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Proud Member of Georgia Soccer and a NSCAA Premier Level Club

Inter Atlanta FC Blues

Program Overview


The Academy Program is comprised of 8U through 12U players (boys and girls ages 6-12 years old). The overall focus of this program is to provide development of technical skills, tactical awareness, physical abilities, and psychological growth within a fun and rewarding environment. The ultimate goal of the program is the overall development of every individual player in each area of emphasis. All Academy teams practice at least twice per week and will be trained by professional club coaches to provide the players with the best foundation of skills, abilities and knowledge of the game. Licensed coaches follow a set curriculum, ensuring all Academy players are exposed to the same learning opportunities. During the majority of the season, optional third practices are available for qualifying players, and they are encouraged to attend these additional sessions. Players are also encouraged to continue their training outside of practice and games sessions.

Players must tryout for the Academy Program, with no guarantee of acceptance. We do aim to get every player the opportunity to play Academy level soccer, but this is not always possible. In age groups with multiple teams, players are grouped according to skill level. This ensures consistent development for each player, as playing with/against similar skilled players at this age is important. As much as possible, games for each team are scheduled against opponents with similar skill/ability levels.

Each Academy team plays in a pre-season and a post season tournament every season (Fall and Spring). So at least four tournaments per year. Some teams choose to participate in additional tournaments, and some higher-level teams may participate in tournaments outside of GA.

Academy Coach Rotation

It is the view of IAFC that it is beneficial to players and teams to have exposure to various coaches and coaching styles during their development as players.  Therefore, it is the policy that Academy coaches shall remain with a specific team for no more than 2 years.

Fall 2018

May 29 - June 1 8U-12U Academy and 13U Select Tryouts
June 3 - 6 Roster placement calls
June 9 - 12 Online Registration opens
June 13 - Online Registration closes
July 23-27 - Pre-season camp week
July 31 - First day of Fall practices
Late Aug-Early Sept - Mandatory pre-season tournaments
September 8 - Regular season games begin
Late Nov-Dec. Mandatory post-season tournaments

Spring 2019

February 4 - First day of Spring practices
February weekends - Pre-season tournament weekends
March 2 - Regular season games begin
April 1-5 - Spring break camp available, no teams practice
April 6,7 - No games
May 11,12 - Post-season tournament weekend
May 18,19 - Post-season tournament weekend
May 28-31 - 8U-12U Academy and U13 Select Tryouts (for 2019-2020 season)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Academy Soccer?
Academy soccer is for the more competitive athletes, wanting to be pushed hard to improve individual skills through training, over their youth years (6-12 years old). Recreation is designed for fun and good for exercise, while Academy training is rigorous, curriculum-based, and meant to develop for future, more competitive soccer experience. Training is carried out by licensed, professional soccer coaches, and the players are required to wear a training uniform and follow nutritional guidelines. Compared to Recreational soccer, Academy soccer requires a greater time and financial commitment from the parents and players. It mainly involves games in and around the metro Atlanta area versus other GYSA academy teams, but away games and tournaments can be in other parts of Georgia. Some teams attend out-of-state tournaments.

2. What age groups does Academy soccer apply to?

Academy is from 8U to 12U, which includes players ages 6 to 12. Players tryout and play with other kids born in their same birth year.

3. Are the genders split?

Yes, boys play with/against boys. Girls play with/against girls.

4. How do I know which age group my son/daughter is in?

Age groups are created by the year your son/daughter was born in. For example, players born in 2011 are currently in their 8 and under/8U season (first year of Academy eligibility). Players born in 2007 are in their 12U year (final year of Academy eligibility).

5. Is Academy soccer that different from Recreational soccer?
Yes. Expectations for the players in Academy soccer are much higher. There will be two or three 1 ½ hour practices per week and one or two games per weekend. In Recreational soccer, players are placed on a team on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of ability level. Academy players are selected at tryouts on individual ability and can be moved between different level teams over the course of their youth career, based on their development.

6. When are Tryouts?

Georgia Soccer sets the dates tryouts can be held each year. Tryout dates are posted on the website when they are made available by the state. They are held every year around the end of May for Academy.  Occasionally, players may be considered to sign up for the Academy program during mid-season (January/February).

7.  When are financial aid applications due?
All financial aid applications are due at the end of the third tryout night.  For this season, they are due no later than May 31st.  You can hand them in to the volunteers at tryout locations, or deliver the paperwork to Arizona Ave Clubhouse offices, or you can scan and email them to Anne Henn ([email protected]).

8. What is the commitment length?
The Academy players are registered through Georgia Soccer to play for their club for one year. The soccer year is split into two seasons. The Fall Season, which runs from early August to early December and the Spring Season, which runs from early February to mid-May. If a player leaves their team part way through the calendar year, the full fee must still be paid. The expectation is that soccer is the player’s primary sport and the commitment is for the full year.

9. How many teams are there in each age group?

It varies between age groups, but usually there will be between three and eight teams per age group.

10.  What are the team levels in each age group?
The teams/levels are:  1) Elite, 2) Premier, 3) Excel, 4) Gold, 5) Silver, 6) Bronze, 7) Black, 8) White.
*For 8U ages, all teams are created as equal as possible

11. Can a player move between teams at Inter Atlanta?

Yes. The Director of Coaching Academy (DOCA) can make this decision depending on each teams’ needs or the individual player's development. Sometimes players will be asked to 'guest' play with another team in extra games or tournaments. In the Academy program, players can be moved up or down teams depending on their rate of development, and their commitment/attendance/behavior level over the course of the season.

12. How are games scheduled in Academy?

All academy matches are scheduled by the club DOCA, and are scheduled for Saturdays and occasional Sunday afternoons. DOCA only has control over the games scheduled at IAFC fields. Schedules are created based on distance and proximity between clubs as well as scheduling at least one game each weekend. There is no official ranking system for academy teams, so club directors do the best they can matching up teams to create competitive, fun matches. Usually clubs schedule home and away matches for the fall and spring season. So, whichever club Inter Atlanta FC teams travel to play during the fall season, those teams will travel to Inter Atlanta FC during the following spring season.

13. Apart from regular season games, will the players go to tournaments?

Yes. Teams are required to do at least one pre-season and one post‐season tournament each season. So, with two seasons, this means a minimum of four tournaments per year. Some higher‐level teams attend more than four tournaments, some are out of town, and additional fees will apply.

14. If a player cannot attend a particular tournament, do we still have to pay?

Yes. It is club policy that the tournament fees are divided equally between all rostered players for that team, regardless of whether the player can make the tournament or not. We do want all kids to attend their tournament and schedule them well in advance to give plenty of notice.

15. How many players on a team?

8U, 9U and 10U will play 7v7, with 12 players max per team. 11U and 12U will play 9v9, with 13-14 players max per team.  Some 12U teams will play occasional 11v11 matches.

16. How much playing time will my son/daughter get?

The guideline is that each player will play at least half the length of a game. Some will play more but each player should get that much time on the field. Playing time will be affected by performance, ability, effort, attendance, behavior, and commitment, both at practice and in games. This is a coaching and staff decision.

17. Are players expected to attend every practice and every game?

Yes. If a player cannot make a practice or a game, the coach must be notified with as much advance notice as possible. While it is expected that a player will be at each practice and game, it is accepted that sickness and special occasions may mean a player misses an occasionally. We ask that players don't skip practices or games for birthday parties or schedule yours during practices/game days!

18. What nights and times are practices?

It depends on the team and each coach's individual schedule. For instance, a player on 11U Elite Boys team may have a different schedule than a player on the 11U Premier boys team. Generally, our 8U, 9U, 10U teams will practice from 5 to 6:30, while our 11U and 12U teams will practice from 6:30 to 8, but this can vary. Practice schedules will be announced and posted on website ASAP. 

For 8U and 9U, there are two mandatory practices / week, and are eligible to attend optional practice on Fridays. For 10U-12U, 1) Elite and 2) Premier level teams, there are 3 mandatory practices per week. For 10U-12U, 3) Excel, 4) Gold, 5) Silver, 6) Bronze, 7) Black and 8) White level teams, there are two mandatory practices per week, and are eligible to attend optional practice on Fridays.

Friday Optionals is for the teams that only receive two practices a week. Friday Optionals is 'pick-up' soccer based, where kids can play without too much coaching, which helps develop their own creativity and skill development. Licensed coaches are still helping and supervising all players.

19. Where do the teams practice?

The majority of  practices are held at our home fields at Arizona Avenue, but we also use Austin Field, Coan Field, and Drew Charter School's turf field.

20. Are there written codes of conduct for players and parents?

Yes. Inter Atlanta has written codes of conduct for players and parents. These can be found on the website, under Program Info and Parent Info.

Contact Us

Inter Atlanta FC Blues

PO Box 133126 
Atlanta, Georgia 30333

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