Sons organization should be thoroughly embarrassed. Age has nothing to do with anything in a Grade Based Event - period - end of story. 2021 Teams cannot have 7th grade players - not even 1. I hope this is a lesson for any Teams billing themselves as 2021 - that have a 7th grader who may meet some age definition.....It does not matter - and Parents should know this. If a Tournament has a Grade Based Division - and it is example 2021 - then 100% of the Roster must be in 6th Grade or below. This is Black and White issue - it is flat out Cheating.

Here is the email about the Sons from the League Director who just stoop up and did right thing. Tournament Directors will not allow this either - in Grade Based Events:

Dear Coaches and Club Directors,

The Advisory Board of the Mid-Atlantic Spring League recently determined that the Rising Sons 6th grade team had been playing this entire spring with two 7th graders on their roster. The rules of Mid-Atlantic Spring League strictly prohibit players from competing in divisions below their grade level The rule on this point was made clear to all clubs multiple times prior to the beginning of league play this Spring. First, the rule was set forth in the initial email welcoming teams into the league. Second, League Directors reviewed the rule on a conference call with all coaches, refs, and club directors participating in the Spring League. And, finally, the rule was reiterated in an email from the League Director in the week before the league initiated on March 15th.

Accordingly, we have determined that the conduct of the Rising Sons 6th grade team constitutes a flagrant violation of clearly communicated league rules. When directly asked about the situation, the Rising Sons club director confirmed the violation.

In response the league will take the following measures:

1. The Mid-Atlantic Spring League does not crown champions, and is more about player development than winning, but as a matter of principle the Rising Sons 6th grade team will forfeit all wins in the league in which ineligible players participated. Those games will be scored as 1-0 defeats per Federation rules.

2. The two 7th graders in question will not be allowed to play in the 6th grade division for the remainder of the league

3. The Rising Sons 2021 coach is barred from coaching in the league for the remainder of the season.

The Mid-Atlantic Spring League was founded to give like-minded programs that focus on year-round player development an opportunity to play fair and competitive games against each other. This principle fails if clubs are not willing to follow the agreed-upon rules. The league will adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards intentional violations of the age rules going forward, and reserves the right to permanently ban any future violators.

Let's play the remainder of the season honoring the game, your opponent and the officials.


Jeff Baxter
League Director