Supporting More Rectangular Fields in Wicomico County

Wicomico Youth Soccer League: Why Recreation is Important

Wicomico County has a diverse range of options when it comes to youth soccer, but the only true recreational program is run by The Wicomico County Recreation and Parks through its youth soccer league. Many of the soccer clubs in the area do offer soccer at a recreational level. However, by the very nature of participating in a soccer club there is an inherent expectation of success and the pressure to always play well. Wicomico County offers the only low-stakes soccer program around. When further comparing costs, The Wicomico Youth Soccer League is much more accessible to families, particularly those with multiple children.

Soccer is a popular sport worldwide, offering numerous benefits to participants of all ages (1). For children, beginning soccer at the recreational level can be particularly advantageous, as it provides a strong foundation for their overall development. Starting in a recreational setting, such as the Wicomico Youth Soccer League (WYSL), is incredibly important as they promote the sport in a fun, inclusive, and accessible way. This allows children to develop a love for the game before they ever feel any pressure to succeed. Giving them the opportunity to pursue their own skill development through their own ambitions.

Girl Playing Soccer

Recreational soccer programs, such as the Wicomico Youth Soccer League, offer children an opportunity to learn the basics of the game in a low-pressure environment (2).

This allows them to develop fundamental skills, such as dribbling, passing, and shooting, which are crucial for their future success in the sport. Moreover, a strong foundation in soccer can lead to lifelong participation, contributing to children’s overall health and well-being (3).

Starting soccer at the recreational level helps children develop a genuine passion for the sport (4). Wicomico Youth Soccer League, for example, emphasizes fun, enjoyment, and learning, making the experience enjoyable and engaging for young players. This positive introduction to soccer can inspire a lifelong love for the game, encouraging children to continue playing and staying active throughout their lives (5).

Recreational soccer programs, prioritize inclusivity and accessibility, ensuring that children of various skill levels, backgrounds, and abilities can participate (6). This inclusive approach fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie among players, promoting social connections, and teamwork (7). Moreover, it provides children who might not have access to competitive soccer with an opportunity to experience the sport and reap its benefits (8).

Starting soccer at the recreational level allows children to gradually build their skills and confidence without the pressure of high-stakes competition (9). WYSL strikes a balance between competition and development, providing young players with opportunities to compete while still emphasizing skill-building and personal growth (10). This approach supports a healthy and positive attitude towards sports, which can be carried forward into future athletic endeavors (11).

Players shaking hands after a game.  A practice that is implemented in the Wicomco Youth Soccer League.
Embodying the spirit of sportsmanship: Recreational soccer fosters respect and camaraderie among young athletes

Beginning soccer at programs like Wicomico Youth Soccer League, is crucial for children’s overall development. It offers a solid foundation in the sport, fosters a love for the game, promotes inclusivity and accessibility, and balances competition and personal growth. As a result, starting soccer at the recreational level can provide children with valuable skills, experiences, and memories that will benefit them throughout their lives.

We are fortunate to have a number of outstanding soccer clubs in our area, providing excellent opportunities for young players to develop their skills and compete at a higher level. However, it’s essential that children decide when, or if, they are ready to make the transition to more competitive play. Some kids may choose to remain in recreational soccer, and that’s perfectly fine. Even for those who move on to club soccer, continuing to participate in recreational leagues can offer valuable benefits. Recreational soccer provides a low-stress environment that promotes friendly competition, enhances passing skills, and inspires other players. In fact, a study by the Aspen Institute found that early specialization in a single sport can lead to burnout and increased injury risk, while playing multiple sports or participating in less competitive environments can foster a lifelong love of sports and physical activity (12). By supporting the Wicomico Youth Soccer League, we are empowering children to make their own choices about their soccer journey and fostering a healthy, inclusive sports culture in our community.

More information about the Wicomico County Youth Soccer League can be found here:


  1. FIFA. “Big Count 2006: Statistical Summary Report.”
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  3. Eime, R. M., Young, J. A., Harvey, J. T., Charity, M. J., & Payne, W. R. (2013). A systematic review of the psychological and social benefits of participation in sport for children and adolescents: Informing development of a conceptual model of health through sport. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10, 98.
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  12. Citation: Aspen Institute. (2015). Sport for All, Play for Life: A Playbook to Get Every Kid in the Game. Retrieved from