St. Pete Raiders Competitive Program
ST PETE RAIDERS
Questions? Email Steve Emerson at ClubCoordinator@StPeteRaiders.org
Welcome to St Pete Raiders Soccer Club and thank you for your interest in our competitive program. Established in 1970 as “Northeast Raiders,” we have a long, celebrated history. Our local club currently consists of approximately 18 teams competing within the U9 through U18 girls and boys age divisions. Our teams compete in the United Soccer Association (USA) and US Club’s Sunshine Premier League.
Our competitive program is centrally managed to ensure professionalism and accountability from our coaches and to provide the best all-around soccer experience for our players. Our CEO and Director of Coaching, Tony Paris, has led our club for more than 13 years and holds the distinguished “UEFA A” license, said to be the highest credential in the world.
All our teams are coached by USSF- and NSCAA-licensed coaches who have collegiate, and, in many cases, professional soccer playing and coaching experience. To ensure that our players receive a consistently high level of training, we encourage all our coaches to continue their coaching education so that they stay current with new techniques and developments. Coaches are evaluated at least annually based on FYSA/USYSA/US Club standards for youth play.
Starting at the U8 age level, our program's primary focus is on player development cultivated in a competitive, team-oriented, fun environment. Players are taught technical proficiency at the younger ages so they will be able to thrive in the sport as they move to the competitive level. As our players grow and mature, their technical skills continue to be refined; however, the training concentration gradually shifts to the more tactical aspects of the game. At all levels, we also strive to achieve an atmosphere that promotes and nurtures leadership skills, sportsmanship, teamwork and a general love for the “beautiful game.”
FEES FOR 2014-2015
Cover overhead expenses at the organizational level, such as registration fees, referee fees, field rental, utilities, administrative expenses and staffing costs.
Can be refunded upon completion of at least 5 volunteer hours for the club. The $100-per-family fee will be collected at registration.
Vary by team, ranging from $400 to $750 per seasonal year. Coaching fees will be collected at registration. If a quarterly payment plan is requested, a $25 fee will be added to each installment.
Cover tournament costs and other team-level expenses. They vary based on the events that the team chooses to participate in. The team manager should be able to supply an estimate for the season.
Range from $130 to $190, depending on player size and items ordered. Uniforms are ordered online from the supplier. Families are encouraged to size the uniform so that it will last for two years.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the time commitment for competitive soccer?
As you can see from the details outlined in this pamphlet, competitive soccer demands a fairly large time commitment since our soccer year extends from August through May, a 10-month calendar. Players should not enter a competitive soccer program without the expectation of attending at least 80% of practices and 95% of games. Competitive soccer does not usually interfere with afterschool activities; however, occasional evening games on school nights do occur, as do multi-game weekends. Our club supports all efforts and communications by FYSA and the US Youth Soccer Association to caution against the over-scheduling of young athletes. In addition, our club requires every family on each competitive team to complete 5 volunteer hours, including service at our home tournaments. We also need one volunteer per team to serve on our events committee.
Is club soccer expensive?
We feel our fees are very reasonable and still offer an excellent level of training and competition that matches and even exceeds other clubs in the area. To help offset the costs, individual families will have numerous opportunities to conduct fundraising efforts and help cover their expenses.
What kinds of fundraising opportunities are available?
Teams may participate in several fundraising opportunities such as tournament ad sales, local sponsorships, and the Feet on Fire 5K run.
How are competitive teams formed?
Our club conducts open tryouts following a process recommended by the US Youth Soccer and Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA). To help ensure accurate, objective player ratings, our professional coaches, along with an independent evaluator, conduct every age group’s tryout.
Should I insist my child try out for a competitive team?
No. Competitive soccer, and club sports in general, is best suited for aggressive, athletically minded children who thrive on competition. Most children playing recreational soccer are aware of the competitive program by the end of their second grade year. Because of the time commitment on the part of the players, we encourage parents to let their children decide whether to try out.
What’s the Best of the Bay tournament?
Annually, our club hosts the Best of the Bay tournament. All of our U8 thru U14 teams participate in the tournament, and player parents are required to serve as volunteers. This tournament generates income for the club to use toward capital improvements for the Puryear Park soccer facilities, club-owned equipment and various expenses deemed necessary by CEO and board of directors.
Is the St Pete Raiders Soccer Club run by the City of St. Petersburg?
No. Our club uses public fields while operating in partnership with the city of St Pete. Field use policy and other strategic decisions are made in collaboration with the City. The volunteers on the club’s board of directors primarily manage our Club’s operations.
How far will I have to “travel”?
Most of our teams’ league games take them around the greater Tampa Bay area, with an occasional game to places farther afield.