I heard there will be some changes to Challenge Soccer staring in 2015-2016. What will change?
HFC Challenge Improvements for 2015-2016:
For several years, the HFC Challenge Program has become increasingly popular while the number of teams provided by non-ABYSA associations to the Western North Carolina Challenge League (WNCCL) has continually declined. The declining quality of competition provided by the WNCCL combined with our desire to structure the training and game-day environment for our players to be more developmentally focused, has led us to evolve HFC Challenge Soccer into a stand-alone in-house program. Administering Challenge as an in-house stand-alone program will provide our players the following specific benefits:
- Improved Coaching – ABYSA will no longer utilize volunteer coaches to manage game-days. Moving forward, the same coaching staff that provides instruction on training days will also provide the game-day coaching. This will greatly enhance the continuity between the curriculum that is taught in training and what is reinforced on game days.
- Improved Training Environment - In our experience, the best training environment for U11-U14 players combines the attributes of both team training and pool training. At these age groups, it is recognized that feeling part of a team is important. Therefore, our Challenge players will be assigned to teams. At the same time, pool training allows much more flexibility to address the specific needs of individual players and the group as a whole. Training groups can be combined and modified by the coaching staff to best achieve the goals of the Challenge Program curriculum. Players will benefit from both identifying with their assigned team and making friends with their entire Challenge age group.
- Improved Game-Day Environment - There are many advantages to be realized on game day from moving the Challenge Program in-house. With all games now taking place in Asheville, it allows for HFC to utilize staff coaches rather than volunteer coaches. The player experience will greatly improve as the players are asked to put into practice on game day the same concepts that were taught during the week. Additionally, lopsided games became the norm rather than the exception in the WNCCL. No one benefits from or enjoys lopsided games, or games where a team needs to play shorthanded or without adequate substitutes. As an in-house program, players will primarily play games with the team they are assigned, however, the coaching staff will have the flexibility to make adjustments to ensure the competitive balance of games. For example, if a team is shorthanded or if the score becomes lopsided, the coaches will make adjustments to provide for a game that is beneficial to all participants from a player development standpoint.
What is Challenge soccer?
The HFC Challenge Program utilizes coaches who have significant coaching and playing experience. Many of the Challenge coaches who work in this program also work in the Classic and/or Academy programs. All teams train twice each week and play approximately one match per week under the supervision of our professional Challenge Program Staff.
What is the cost of Challenge soccer?
The total cost of the program is $325 per season. All new players must purchase a uniform at the beginning of their first season ($87). The season fees include two training t-shirts (per year) and all training, game, and referee fees. Financial Aid is available for families with a documented need who otherwise could not participate in the Challenge Program.
How long does the Challenge season run?
The fall training season is from mid-August through early November. The spring training season lasts from late February through early May.
How much travel is involved?
All matches are played in the Asheville area.
What is the Challenge tryout/placement evaluation process?
HFC conducts placement evaluations for players in May and also some supplemental evaluations over the winter (Mid-November / January-if needed). Many players will be invited to participate in the Challenge program; however, some players will be best advised to continue their soccer development with the Recreation program and to be re-evaluated again the following year.
Players participating in placement evaluations will be notified via the email address that is provided on the registration form. Please make sure that the email address is accurate. We hope to inform players of their selection status as soon as possible after their final evaluation date.
What if I am not offered a position in the HFC Challenge Program?
Soccer is a sport for everyone to enjoy at every level. If you are not selected, we hope that you will continue your soccer in our ABYSA Recreation Program.
Other Important Information
Players will need to bring the following to placement evaluations:
- A medical release form
- A copy of their birth certificate
- A signed Financial Agreement
For any additional questions or concerns about the ABYSA Challenge Program, please contact:
ABYSA/HFC Academy Director of Coaching
ABYSA/HFC Challenge Director of Coaching
828.299.7277 ext. 306