Boys in the CHYSC and U7 league.

As summer days slip away, down in the basement of the Water Tower Recreation Center, plans are being made for an exciting fall soccer season.

The Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club’s (CHYSC) Intramural Soccer Program begins in early September and runs through mid-November. Teams are being formed now.

Late registration is in effect, but CHYSC is still accepting boys and girls, ages 5-16, to participate in this very popular club serving Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy and surrounding communities.

Every year hundreds of players don the uniforms of countries like world soccer powers Spain and Brazil to battle with their neighbors in a wonderful display of teamwork, athleticism and camaraderie. Players of all skill levels are welcome to the Intramural Soccer Program whose emphasis is creating a fun environment to develop fundamental soccer skills and play in competitive games.

With the multitude of schools that serve Northwest Philadelphia, CHYSC is a wonderful way for children to meet new friends and neighbors.

“I believe there are at least 16 schools represented in CHYSC,” said Brendan May, CHYSC’s Intramural Soccer commissioner. “My own kids have met and made many outstanding friends through Chestnut Hill soccer that they would otherwise never know.”

May encourages anyone interested in playing intramural soccer to register immediately as this information is needed for CHYSC’s all-volunteer commissioner corps to build teams, properly order and allocate uniforms, equipment and fields appropriately.

To meet the needs of the evolving membership, there have been some reconfigurations made to the league structures this year. The youngest league, U7, has grown so dramatically over the last couple years that it has been segmented into U6 and U7. This ensures that children are with players of the same maturity level and makes it more possible for the players to enjoy success. This league serves 5 and 6-year-olds, respectively, with boys and girls competing together on Saturday mornings. The focus is on fun drills and games that help introduce the game of soccer and develop skills to serve the children into the future.

Another change in this year’s league structure is the introduction of gender-specific (girls or boys) leagues for U8, U10 and U12. The two oldest leagues, U15 and U18, are coed. They are for teenagers in junior and senior high school and strive for a social atmosphere in an enjoyably competitive environment.

“We truly believe these adjustments will elevate the quality of the leagues and help the club grow,” said May. “The membership was very helpful through their feedback and input. We are constantly striving to meet the needs of the kids in the community and looking to match the development of our neighboring clubs. Ultimately, we want everyone to have fun.”

Intramural play starts the week after Labor Day and extends until early November. The U6 and U7 leagues meet one day a week for practices/games. Other leagues hold a practice one evening during the week and play games on Saturdays or Sundays.

Through relationships with local schools and organizations, CHYSC has secured use of local fields for practice and games.

“There is a real partnership with the community to ensure that CHYSC offers opportunities for the entire neighborhood to come together and play soccer,” May noted.

Schools share fields, businesses sponsor teams and hundreds of volunteers help with registration, equipment, coaching, field setup and breakdown.

“It’s the teamwork of all the volunteers and parents that make Intramural Soccer possible,” May said.

The club has also established a partnership with the Philadelphia Union, the local MLS franchise. This enables the CHYSC to offer a select number of tickets to Union games at a reduced rate, creates multiple possibilities for kids to meet some of the Union star players, and offers the opportunity for the Union’s “Mobile Tour” to come to the neighborhood for a festival of soccer-related attractions.

The Union relationship is one of the benefits CHYSC Intramural Soccer players can enjoy. “We want to do all we can to give kids the best possible soccer experience they can have…so please, if you want to play, register now!” said May.

Visit www.chysc.org for more information and to register.