TRAVELING AND HOSTING

With the start of a new seasonal year many new coaches and managers are faced with the confusing rules and policies related to hosting or traveling to tournaments and games. So, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Travel

Anytime a team is traveling outside the boundaries of South Texas Youth Soccer to participate in a sanctioned tournament, they must obtain permission to travel. For soccer purposes, Texas is viewed as two states. South Texas is defined as the area south of a line stretching from El Paso across the state through Lufkin to the Louisiana border and from Temple south to Brownsville. Travel outside of this area, including to the North Texas portion of the state, is considered "out-of-state travel" and requires permission.

First and foremost, the coach or manager must determine whether the tournament is properly sanctioned. We are affiliated with US Youth Soccer and U.S. Soccer. If the tournament is sanctioned by either entity and you are participating as a South Texas team, travel permission is required. Some players and teams are dual-rostered with organizations affiliated with the two organizations, so you must be participating as a South Texas-registered team in order to be covered by South Texas Youth Soccer insurance and utilize the player ID cards and roster issued by South Texas and US Youth Soccer. If traveling under the membership of another organization such as US Club Soccer, you do not require permission to travel from South Texas as membership privileges do not extend to teams participating through another organization.

Once you have determined that the event is properly sanctioned, the process is fairly simple and can be accomplished online, eliminating the need for all the paper forms of the past. There is an e-Travel link on the STYSA website. When clicking on that link, you will find a document that includes step-by-step instructions on how to process your request. Once you have read or printed these instructions, go to the e-Travel link to the Affinity online registration program and, using the user name and password assigned to you as a coach or manager of the team, work through the process. After you have submitted your application and indicated the method of payment, your request will be automatically approved so that you can print your acceptance forms to take with you to the tournament. A copy of the approval will also be sent to the designated tournament coordinator by email.

Travel Outside the United States

If your team is traveling outside the United States to participate in games or a tournament, permission is required from both the State Association and U.S. Soccer Federation. Traveling to Mexico falls into this category.

This cannot be accomplished online. You'll need to go to the STYSA website at www.stxsoccer.org and print the Application for Foreign Travel documents under Publications / Forms. Complete the form and forward it to the State Office, along with the required documents and fees.

Once approved by the State Association, the forms will be forwarded to U.S. Soccer for review and approval. A minimum of 30 days should be allowed to secure approval of foreign travel. A minimum of 30 days should be allowed to secure approval of foreign travel. Some have mistakenly assumed that scheduling a foreign travel tour through a travel agent or sports travel agency makes you exempt from this requirement. However, if any games, scrimmages or training sessions are to be involved during the time the team is in the foreign country, permission to participate must be granted in advance by U.S. Soccer and the host country's soccer Federation.

Hosting a Tournament or Games

If your club or association wishes to host a tournament or games, please be sure to complete the required Application to Host as early as possible. No advertising or promotion of the event should occur prior to obtaining permission to host. Application forms are posted on the STYSA website at www.stxsoccer.org under Publications / Forms and include detailed instructions on the required documents.

If a foreign team is to be invited to participate in the event, an Application to Host Foreign Teams must be submitted in addition to the regular application to host, and requires the approval of both the State Association and U.S. Soccer Federation. These forms can also be found on the STYSA website and should be submitted prior to inviting teams to participate.

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