Jun 04

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What is Signature League?


“Each year many recreational-based soccer families are faced with a dilemma: continue playing recreational soccer or make the big “jump” to club soccer. For years, there has been an expressed desire for an opportunity for youths to play soccer at a level between recreational play and the highly-committed club experience. Hence, the creation of the Cal South Signature League game circuit in 2002.”


Cal South created the Signature program for recreational leagues wishing to create a more competitive soccer experience and player development opportunity to augment their current recreational programs. Signature is a natural progression, or transition, for players wishing to play at a higher level, while retaining many of the benefits of a recreational schedule at a lower cost.

Signature leagues are “localized” playing circuits formed by eligible recreational leagues coming together. Individual leagues create a team via a player selection process and tryouts. Each league is responsible for publishing their individual rules and guidelines, relative to coach and player selection. Recreational leagues must register these players with Cal South under the Signature League division. A Signature League Director, responsible for coordinating all aspects of the playing circuit, coordinates each Signature League playing circuit. Promotion of player development is of paramount importance.

There are a number of rules that are unique to Signature League, such as a 50% play rule for all players, a limit on the annual financial responsibility (not to exceed $350.00 per player), and a limitation on distance of travel (not to exceed a 50 mile radius).


Specific LNYSA Signature fees will be assessed at approximately $100-$150, in addition to the standard LNYSA player fee paid at registration. Additional costs (not to exceed $350.00 in total) are at the discretion of the parents and coaches. These costs typically include spirit wear, outer garments, training equipment, and/or additional professional training.


Practices begin in mid-July. The season duration is similar to the LNYSA recreational program. Teams begin matches at the beginning of September and finish their season with a tournament that concludes in mid-December. The spring session is not mandatory for Signature players, but strongly encouraged.


Unlike the recreational playing circuit, Signature teams are formed in one-year age group increments. For example: U9, U10, U11, U12, U14 and U15, are each separate divisions. No player is permitted to “play down,” and any player requesting to “play up” must first pursue the approval of the league. Please see the age bracket matrix for your child´s age bracket eligibility.


  • U9-U10 plays 8v8 with a maximum roster size of 12
  • U11-U15 plays 11v11 with a maximum roster size of 16
  • Free substitution with the stipulation that each player must play 50% of every match



Players are selected via a thorough tryout process. The process involves at least 3 tryout sessions that are open to any player. These sessions start in April and typically are concluded by early May when the teams are formed. Coaches and/or league-designated officials attend these tryouts to evaluate the players. Final selection of a roster requires coach administration approval. The selection process includes evaluating the following attributes of a player:

  • Technique/ball handling skills
  • Experience/years played/aptitude for playing certain field positions
  • General attitude and sportsmanship



Anyone interested in coaching a Signature team must meet certain criteria:

  • An application must be submitted to the LNYSA for consideration.
  • LNYSA requires a mandatory E license in order to coach in the Signature playing circuit. The E license commitment is an extensive 2-day course that combines classroom lectures, field demonstration, and participation from the coach candidates.
  • Life scan/Kid safe approved

Final selection of coaches is done via a committee comprised of Coach Administration and designated league officials. Attributes that are reviewed for final selection are:

  • Years of coaching experience
  • General soccer knowledge
  • Recommendations and/or references from within the community
  • Aptitude for teaching and working with youths

Current coaches within the program are required to meet certain standards in order to be approved to coach another term in the fall. Signature teams are considered to be player-centric and not coach-centric. The ultimate goal is to offer a positive experience for the youth that focuses on constructive player development.


For additional information please contact the LNYSA Signature Director

Permanent link to this article: https://www.lnysa.org/signature-intro/