US Soccer has replaced the Birth Year Matrix with the Birth Year and Season Matrix
Explanation for the Confusion with the original matrix:
The Birth Year Matrix originally presented by U.S. Soccer, and posted on cjsa.org, depicted the age groupings in a single calendar year format (e.g., 2016, 2017, 2018), in which a player born in 2004, for example, would play as a U12 in 2016. This chart has since been removed from U.S. Soccer’s website and replaced with the chart on the next page, which groups players’ ages by soccer year (e.g., 2016-17, 2017-18). Using the same example above, a player born in 2004 would play as a U13 in the 2016-17 soccer year. According to U.S. Soccer, the two charts are in fact consistent with one another. It’s just that the first chart did not address the competitive season, so they created the “Birth Year and Season Matrix” to account for the competitive seasons.
Determining the Birth Year
U.S. Soccer explains that birth year registration should be calculated based on the year in which the season ends. For example, if a season begins in the fall of 2017 and ends in the summer of 2018 (ex: 2017-18 seasonal year), the players would be registered based on their age in the year 2018. To simplify determining the age group, just subtract the birth year from the year the season ends.
Year Season Ends - Birth Year = Age Group
2016-2017 Seasonal Year 2017 – 2001(birth year) = U16
2016 Soccer Age Chart - Effective Fall 2016 thru Summer 2017
Match month (top line) and box with year with birth. US Soccer age indicated at right.