Youth Soccer in Henderson County                                                   

The Henderson County Soccer Association, Inc. (HCSA) was established in March of 2000 to foster the development of soccer in Henderson County.  HCSA is a member of the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association (NCYSA) which is the state governing body under US Youth Soccer.  US Youth Soccer is the Youth Division of the United States Soccer Federation, which is the governing body for soccer in the United States. HCSA has 501(C)(3) non-profit status.

Under this structure HCSA is able to provide the means for the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of the county's youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and  competition.  HCSA works in affiliation with the Henderson County Parks and Recreation Department and the Fletcher Parks and Recreation Department to provide players and teams with playing fields, leagues and instructional camps. HCSA also looks to provide opportunities for the education and development of parents/coaches and referees. 

Read the HCSA Handbook (requires Adobe Reader to open)

The Henderson County Soccer Association offers four divisions of play.  The largest division is the Recreation Division. This division has two seasons and plays in the Fall and Spring.  There are no try-outs and "everyone plays". The HCSA Recreation Division is managed by the Henderson County Parks and Recreation Department. The next level of play is Academy. Academy Soccer is the next step from Recreation Soccer. Players are trained by licensed trainers, train more often, and travel to games throughout the season. The next level up from Academy is Challenge.  Challenge Soccer offers players an opportunity to play on more competitive teams.  The highest level of play offered by HCSA is Classic. Classic is the most competitive level of play within HCSA.

Levels of Play

There are four main levels of play in North Carolina under NCYSA; Recreation, Academy, Challenge, and Classic.  Each level of play is run by a democratic process where input is received through “council meetings”.  At NCYSA “council meetings”,  ideas, policy and procedures are discussed by any and all interested members.  The NCYSA Board of Directors act on recommendations from the council groups to enact policy and rule changes.


Recreation play is the largest single area of play in North Carolina and within HCSA.  A recreation team is a team that does not use tryouts, invitations, recruiting or any similar process to roster players selectively on the basis of talent or ability and does not cut players from the team.  Recreation emphasizes development of players, mass participation, and low player fees.  All coaches are volunteers.   Every player must play at least one-half  (50%) of each game they attend except for reasons of injury, illness and/or discipline.  HCSA does not keep track of league standings, win-loss records or have champions in the recreation leagues.  HCSA holds recreation leagues during the spring and fall seasons.   Recreation play is governed locally first by HCSA then by NCYSA through their Recreation Council.


The HCSA U9 / U10 Academy Program looks to increase individual player development through a combination of training sessions, activities and competitive matches.  The emphasis is on individual player development and not team development.  The players that participate in the Academy Program are part of a pool of players that train together throughout the Fall and Spring seasons.


Challenge play is a step up from recreation play.  Players tryout and are drafted for a place on a team.  Teams travel in a limited area of about 100 miles or 2 hours.  Unlike recreation, where teams are not allowed to conduct “tryouts” to field teams, Challenge teams are formed this way.  Most Challenge players are seeking more knowledge of the game, more game experience and more opportunities such as higher competition and the chance to travel, while not committing to the more extensive travel of Classic soccer.


Classic teams are travel teams that  play across the state.  Teams hold tryouts, offer invitations, and may recruit players to roster players selectively to a team on the basis of talent and ability.  Players wishing to play at the most competitive level possible, for an extended period of time (most teams play 8-10 months), play Classic soccer.  NCYSA schedules all matches and the cost of playing is generally higher than Challenge.