields by appropriate size and location to teams.

Where do 1st-grade teams play?

There will be one or two first-grade locations where first-grade teams will play. Those locations will be available when schedules are published in late March/August.  In past seasons, those locations have included Julius West, Einstein ES, Whitman HS, Herbert Hoover, Farmland ES, and Pyle Middle Schools.

Are games scheduled on Saturdays or Sundays?

Games will be scheduled primarily on Saturdays for grades 1-2 (with a chance of a Sunday game), while teams in grades 3-6  will likely be scheduled for two or more Sunday games. Teams in grades 7-12 will likely have at least 4 Sunday games. Sunday games are scheduled due to issues related to field availability, SAT/ACT testing schedules (for HS-aged teams), or weather-related rescheduling.

Where is my practice field and how many practices will I have?

Most teams practice once a week. Weekly practice times (not to exceed 2 per week) and locations are arranged by the coach of your team. Families are expected to be flexible with their schedules.

When will I get the game schedule?

Game schedules post approximately two weeks before the first game.

Will my game field also be near my home?

Game field assignments are based on age of players, required field dimensions, and location of teams. Teams are grouped in conferences based on location and strength, and considerable effort is made to create a balanced playing environment for each team, each season. We permit over 100 County fields each Saturday and sometimes it is necessary to travel to your game field.

Do I need special equipment for games?

Safety eyewear is not mandatory, but plastic lenses are strongly recommended. All jewelry (including pierced earrings) must be removed according to FIFA rules. Long hair may be tied back with soft “scrunchies” – hard clips and accessories are not allowed.

MSI strongly encourages the use of soccer cleats, but metal cleats are banned. Shin guards are mandatory and must be worn under socks at all games. Uniforms may not be altered other than the attachment of MSI Sportsmanship patches. Names of players or sponsors are not allowed on jerseys.

May I play on two MSI Recreational teams at the same time?

No. We must turn away hundreds of players each season and not allow players to participate on two MSI Recreational teams during the same season. In addition, players who are “carded” with the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA), US Club Soccer, or the Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) may not play on a Recreational team.

MSI Classic, Challenge, EDP, and Premier players, as well as players registered to select teams in other leagues, are considered “carded” players.

How do I apply for financial aid?

To apply for financial aid, players must email a copy of their current FARMS (Montgomery County Public Schools Free and Reduced Meals) voucher to Families can obtain a copy of their FARMS voucher by calling 301-284-4900.

What levels of play do you offer?

MSI offers an appropriate level of play for approximately 15,000 children!  Our Recreational Program is an open program focusing on fun play and skill development for children in grades K-12. Children in grades 1-12 are placed on neighborhood teams without tryouts. Players of all abilities are invited to play and enjoy the game, and the coaches are all volunteers.

Our Kindergarten Program places emphasis on fun-based games and skill development as our youngest players learn the great game of soccer. Teams are not formed at this age level.

Our Player Development Program offers entry-level players in first and second grades an introduction to the game with skill clinics and small-sided (4v4 or 7v7 games that focus on the enjoyment of the game and technical development.

Our Classic Program is an in-house competitive program for children in the U10 through U19 age groups. Classic play offers a more competitive level of play and teams are formed through tryouts. Players in the U10-U12 age groups are required to successfully complete a skills evaluation conducted by MSI to qualify to participate in the Classic program.

Our Premier Program is the most competitive level of youth soccer. MSI sponsors teams in the National Capital Soccer League (NCSL), EDP, or other travel leagues. Teams compete among the best youth teams in the Washington Metropolitan area and often travel to out-of-town tournaments. The Premier Program demands a great commitment from both players and their parents.

Our Academy Program is designed to meet the needs of players who exhibit exceptional capability and commitment to the game for their age. The path for these players is expected to lead into the Premier environment. The Academy Program is designed to deliver age group-specific instruction from MSI coaches.

Our TopSoccer Program (fall only) is designed for young athletes ages 3-21 with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on development, training, and participation, rather than on competition. This program provides a great opportunity for children with special needs to learn new skills, build physical fitness and self-esteem, and have fun playing soccer.

Will my child play in every game?

Yes. MSI requires that every player on every Recreational roster and present at a game must play at least one-half of the game. Violations of this rule may lead to forfeiture of the game and/or additional sanctions against the coach. Parents with concerns regarding playing time are encouraged to speak with their coach and contact the MSI office if the problem persists.

How do I report a problem at my game?

All reports MUST be submitted in writing to the MSI office within 48 hours of the game. They may be mailed or e-mailed. We cannot investigate your concerns unless they are received in writing within a reasonable time frame. MSI will direct all appropriate concerns to our Policy, Rules, and Discipline Committee (PRDC) which will investigate the report and take appropriate action. Games are routinely monitored by Board members when the behavior of a team or team official is in question.

How will I know if games are canceled?

  • In the event of a league-wide cancellation due to inclement weather, MSI will make a decision to cancel all games before 8:00 am, when possible. Cancellation of games must be coordinated with the School and Park permitting agencies, as well as with the Maryland SoccerPlex, and decisions are not made hastily. If games are canceled league-wide, a notification will be placed on the MSI website. Once games are canceled for the entire day, league-wide, it is impossible to reverse the decision for games later in the day.
  • If weather deteriorates during the day, or specific fields are unplayable, games may be canceled on a field-by-field basis. Teams will be notified when possible, and cancellations will be posted on the MSI website as they are reported. Once games have started, referees are instructed to use common sense and suspend play if dangerous conditions exist. Referees and coaches are asked to contact the MSI office if their field is deemed unplayable by the referee, so that a notice may be posted on the website. Players are encouraged to check the website before leaving home for their game when conditions are questionable.
  • A game is considered complete if it has been played through the first half before being terminated by the referee.

Where can I find more detailed information on MSI policies and rules?

Coaches Manuals for the Recreational and Classic Program, as well as FIFA Laws of the Game, are available on the MSI website.

Learn more about the History and Values of MSI Soccer Inc.