By Jill Stern
It was back to Pier 40 again for Downtown United Soccer Club Intramural Families earlier this month. Mostly everything was the same as fall season except that soccer is now indoors on the second floor and not on the rooftop. Enrollment for winter soccer is slightly lower than fall, so some teams were combined.
Kids got new uniforms and parents got a new handout with some rules and guidelines. Along with such basics as always wearing shin guards, the flyer tried to address sensitive issues like sideline parents. Some of the parent rules were: 1) There will be zero tolerance for criticism of the official, coaches and /or players. 2) Only one set of instructions should be given to the children: from the coach. 3) Applaud good plays by any individual on either team; in other words, keep the focus on the positive. 4) Celebrate the great efforts and amazing soccer that your children are playing.
Parents and kids alike were happy that soccer started up again. The timing couldnt have been better, with the weather prohibiting anyone but the snowmen to play outdoors. The three-week hiatus between the fall and winter seasons left most players antsy to get back on the field for an opportunity to get some much-needed exercise. It gets us out of the house on cold winter days, says David Hinden, father of both Hunter, 6, on Team Andorra in Division 7, and Jackson, 10, on Team 3 in Division 4. Winter soccer is a great outlet for my two boys.
The intramural division of DUSC is dedicated to soccer as a recreational sport where kids can learn the game and play on a team. The division serves over 700 kids playing on 43 teams in 10 divisions. All games are played on the weekends and a majority of the games are played on a single indoor field about the size of a small hockey rink, covered with artificial turf at Pier 40. The coaching staff consists solely of volunteers from the parent base. DUSC is truly a community-oriented organization that unites Downtown families. Kudos go out to the many volunteers who make DUSC work.
Several divisions still have openings. For further information and/or to register for winter soccer, go to www.dusc.net.