There are 2 types of youth soccer programs; one is called "recreational" (or "rec") and the other is called "select", "club" or "travel".
- "Recreational" soccer is what most youth participate in. There are usually fall and spring seasons, the sponsoring organization lines up the coaches & recruits the players, during the season there is usually one game per week, fun & good sportsmanship are stressed & each player plays at least 50% of each game. Coaches are usually parent volunteers.
- "Select" soccer is more competitive & teams often practice several times per week & play year-round. There are usually try-outs for these teams, players can be "cut" and playing time is not guaranteed. The focus of these teams is often on winning tournaments & that is how their success is judged. They are sometimes called "travel" teams because they travel to tournaments in other cities. These teams often have paid coaches or a paid trainer.
Recreational soccer programs are mainly run by the YMCA, churches, Jewish Community Centers, the American Youth Soccer Organization ("AYSO") or non-profit clubs associated with the U.S. Youth Soccer Association ("USYSA"). "Select" programs are usually either organized by non-profit clubs or are affiliated with a recreational soccer association.