Welcome to Spring 2016!!

Good Afternoon, SMS Families!

As we get ready to kick off our opening weekend of the Spring 2016 season, there some things I’d like to pass along.

SMS has experienced some changes over the past few months and we’re getting ready implement those changes this Spring and the following Fall.  These changes are all due to policy revisions of US Soccer and Maryland State Youth Soccer Association.

The first change to be implemented this Spring is the no-heading rule for ages U10 and below and limited to practices only in U12 and below.  These policies are in direct response to the rise in youth concussions.  I know there are differing opinions on this subject, but the bottom line is that our first job is to provide a safe environment for our players – and we feel that this does this.  I’ll ask upfront to please be patient with referees as they are still getting used to making the calls too.

Next Fall we will adopt the new age groups across all levels of SMS.  What does this mean to you?  I knew you would ask that question – and yes, it will affect most folks.  Because of this, we are preparing a detail presentation that will outline exactly what it means to you.  We will post that on our website and also plan on having a Town Hall Meeting to answer any questions.  This meeting will be held in May and will be announced as soon as we confirm a location.

Our Professional Staff has been very busy preparing for the Spring season.  The goal is simple – give these players all the opportunities we can.  With that said, we will offer multiple Player Development Nights (PDNs).  For a complete list of all of this training, you can visit the website (http://www.stmaryssoccer.org/techtrain/index_E.html).  Please make sure that you only attend the events you are scheduled.  However, if you’re interested in observing the others – please feel free to do so.

For a complete list of what’s going on, please visit the calendar (http://www.stmaryssoccer.org/calendar/index.html) on the website.  We do our best to keep this updated so you’re in the know.

Additionally – we keep busy with social media – so make sure to follow our Facebook pages, and Twitter!  Feel free to post pictures of your little ones as they play the game!

Finally, this will be my last “Welcome to the Season” letter to you as the leader of SMS.  I have decided it’s a change of pace in my personal life, and I think it’s time for some new blood as we move into an exciting time for the organization.  I cannot express with words in writing or in person how rewarding the last 7 years a club president has been for me.  Add on to that my many years of working with the huge group of volunteers in this organization over the past 20+ years – I am humbled by what we have accomplished.  Thank you for your support!


Yours in soccer,

Bill Oosterink
SMS Presient