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EastSide Soccer Association / Indy Force

ESSA Recreational (Rec) Soccer League

What is Recreational (Rec) Soccer

     So you have heard the term before, but do you really know what “recreational soccer” is? There are no legal definitions, no US Youth Soccer rules, policies or regulations regarding “recreational soccer”. One of the most often used terms is one of the least defined and understood. So let's try to make some sense of it: "Recreational soccer" is a soccer program that is primarily devoted to the enjoyment and development of soccer players without an emphasis on travel or a high level of competition. The purpose of recreational soccer is to provide an opportunity for the participants to have fun, learn the sport and develop life skills including a life long love of the game. In a nutshell, it is an intraclub soccer league that is designed to teach basic soccer skills, teach the basic rules of the game and expose kids to the world's most popular sport.

Age Group Eligibilty

Age Groups

Kids are assigned to teams based on their birth date as defined by US Youth Soccer (USYSA). If you are not sure what age group your child is in, click the link below to find out.

ESSA Fall 2014 - Spring 2015 Age Chart 

Practice and Game Basics

What your child should bring to practice

Suitable footwear, shin guards, age appropriate soccer ball and something to drink.  

Age Appropriate Soccer Balls

Tiny Tykes and U5/U6 Size 3
U7/U8 and U9/U10 Size 4
U11/U14 and Old Timers Size 5

ESSA Recreational Soccer Game Uniforms

The ESSA recreational soccer uniforms consist of the following:

  • ESSA green/white t-shirts - (included in registration cost and may be picked up at the fieds prior to the first game).
  • Soccer shorts (Preferably black).  This can be purchased at Dick's Sporting Goods.
  • Soccer socks (preferably dark green, white or black). These can be purchased at Dick's Sporting Goods.
  • Shin guards (required) - These are a safety requirement and can be purchased at Dick's Sporting Goods.
  • Suitable footwear (required) - Tennis shoes or soccer cleats can be worn for ESSA recreational soccer games.   Soccer cleats are not necessary but will improve performance and are strongly recommended.  Cleats with the the tow cleat (Baseball) are not permitted.  These can be purchased at Dick's Sporting Goods.
  • No Jewlery can be worn during the games and/or practices.
Dick's Sporting Goods is a valuable ESSA Sponsor that sells all the equipment you need. 
We ask that you support them in return for their support of the club.
Please click on the link below to access the ESSA Dick's Sporting Goods Coupons

Dick's Sporting Goods Coupons

ESSA Sideline Etiquette Policy

ESSA Rec Sideline Etiquette Policy

     The EastSide Soccer Association (ESSA) has adopted the following parent sideline etiquette policy that all parents are to abide by during all ESSA recreational games.


  • Cheer, don't coach. Avoid yelling specific instructions and issuing commands. This can be extremely confusing for a child and possibly contrary to the coach's instructions. If you want to coach, talk to a league official about coaching a team next season.
  • Avoid running up and down the sidelines shouting. If you want to follow the action, make sure that you don't distract the players or block the view of other spectators.
  •  Keep comments to yourself. Do not speak to the referee or linesmen during the game. Unless they are complimentary, do not direct any comments to members of the opposition. Do not make negative comments about any of the players on the field because their parent or guardian may be sitting next to you,
  • Stay away from the goals. Standing behind or coaching from behind the goal is prohibited.
  • Always sit on the opposite side of the field from where the benches are. No parent is permitted to sit on the same side of the field the benches are on for any reason.
  • Stand, or sit, at least 10 feet back from the sidelines. The assistant referees need space to move up and down the side of the field and players need room to make throw-ins.
  • Demonstrate good sportsmanship by applauding exceptional plays made by both teams.

Sideline Tips 

  • Practice silence. Sometimes it is more relaxing for both parents and players, and you will likely view the game differently as well.
  • Ask your children if they like you to cheer. The answer may surprise you.
  • Be positive, never negative. If a child loses the ball, for example, "Way to hustle," is much better than "You can get that ball."


     Failure to abide by the parent sideline etiquette policy could result in removal from the ESSA fields during recreational games.

Pleaseclick here to download a printable PDF of this policy.

ESSA Field Map

Click the image to download a PDF of the field map.

ESSA Partners and Sponsors

ESSA Partners

ESSA Sponsors