Through this program, all State Soccer Clubs are welcome to create Club Portals which are like online hangouts for your children. When a child joins these Club Portals, their participation is verified by a Club administrator so that only registered club players are able to participate in the program and communicate with the other registered players. Within the Club portal, the players may share their gamer connection information and communicate with one another about video games and esports safely. Instead of connecting players to random people around the world you do not know, the Club Portals give you a space where you can feel assured that the online communications are occurring between children of similar ages who are also members of the registered soccer community. For further safety and security, all messages and communications that occur on the platform are accessed and monitored by Club administrators and professional adults who will enforce a strict code of civility, decorum and appropriate discussions.
While on the GDS platform and within the Club Portals, your child will likely participate in two key types of activity: Self-driven Gameplay and League Gameplay. In self-driven activity, the players will communicate among themselves and may schedule play activities that occur in their games. For League Gameplay, an administrator representing the Clubs or the state association will create an online gameplay league structure that mirrors the grass soccer league structure. Players will be assigned a designated opponent and be scheduled to play against them at specific times, and then they will report the scores directly to the platform. In addition to being a fun competition, we believe this is an opportunity to help teach the players responsibility and accountability, as players are required to manage their own schedules and report their own scores. Failure to do so would result in forfeits and negative consequences, including removal from the league.
We all know that our children are going to have screen time at home - we aim to create positive, competitive, safe and social league play experiences to help make sure a significant amount of that screen time is productive. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask for additional assistance!