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Information About the Girls' Development Academy, Part 5

Dear Sporting Omaha FC Players, Parents, Volunteers, Family and Friends,

This is the last in a series of informational emails about the Girls Development Academy (GDA) addressing some of the more controversial questions we have received about the program. This email deals with the “no substitution rule” also known as the “no re-entry rule.”

The GDA follows international rules of competition developed by FIFA. These rules include no re-entry on substitutions. It is one of the benefits of the program, playing the game using the rules established by the international governing body of the sport.

The no re-entry on substitution rule affects several aspects of competitive play. First, this rule requires coaches to thoughtfully consider player position during training and be judicious when removing players from the game as once a player is substituted she cannot re-enter the game. Second, the rule enables players to learn how to maneuver within the context of a game without fear of being replaced every time they make a mistake. As the player spends more time on the field dealing with the adversity and excitement of the game, she feels empowered which develops her critical thinking skills and her self-confidence – important characteristics that only mature with the experience of competition.

How many times have you seen a player suit-up, but never given the opportunity to play? You have to play the game to hone your skills and improve your performance. So just as coaches must follow the no re-entry rule on substitutions, the coach must start each full-time GDA player in 25% of the games across the 10 month competitive calendar. U.S. Soccer monitors the mandatory start rule across all clubs and divisions within the GDA, guaranteeing the member club meets and/or exceeds the 25% start requirement for each of their full-time players. With the mandatory 25% start rule, every full-time player will start at least one of every four games and have the opportunity to develop competitively within the context of the game.

These two rules – the no re-entry on substitution and the mandatory 25% start – when combined maximize the player’s time on the competitive playing field. They are two pieces of the development structure puzzle that fit perfectly together to create an optimal playing environment.

We hope this series of email communication has been informative and that you have a better understanding of the Girls Development Academy and our leadership role as the member club. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.

Please contact me directly with any questions about the Girls Development Academy.


Tim Bennett

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