The Midfielder
Heartland Soccer Association Newsletter       
                                                                                                                                                                               February 2016
Heartland Soccer Association
9161 W 133rd Street, Overland Park, KS 66213
Phone: 913.888.8768  

  Heartland Soccer Association is recognized as one of the largest soccer leagues and tournament hosts in the country.
We offer recreational to premier divisions, ages U8 through U19.
ImPACT Baseline Concussion Testing
Open to all Heartland Soccer participants
for more information  click here .

Overland Park Regional Medical Center
2016 Heartland Numbers  
1296 league teams this spring
1,265 league teams last fall
39,000 league players in 2015
 2,634 tournament teams this year
42,000+ tournament players this year
1,600 plus referees
1,400 plus coaches
Kansas City Champions Cup: April 8-10, 2016
Registration deadline: March 7

This tournament is in its 9th year and is established as a top spring event. As always with any Heartland tournament, it attracts teams from throughout the Midwest. This year the tournament will be open to teams of all levels of play between the age divisions of 
Boys U8-U19 and Girl U8-U14. Register today!
2015 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)
 KC Champions Cup : 391
Mothers Day Classic:  309
KC Invitational :359
Fall Kick Off Challenge:224
Sporting KC Affiliate Friendlies:125
Heartland Midwest Classic:202        
Midwest All Girls:300
Girls HIT:238
Boys HIT:382
NCAA Men's College Showcase:104

 In 2015 Heartland welcomed teams from a total of 17 states and Canada.


At Overland Park Regional's new ER of Olathe your family will have access to the lifesaving expertise backed by the largest physician network in the area along with an accessible, family-friendly environment. With short wait times, an array of amenities and the comfort of one-on-one attention, we provide a unique emergency room experience. If you or your family require hospitalization, Overland Park Regional Medical Center is nearby.                         

If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player
accomplishment that you would like to share please email
If you would like to nominate a player for the play of the month for the March newsletter, please email
If you would like advertise in our monthly E-newsletter please contact
Signup to be a referee!
 Sign up to be a referee for Spring 2016 Heartland  league.
here is the link:
Coaching Reminder   
Heartland soccer league is sanctioned by Kansas Youth Soccer. There is a minimum coaching requirement.   All recreational and premier coaches must complete the F license course. It is online and can be found at the following link.  
Changes to Small Sided Games and Birth Year Registration
We have compiled this document with regards to the potential changes which will accompany the upcoming player development initiatives from US Youth Soccer. Many of the questions are either drawn from the original US Youth Soccer documents or in response to questions presented to Heartland Soccer by coaches, administrators and parents.
You are welcome to view the original article at :
Why Birth Year Registration?
This mandate from US Soccer is designed to ensure that US Youth Soccer will be in line with many other soccer playing countries. The change will make it easier for American club teams to play in international events.
What are the new small sided game formats?
U-8 to U-10 teams will play 7 v 7 and U-11 & U-12 teams will play 9 v 9. U-13 and older teams will continue to play 11 v 11. Kansas Youth Soccer has amended the maximum roster sizes for these teams to 12 players at 7 v7 and 14 players in 9 v 9. Kansas Youth Soccer will not sanction differences in format for the age groups listed above, so any team wishing to play a different format will need to play in the next age group up.
Which organizations are required to follow these initiatives?
All of US Soccer's membership is required to put these changes in place no later than August of 2017. US Soccer includes, but is not limited to, all State Associations, US Club Soccer, AYSO, SAY, USSSA etc.
What if a player wants to play with his or her school friends, but in a different age group?
Players may be eligible to play in an older age group, depending upon the selection policies of their individual clubs or teams.
Will Heartland Soccer's field dimensions and goal sizes be amended?
Changes will be made to the field dimensions. These will be in line with US Soccer recommendations.
What amendments will be made in order to accommodate those U-15 players that are in 8th grade?
There will be age appropriate divisions available for any teams containing 8th grade players at a time when the 9th graders from their team are playing High School Soccer.
US Soccer Birth Year Chart

     Border Battle Tournament 
February 26-28!
Registration for the 2016 Border Battle is complete and we are excited to announce that we will be welcoming 159 teams to this amazing tournament. Border Battle has already been established and recognized as one of the top spring tournaments in the Midwest. Annually this tournament attracts teams from throughout central United States and 2016 will be no different. Games will be played at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex.
                Spring league starts March 4th.
League schedules will be posted after 5pm on February 24th

Sports Sense: Avoiding Common Injuries

February 11, 2016
by Dr. Dan Ferrell, orthopedic surgeon
Today, kids are playing sports all year round and involved in multiple sports. Playing sports is great exercise, it provides discipline and encourages young athletes to achieve their best.
As parents, we want to see our kid score the winning goal or tackle the opponent on the field, but the pursuit of victory in any activity carries with it risks and responsibilities.
Coaches, parents and young athletes need to work together to manage the child's health. That is why is important that everyone understands the risk with playing sports all year round and playing multiple sports at one time.
"Parents and coaches should monitor for overuse injuries. Look for an athlete who is complaining of pain in the muscle, tendon, or bone after practice or a game, pain while playing or during practice, pain during play that affects the young athlete's ability to perform or constant or chronic pain, even when not playing," says Dr. Dan Ferrell, orthopedic surgeon with the Sports Medicine Program at Overland Park Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Farrell, who is fellowship-trained in pediatric orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, says overuse Injuries are by far the most common types of sports injuries.
"These types of injuries can damage bone, muscle or tendons and can put a young athlete at risk for long term damage if not treated correctly," says Dr. Farrell
Dr. Farrell says overtraining can lead to overuse injuries.
"A good rule of thumb is to have your young athlete participate in a single sport or team activity per season, train no more than five days per week and vary training exercises from day to day," Dr. Farrell says.
Schedule times throughout the year to check in with your young athlete to make sure the game is rewarding and not overwhelming.
"When a young athlete experiences burnout, they have lost interest in the sport," Dr. Farrell says. "As a parent, you need to understand what your child's goals are with sports and make sure the activity is driven by the child."

For more information on our Sports Medicine Program, visit
For more information on t he Overland Park Regional Medical Center Sports Medicine Blog, visit

2014: Heartland Tops KC Attendance
The 2014 attendance numbers have been gathered and released, showing Heartland Soccer at the top. With the Scheel's Overland Park Soccer Complex and Heritage Soccer Park , HSA welcomed well over 2.8 million people last year. This is the highest attendance in the history of Heartland Soccer. With the continuous growth of Heartland, the 2015 numbers are expected to be even higher.

(And we do recognize that Royals attendance took a big jump in 2015.  We'll have those numbers for you soon.)

Health Tip for Lower Back Pain in Athletes  

Back pain is a frequent complaint in adults, usually a result of advancing age and spurts of over activity. However, back pain in children, especially in athletes, is an unusual symptom and should always be taken seriously. Sometimes it is due to muscle soreness from increases in training or bruises from direct contact. However, it can also be a sign of more serious problems.
The bones that make up the back have 3 jobs. Most important, they provide protection for the spinal cord. At the same time, they have to provide strength and stability to support our body weight as we stand, run, and jump. They also have to allow the flexibility for us to bend and twist in all directions. Back pain in athletes is most commonly caused by 1 of 2 mechanisms. The first is repeated hyperextension of the spine ("bending back" or "spinal overload syndrome"), as seen in gymnastics, dancing, lacrosse, diving, and other sports. Repeated hyperextension places a lot of stress on the structures of the back that provide flexibility.
Just as a paper clip will break if bent a small distance repeatedly, the bones in the back will get sore and eventually could develop a small break if the back is repeatedly hyperextended. The second mechanism of back pain involves either being hit in the back or stretching the muscles too far and occurs frequently in contact sports or when someone is trying to lift too much (weight training). Although common in adults, disc problems are unusual in children.


With the initial complaint of back pain, check for any other symptoms. If fever is present, or if the pain is severe, persistent, or associated with numbness or tingling in the back (or going down the legs), call your primary care physician right away. These symptoms could be the sign of a serious problem.
  • Initial treatment of pain should be complete rest (no sports participation until the pain is gone) and anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Ice is frequently helpful for acute pain relief. Although heat can eventually be used to relieve muscle spasm, it should never be used in the first 24 hours after an injury.
  • If the pain does not get consistently better over a few days and is not gone in 3 to 4 weeks or if the pain is worse when you bend backward, call your primary care physician. Further tests may be needed to determine the cause of the pain. This is especially true if you are involved in any sport that involves bending back, like gymnastics or dance.
  • Rehabilitation will never be successful until the back is adequately rested (pain free). Rehabilitating a back injury usually involves strengthening the abdominal and back ("core") muscles and increasing the flexibility of the hip and thigh (hamstring) muscles. Exercises that involve arching of the back should not be done during rehabilitation. Stretches should be done gently for 30 seconds without bouncing or pain and repeated for each leg. Strengthening exercises should be done in 2 sets of 10 repetitions, 2 or 3 times a day.


Hip flexors stretch: Kneel behind a chair. Bring one knee up to the back of the chair, while tilting your pelvis forward until you feel a stretch on the other side of the hip.
Hamstring stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Loop a belt around one foot, and raise your leg up while pulling the foot toward you until you feel a gentle pull in the hamstring.


Abdominal crunches: Lay on your back with your feet against a wall so that your hips and knees are both at 90ยบ angles. Lift up your head until you feel the abdominal muscles tense up, and hold it for a few seconds before relaxing. Moving the shoulders from side to side while the head is up will strengthen the lateral abdominal walls.
Planks: Lay on your stomach, resting on your elbows, and lift up your midsection so that all the body weight is on your elbows and toes. Try to keep the entire body perfectly straight. Hold for a few seconds, then relax.
Quadruped: Start on your hands and knees, maintaining a straight upper back, and lift 1 arm straight out next to your ear and then extend the opposite leg out behind you. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and repeat with the opposite limbs.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Our February Papa John's Heartland Referee Spotlight is on a mother/son duo, Chris and Peter Dulany.

Peter has been reffing since he was 12 years old and certified to be a Futsal referee in 2015.  Although he enjoys reffing outdoor games, he really enjoys the indoor pace because he says it is, "always going". The best part of reffing for Peter is helping the younger kids understand the laws of the game. Eventually Peter would like to ref at the collegiate or even MLS level.
Peter has played soccer since he was four years old and currently plays for Sporting Blue Valley Soccer Club. During high school season he plays on the Blue Valley Northwest soccer team.
During his free time, you might find Peter watching Manchester United or volunteering with elementary school students during weekend service. This spring Peter has the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Honduras with his Youth Group. When asked if he has learned any life lessons' being a referee, Peter says he's learned he will "miss a call here and there" and also "how to handle coaches in a professional way".
Chris decided to become a referee because she was spending so much time driving Peter around to his referee jobs. Over time, being a referee has become something that Chris really enjoys because she truly enjoys teaching kids. Chris is currently reffing outdoor as well as futsal. Eventually she would like to be a referee at the High School level.
Besides being a mother and referee, Chris spends much of her time working as an administrative secretary for a group of physician clinics and volunteering with inner city kids, youth, and preschool-aged kids.
Although Chris admits she doesn't play soccer herself, she is an avid soccer fan and her favorite teams are Sporting Kansas City and, "any team Peter plays on". She says that through being a referee she has learned that, "not everything is going to go perfect. There are times when you make a mistake, but you can learn from it". Great words of wisdom.
Coaches Corner 
The Bank Game
Setup - two teams of 4 or 5 players. Each in a 40 X 40 grid (adjustable).

The Game- the coach sends a soccer ball into O's teams grid. The opposing team sends 1 players to play as a defender. The O's try to connect 4 passes in a row without the defender stealing or kicking ball out of bounds. Each time a team accomplishes this, they can make 100 bucks. Once they make a hundred bucks, they have 2 choices. Go for another hundred bucks or bank the money. To bank the money, they have to send the soccer ball back into the opposing teams grid and THEY send a defender to try to steal the ball. If the ball goes out of bound or is stolen, the coach sends a ball into the others teams grid.

Progressions- send in more than 1 defender.
- make grids smaller
To make game easier- make grid larger and add a offensive player
Setup - Large field with a bunch of "cone gates" about one yard apart. Pair up players One of the two players needs a soccer ball.

The Game - On the coaches whistle, players try to dribble through as many gates as possible while the other player tries to steal the ball. Play for a certain amount of time. 30 to 60 seconds. Cannot go through the same gate twice in a row. One point for each gate. If the other player steals the ball, he gives it back to attacker. When time is up, switch positions.

Player with most points wins.

Heartland Soccer Association's 2016 Calendar
Spring 2016
Jan 11-spring 2016 Online registration deadline
Jan 14-Recreational Seeding
Jan 15-Premier pre seed & Recreational Final seed posted 
Jan 15-20-Premier seeding challenges via email, deadline noon on 1/20
Jan 22-Final premier seeding posted after 5pm
Feb 24-Spring 2016 Schedule posted after 5pm
Feb 26-28-Border Battle Tournament
Feb 27-28-Dick's Sporting Goods discount weekend for Heartland
Mar 4-6-First weekend of League Play
Mar 11-13-League Play
Mar 18-20-League Play
Mar 25-26-League Play
Mar 27-Easter Sunday / No Games
Apr 1-3-League Play
Apr 2-3-Dick's Sporting Goods discount weekend for Heartland
Apr 8-10-Kansas City Champions Cup / League Play
Apr 15-17-League Play
Apr 22-24-League Play
Apr 29-May 1-League Play
May 6-8-Midwest Mother's Day Classic / League Play
May 13-15-League Play
May 20-22-Rainout Weekend
May 27-30-Kansas City Invitational Tournament
Jun 19-Division Winner Awards Night with Sporting Kansas City
Jul 3-Division Winner Awards Night with Sporting Kansas City
Fall 2016
Jun 01- Fall 2016 Online registration opens
Jul 01- Fall 2016 Online registration deadline by noon on July 1
Jul 07- Recreational seeding
Jul 08- Premier pre seed & Recreational Final seed posted after 5pm
Jul 08-13- Premier seeding challenges via email deadline noon on July 13
Jul 14- Final premier seeding posted after 5pm
Jul 27- Schedule posted after 5pm
Aug 06-07- League Play
Aug 12-14- Fall Kick Off Challenge Tournament
Aug 13-14- League Play
Aug 19-21- League Play
Aug 26-28- League Play
Sep 02-05- Heartland Midwest Classic Tournament
Sep 09-11-League Play
Sep 16-18- League Play
Sep 23-25- League Play
Sep 30-Oct 02- League Play
Oct 07-09- Midwest All Girl's Tournament
Oct 08-09- League Play
Oct 14-16- League Play
Oct 21-23- Rainout Weekend
Nov 04-06- Heartland Invitational Tournament - Girls
Nov 11-13- Heartland Invitational Tournament- Boys  






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