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Contact Information: Manny Lago
Soccer is a great sport for children. It is generally not thought of as a physical sport with contact, yet it provides players with continuous action, lots of running and exercise, and a chance to interact with other players both on and off the field. It is also somewhat unique in that it doesn't isolate a particular individual and skill (such as batting in baseball, or foul shot in basketball) so that players of all skill levels can be combined together making it comfortable and enjoyable for all.
Old Tappan offers a variety of programs designed to accommodate and challenge everyone interested in playing, regardless of talent level. For the younger child, we have a program designed to introduce the sport and develop the basic skills required going forward. As the child gets older, there are a couple of options for play based on the child's level of interest and/or talent. While we encourage even the weakest players to continue to play and enjoy themselves every year, we also challenge and advance the best players to allow them to continue to grow and excel. A description of the programs can be found below.
Volunteerism is a big part of our program here in Old Tappan. We rely on parents to coach, provide administration, and to work the snack stands. Even if you have never played soccer, when you register please note the parent involvement area and indicate some level of support.
Fall Outdoor Soccer:
Old Tappan Recreation - Grade Pre-K & K:
A program lasting 8 Saturdays that begins in early September and lasts until November. The sessions are run by a professional trainer along with parent volunteer coaches. The sessions are instructional in nature with a variety of skills being taught, mostly emphasizing ball handling skills. Boys and girls receive shirts that they can keep.
Old Tappan Recreation - Grades 1 & 2
A program lasting 10 Saturdays that begins in early September and lasts until mid November. Teams are formed in these combined age groups. A schedule of 10 games is given to each team for the season. Each team will have a weekly slot (1 hour and 15 minutes) on Saturday morning, which will consist of a 45 minute training session run by a professional trainer, followed by a 30 minute game against an opponent. The training sessions will emphasize ball handling and control and the games will emphasize team play, positioning, and game rules. Boys and gilrs receive shirts that they can keep.
Old Tappan Recreation - Grades 3 to 8
Also a program which runs from early September until mid November. The boys and girls are separated by gender and by school grades. The divisions are grades 3 and 4 together, grades 5 and 6 together, and grades 7 and 8 together. These groups are then separated into teams that have a ten game schedule and five professional training sessions per season. On weekends, they participate in games in a league which includes Norwood, Northvale, Harrington Park, Demarest, Emerson, and Haworth. Boys games are on Sundays and girls games are on Saturdays (to avoid conflicts with Club soccer). While these games are competitive and exciting to watch and play, there are no standings, no playoffs, and the children are provided ample and equal playing time on the field. Winning is an objective but not the focus.
Old Tappan Recreation registration for the fall season usually occurs in May/June before people disappear for the summer. Flyers are handed out in school, mailed to every resident, and a registration form can be found online at the borough website. Registrations should be received prior to July 1 and while it is not too late after that, on-time registrations often receive perks such as a discounted rate and/or free soccer camp announcements. Please do yourself a favor and register on time.
Northern Valley Soccer Club:
Created as a feeder program for the Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan, the 'Club' team was formed to mirror what many other communities have had for years. It is important to note that this is not an Old Tappan sponsored program but one that Old Tappan participates in and whose efforts we support. We encourage players to play in both the Recreation program and to try out for the Club program. Boys play on Saturday and girls on Sunday to avoid conflicts with the Recreation program. This program is more competitive in nature than Recreation and requires an increased level of talent, and commitment. Try-outs are required and there is a separate registration fee. Boys and girls are separated, and the age groupings are broken out in one year increments beginning with U8. This program competes in the Northern Counties Soccer League and plays games and tournaments in Northeast New Jersey. Trainers are hired to improve the knowledge of the game and the skill level of the players. With this program, winning is an important component which helps prepare players for High School and beyond.
Winter Indoor Soccer:
Old Tappan Recreation - Grades K, 1, & 2
Typically a program lasting 8 or 9 Saturdays that begins in early January and lasts until Mid March. The sessions are held in the Old Tappan school gyms and are played with a softer, yellow fuzzy ball. Each session has traditionally run one hour on Saturday afternoons sometime between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm to avoid conflict with basketball. At this age the sessions are instructional in nature with children gradually introduced to games. These sessions are again conducted amongst ourselves at this age. Based on the size of the groups, the children are usually separated by sex and by grade.
Old Tappan Recreation - Grades 3 to 8
A program that runs from early December until Mid March (except for Christmas/New Year recess). The boys and girls are separated by school grades. The groupings are grades 3 and 4 together, grades 5 and 6 together, and grades 7 and 8 together. The players are evenly split into teams to play in the recreation league. These teams practice once during the week. On weekends, they participate in games. Games can be anytime on Sunday depending on availability of gym time.
Recreation: The Rec games are against teams from Old Tappan, Norwood, Northvale, and Harrington Park, and are also played at the high school. These games are competitive and exciting to watch and play, there are standings and playoffs, and the children are provided ample and equal playing time on the court.
Registration for the winter season starts in the previous spring and continues until December of the current season. Flyers are emailed from CDW/TBS, and a link to registration can be found to Community Pass Registrations should be received prior to December 1 and while it is not too late after that, practice sessions for the 3rd through 8th graders begin the first week of December so please register on time to avoid missing sessions