Should my player sign up for Academy/Classic or Recreational soccer?

That's a decision that needs to be made after talking with the player about soccer, commitment, desired competition and readiness. Talk with your player and use some of the criteria below to help with your decision. 

Competition Level

Recreational soccer is geared toward having fun, building friendships and staying active. Parent/volunteer coaches lead players with age-appropriate skill-building exercises and games designed to teach fundamental soccer skills. 

Classic and Academy soccer programs demand a higher level of commitment, training and competition. Trained and certified coaches, along with parent volunteers, lead players through training designed to increase understanding of the game through high-level technical skill and tactical development. 


All Neenah Soccer Club programs offer Spring and Fall training opportunities. Classic and Academy players will also have the opportunity to attend Winter Skills training, geared toward maintaining and building skills in months when we cannot be on the fields.

Practices, Games & Tournaments

Recreational teams practice one night a week and have a game one night a week. 7/8U recreational teams hold their practices the same night as their games, utilizing only one night each week. Recreational teams do not participate in tournaments. 

Classic and Academy players practice two nights a week and additionally have one game night (or Saturday) during the week. They'll also participate in a number of tournaments throughout the spring and fall seasons. Tournament participation is determined by coaches and team availability. 


Recreational fees are generally lower and cover the cost of registration, training, referee fees and jerseys. 

Academy fees are higher and cover team fees, registration, training, league games and referee fees, with additional charges for uniforms (2-year cycle) and tournament fees (determined by team). 

If you're trying to figure out which program is the best fit for your player, we hope that the information below can help you with your decision. If you still have questions or would like additional input, please contact our club DOC Sean Brietzman

What are the different levels within Classic play?

Once players begin playing at the classic level, teams play at a number of different levels of competition as well: East Central (EC), Wisconsin State League, & Midwest Regional League (MRL). Take a look below for a little more information about each level of play. 

East Central (EC)

In our district, East Central (EC), there may be two to three levels of classic soccer at which a team can play. National is the highest and American may be divided into upper and lower divisions. (East Central clubs range as far north as Niagara including the Green Bay area, south to Fond du Lac, east along the Lakeshore, and west to New London and Winneconne.)

Wisconsin State League

There are three divisions of state league, Premier, First Division, and a Second Division where needed. There are generally 7 – 10 teams in Premiere and more in First Division. Teams must apply for state league in June and be accepted by a committee of the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association (WYSA). The committee places teams in state league based upon their record in league play and at tournaments. Teams that finish below 2nd place in league play are usually not considered for placement in state league. State league is divided into two seasons – fall and spring. The fall season runs from the second week in September until the first week in November (although northern teams try to get their seasons completed by the third week in October). The spring season starts in early April and ends after the first week in June. State league games are played on weekends – generally one home and one away game each day. Depending on the number of teams in the league, the state league season could be completed in as few as four weekends. Teams are allowed to block out two or sometimes three weekends to compete in tournaments, which extends the season over a couple more weekends. The teams in state league tend to be concentrated around the Milwaukee, Madison, and Fox Valley regions of the state. Half of the games are at home.

Midwest Regional League (MRL)
To qualify to play in the MRL, the team must either win the Premier Division of Wisconsin State League or the Wisconsin State Championship title. There are two divisions of the MRL, the Premier Division and the First Division. League games are played in several states of the Midwest region.

What is ODP?

ODP is the Olympic Developmental Program, offerend throughout the United States for players aspiring to maximize their potential or looking for additional training opportunities. 

You can find out more about the ODP program and register for their programs/try out for their leagues by clicking here