GHAA Fire Travel Soccer
General information and guidelines

Purpose: GHAA Fire teams are designed to give players in the Germantown Hills / Metamora area the opportunity to play soccer at a higher level than recreational, while minimizing the travel and expense associated with club/travel soccer. GHAA Fire teams will compete in the Intercommunity Soccer League (ICSL).  

Season: The GHAA Fire season is approximately 10 weeks in length. The fall season is mid-August through the end of October. The spring season is mid-March through Memorial Day in May. Each team is scheduled to play 7-11 games per season. Games are played on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons. Occasionally, games may be scheduled on Sunday afternoons. Games are played in Morton, East Peoria, Washington and Lincoln.  Individual teams may choose to play additional games at their own discretion and cost.

Eligibility: The following criteria must be met in order to try out for a Fire team.
• All children eligible to participate in GHAA sports based on the requirements highlighted on the GHAA website
• The player must be in 1st-8th grade and meet the DOB requirements for his/her age group. DOB requirements for specific age groups may be found on the Illinois Youth Soccer Association web site.
• The player must NOT currently be on another club/travel team.
• Both boys and girls are eligible to try out. The lCSL does not have separate leagues for boys and girls. There is no requirement by the ICSL for a certain number of boys or girls on teams. Teams can be all boys, all girls or a combination of the two.

Try-Outs: All participants including returning players are required to try out to be considered for a team. Try-outs are held during the summer months (June, July, August) for fall Fire teams. Try-outs are held in February or March for the spring Fire teams.  A deadline date when teams will be formed will be established each season based on the details of that season’s schedule and registration requirements. Try-out information is available through the GHAA web site, through email to families with former players, and distributed through Germantown Hills and Metamora school systems when possible. Reasonable accommodations will be made to assure that all kids who want to try out have the opportunity prior to the deadline.

Evaluation process: Evaluators are hired by the GHAA board to run the tryouts. They are expected to run all players through the same drills to evaluate their skill set. At the end of each try-out, the evaluators come together and rank the players from top to bottom. Coaches then discuss these rankings with the evaluators and get feedback on each individual players' strengths and weaknesses and a final roster is determined.

Roster size: The ICSL stipulates a maximum roster sizes for each age group.  Final roster size is at the discretion of the coach and may be less than the maximum in order to assure adequate playing time for all players. Currently the ICSL has divisions for U10 (7 vs 7), U12 (9 vs 9), Junior High (11 vs 11), and High School (11 vs 11).


Number and competitive level of teams: GHAA Fire will enter teams in the all age levels of the ICSL for which it has adequate interest in playing travel soccer.  The ICSL offers teams the opportunity to pursue a high or low level of competition at each age level.  In cases where there are enough interested players to form two Fire teams at the same level, a team with the most competitive players will be entered in the upper competitive level and a team with the lesser competitive players will be entered in the lower competitive level.

Coaches: GHAA Fire coaches are all volunteers.  The GHAA board expects its coaches to represent the community well. Inappropriate language, poor sportsmanship, etc. will not be tolerated. All coaches are required to abide by the ICSL coaches' code of conduct (signature required); see www.icsoccerleague.com to read the code of conduct document.  Applications for coaches will be taken during signup period.  Candidates will be selected by the GHAA Soccer Director.  Final selection may be subject to GHAA Board review & approval.


Concerns, Issues, Complaints: The GHAA expects and entrusts its selected coaches to be an extension of the GHAA Board.  Questions, concerns, or issues regarding any of these guidelines, or with any situation that arises throughout the season, should be addressed directly with team coach in private.  If for any reason, resolution is not possible at this level, please feel free to contact the GHAA Soccer Director.  If necessary, the GHAA Soccer Director will address the issue with the GHAA Board for review and resolution.  Under no circumstance should an issue be addressed or communicated in a public setting, in the company of players, or among other parents.


Playing Time: The following guidelines will be followed with respect to playing opportunities:


  1. Each participant/player should have an opportunity to participate in every scheduled game, regardless of how or why each game was scheduled (ie. ‘Tournament Games’ are not to be handled differently than ‘Regular Season’ games).

  2. This level of soccer is expected to be more competitive in nature, and therefore, it is reasonable to expect more playing time for higher skilled players.  However, in order to ensure development of all players, a ‘75/25’ playing time guideline should be targeted.  Players should expect to play at least one quarter of each scheduled game.


The G.H.A.A. will expect coaches to adhere to the general guidelines outlined above.  However, coaches will not be asked to keep detailed playing time records, nor is it expected or acceptable for parents, or other concerned individuals to record detailed playing time logs.