Whether your little ones are just starting or you have a budding Pele looking to join a new club, below is all the information you should need to get you started with our club.
Every child needs to be a member of the club to be allowed to take part in training and matches. Membership prices vary, see the Memberships page for our current fees. This covers all training costs (including insurance, all weather pitch hire, etc.) and match fees for the season.
The season is generally from the 1st weekend in September until the first weekend in May, however this may vary by a few weeks, depending on specific leagues. Also please note that some tournaments can take place as late as July and fees are not included in the club the membership fees.
If you have any problems with signing up via the website, please see the manual form which can be downloaded, completed and sent to the club Secretary along with your joining fee.
* Please note a kit is only provided for their first year of sign-up. The kit consists of shirt, shorts and socks however the shirts must be given back to the coach after each match.
Age Groups & Formats
Teams are organised by age group and run as per the school year, a player born on the 1st September will be the oldest in the team:
- If the player’s birthday is 01/09/2009, for the 2019/2020 season they would be in under 10’s.
- If the player’s birthday is 01/09/2010, for the 2019/2020 season they would be in under 9’s.
- If the player’s birthday is 31/08/2011, for the 2019/2020 season they would be in under 9’s.
- If the player’s birthday is 01/09/2011, for the 2019/2020 season they would be in under 8’s.
The club currently runs the following teams and follows the FA’s “Standard Code of Rules for Youth Competitions”:
|Age Group||Format||Ball Size||Competitive? *|
|U7 (Year 2)||5 v 5||3||No|
|U8 (Year 3)||5 v 5||3||No|
|U9 (Year 4)||7 v 7||3||No|
|U10 (Year 5)||7 v 7||4||No|
|U11 (Year 6)||9 v 9||4||No full season league tables, however some leagues run round robin/knockout cups|
|U12 (Year 7)||9 v 9||4||Yes|
|U13 (Year 8)||11 v 11||4||Yes|
|U14 (Year 9)||11 v 11||4||Yes|
|U15 (Year 10)||11 v 11||5||Yes|
|U16 (Year 11)||11 v 11||5||Yes|
|U17 / U18 (6th form)||11 v 11||5||Yes|
* By "competitive" we mean results are recorded / published and trophies awarded for 1st / 2nd place in a league format. In the younger age groups, this is not the case, all matches are friendly matches.
Playing Up or Down a Year
We will not field a player who was born in the previous school year in a team, otherwise we will be fined and any results would be null and void. As a general rule, Grasshoppers do not allow players to play up a year, however players can occasionally do this with the approval of the respective team managers.
If you have a budding Fara Williams, Karen Carney or Alex Scott then we have a range of options to help them start or continue their football journey. We have been particularly focused on growing girls football in our area, in the 2017/18 season we had just one team of 14 girls, with three others playing in mixed teams. We now have 42 players in three teams, and another four girls playing in mixed teams as well as 10 regular Wildcats, see below for more information.
We are an SSE Wildcat accredited football centre which offer girls aged 5 – 11 a chance to try football for the first time and provide regular opportunities to play. Sessions take place on a weekly basis, either after school or at weekends, even out of the usual season, and are focused on helping girls make friends, have fun and be active through football. You don’t need to join the club to attend these sessions as they are provided on a pay as you go basis.
If you are looking for a more regular football fix, then we also offer girls only development sessions that take place on Saturday mornings at Uckfield Leisure Centre.
If they would like, girls are then also welcome to join one of the three teams we have entered into the Sussex County Women & Girls Football League (SCWGFL), under 12’s, under 13’s and under 15’s. Finally girls are more than welcome in our general age groups with most leagues offering mixed competitive football up to the age of under 18’s.
Wildcats > Development > Competition
Training & Match Locations
When you train will depend on what age group you are involved with and when matches are. All training currently takes place on Uckfield Leisure Centre’s all weather pitch, further details of which can be found on our Contact page.
Under 6’s to under 10’s (aka mini soccer), and the girls development squad train on Saturday mornings for 1.5 hours from 09:00 until 12:00, with exact times varying by group.
Under 11’s to under 18’s train on Wednesdays or Thursdays for 1 hour, times vary each year however so please contact our secretary to find out the exact time.
Matches are played either at West Park playing fields or New Barn Farm, just off Victoria Pleasure Ground with fixtures, organised and announced throughout the season, to take account of postponements and cancellations. Please see our Contact page for detailed locations.
Match days are determined by the league each team enters, for example Crowborough League plays matches on a Saturday, the Mid Sussex league play on a Sunday and the Sussex Sunday league plays of course on a Sunday.
Leagues, Tournaments & Cups
The general format for a season depends on your age group.
Mini Soccer (Under 6 to Under 10)
Our mini soccer teams are entered into the Crowborough League due to the fact they play on Saturday which frees up spaces on our pitches for other teams on Sundays. They play approximately 5 – 6 games before Christmas, and 5 – 6 afterwards with a break in December and January. See their website for more details.
Under 11 to Under 18
At under 11 teams can choose which league they take part in. They can stay in the Crowborough league, still playing on a Saturday with games predominately in North East Sussex and Tunbridge Wells / Sevenoaks area. Note at under 12 and upwards the Crowborough league plays on a Sunday as well.
Some Grasshopper teams move to the Mid Sussex Youth & Minor League who play on a Sunday with games predominantly in the Crawley, Haywards Heath, Brighton area. There is also the Sussex Sunday league who play on a Sunday with games predominantly along the south coast from Hastings to Shoreham.
Other leagues are available, please see the Sussex County FA website for more details, however it will come down to the team manager’s discretion as to which leagues your age group will play in.
Tournaments (aka Fiestas)
Once the regular season is over, there are plenty of summer tournaments throughout May, June and July which individual teams can enter if they choose. Entry will cost approximately £30 – £40 per team, paid for by the members of the team entering. Entering them is entirely optional, but they can be a lot of fun and great practice, especially for the younger age groups.
Entry forms tend to be released between January and February for most clubs and we will forward the e-mails we receive to all our managers so you won’t miss out if you don’t receive them direct. Below is a summary of the common tournaments that Grasshoppers teams attend:
|Tournament Name||Approx. Date|
|Crowborough||2nd week of May|
|Uckfield (Sussex Sixes)||Bank holiday weekend of May|
|Langton Green||1st week June|
|Tonbridge||2nd week June|
|Ringmer or Horam||Mid June|
|Eastbourne Borough||3rd week of June|
|Jarvis Brook||1st week of July|
|Lewes||2nd week of July|
Note that at most tournaments, under 7s and under 8s don't play competitive matches, they play a friendly competition where everyone gets a participation medal.
The Crowborough League doesn’t allocate referees to mini soccer teams, instead the responsibility for organising match day officials, in this case just a referee, is down to the home team manager. Usually this will be an assistant coach or a willing parent. In general though, especially bearing in mind the games are non-competitive, then any willing individual who understands the rules of football is fine.
Once you move to 9 a side football, a qualified referee is used where possible as you’re dealing with offside decisions and a larger, more complex scale of game. Whatever league you are involved with will have a referees secretary, whose job it is to assign referees to all fixtures. There are often not enough referees to go around however and so a willing parent or coach may still be used if the league cannot provide one.
The county FA provide lists of referees for you to contact in the event of needing a ref. Many will be assigned already, but you are welcome to try any names on the list and see if you can find someone.
Running the Line
From under 11 upwards, two people will run the line. Each team provides one person to do this, who runs the line for their team, deciding if the opposition players are offside or not and which way to award throw-ins are the two most obvious duties of someone doing this. The resources simply aren’t out there for the leagues to provide qualified assistant referees, so using a willing parent or assistant coach is the best option.