Heartland Soccer Association
9161 W 133rd Street, Overland Park, KS 66213
Heartland Soccer Association is recognized as one
of the largest soccer leagues and tournament hosts in the country.
We offer recreational to premier divisions,
ages U8 through U19.
First time checking out The Midfielder?
Executive Director Shane Hackett explains why this is a
great tool for players, coaches and parents.
Heritage Soccer Park Concession
*Part time Register Attendant.
Must be 14 years or older.
*Part time Concession Cart Attendant.
Must be a minimum of 16 years old with
a valid driver's license.
Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex
May 25 - 27, 2018
Kansas City Invitational is the single largest soccer tournament in Kansas City and consistently sells out. This tournament offers four levels of competition: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Recreational.
Teams have traveled from 14 different states to play in the
Kansas City Invitational. Seeding of teams ensures that everyone
can compete against opponents of their own ability level.
All Kansas City Invitational games will be played at the
Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex.
April 23rd, 2018
Concussion ImPACT Testing
Save the Date!
2018 Midwest Mother's Day Classic
sponsored by Holiday Inn Express Shawnee
Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex
Wyandotte Sporting Fields
May 11 - 13, 2018
In 2017, the Midwest Mother's Day Classic reached a record number
of 310 teams including international competition. Three levels of
play (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) ensure that every team finds itself matched against similar competition. In addition to providing excellent competition, this newest addition to the Heartland tournament series is formatted to be particularly family friendly.
The tournament will be hosted at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex and Wyandotte Sporting Fields, where siblings can enjoy the multiple playgrounds, the skate park, or the tennis courts. Mothers will be honored on Sunday, when each player will be given a flower to present to their mother.
New Director of Membership
Kansas State Youth Soccer Association is pleased to announce the hiring of Phillip Gomez as the Director of Membership for our organization.
Phillip began his career in soccer as a referee and has officiated the last 11 years at the youth level, Midwest Regionals, US Youth Nationals, all the way up through the collegiate and Division II Professional level. Phillip's experience has allowed him to grow a broad knowledge of the game and build a professional network with administrators, coaches, players, and referees within Kansas and the Midwest Region.
Phillip is looking forward to growing KSYSA's membership in our 5 Districts, being the point of contact for all members, and using his passion for the game to further KSYSA's mission and goals.
Please join us in welcoming Phillip!
Spring State Cup Dates
The Spring 2018 State Cup, Presidents Cup, & Jr. State Cup will be held at the Wyandotte Sporting Fields, May 29
through June 6
All Tournament Seeding posted on March 30
2018 Kansas State Cup/National Championship
2018 Presidents Cup
||Spring 2018 Calendar
|Kansas City Champions Cup /League Play
|Midwest Mother's Day Classic / League Play
Kansas City Invitational Tournament
Fall 2018 League Registration Opens
Dave & Buster's, Overland Park is now open! Be our guest and get $20 in FREE Game Play! Eat. Drink. Play. Watch Sports
"...So proud that I am in tears (but I didn't let her see cause that would be "uncool") she took the all the classes and passed all the testing with Heartland Soccer Club. So proud!!"
"Beautiful day to play our favorite sport."
"So glad we have this in our community, thanks for all you do!"
"Heartland Soccer Morning Crew geared up and ready for the Opening Spring League weekend in their Minsky's Official Field Marshal Kits!
This Month in History: April
C.J. Sapong and Tranquillo Barnetta each scored one goal as the Philadelphia Union defeat Orlando City SC, 2-1, before a crowd of 15,011 at Talen Energy Stadium.
April 4th, 2015- The U.S. Women's National Team cruises to a 4-0 victory against New Zealand in its first match of the year on home soil In front of a record breaking crowd of 35,817 fans packing Busch Stadium.
Alex Morgan on 2015 US Women's National team pictured above
April 8th, 2007- Goalkeeper Joe Cannon makes four saves while facing 11 Houston Dynamo shots as the Los Angeles Galaxy hold on for 0-0 draw at in front of 16,404 at Robertson Stadium.
Joe Cannon Pictured above
April 7th, 1929-1930- A record crowd of 21,583 at Dexter Park in Queens sees New York Hakoah defeat Madison Kennels of St. Louis 3-0 to capture the National Challenge Cup.
We hope you are having a great Spring 2018 season so far. We have seen some great games already and know that it will continue through the next couple of months.
Coaches and team administrators, please remember to go and grab your player cards after each game. Often the referees will bring them back to you, but there are times when they are running to other games when they won't have time to return them. The cards are kept in the plastic tubs at the corner of the field where the referees congregate. Please ensure you have them before you leave the complex.
Behavior from parents on the sideline often dictates the behavior by the players. Please remember to be role models for these young athletes, they definitely pick up on our comments and actions.
Thanks as always for your support of the league.
2018 Referee Meetings
Referees of all ages and experience levels
are encouraged to attend Heartland's monthly referee meetings!
Join us to learn tips and tricks for ARs and Referees, fun games, vital information, and fabulous prizes!
Parents are always welcome.
Our Next Meeting Dates:
Mentors meet 6 - 6:45 pm and Referees meet 7 - 8:30 pm
Meetings will be held at the "Steve D. Scheels" Training Center in the northwest corner of the second floor of the Scheels store located at:
March Scheels Gift Card Winners
Jeremy Betts, Carter Phillips, Drake Schottan, Declan Franey, Patricia Nosworthy, Jacob Adams, Christopher Savoy, Sammy Kopecky, Isabelle Carroll, Tyler Murdock
Thank you Scheels for the gift cards. We appreciate your continued support of Heartland Soccer and our Referee Mentor Program.
Additional gift card winners
(Go Ape, IFly, Slim Chickens, Dave and Busters)
Sean Fischbach, Braeden Souter, Ryan Souter, Brooke Nolkemper, Joshua Boxberger, Ryan Toon, Josh Laflin
Thank you to all our sponsors for their continued support of Heartland Soccer.
2016/17 Heartland Numbers
|Fall league teams
|Spring league teams
2017 and 2018 Tournament Numbers
(number of teams)
Border Battle '18
|Sport Shake KC Champions Cup '17
|Mother's Day Classic '17
|KC Invitational '17
|Fall Kick Off Challenge '17
|Heartland Midwest Classic '17
|Midwest All Girls '17
|ALDI Heartland Invitational Girls '17
|ALDI Heartland Invitational Boys '17
*In the last 12 months Heartland welcomed teams
from a total of 17 states and Canada.
Kansas Youth Soccer is pleased to announce that we will host a US Soccer "C" License this year along with United Soccer Coaches.
Part I - May 14-21, 2018
Part II - July 20-22, 2018
Congratulations to Kansas Youth Soccer's
April Players of the Month!
Madelyn from FC Wichita & Brady from KCSC!
The Referee Blog
Working Together to make a successful Spring 2018 Season:
The League season has started (the good weather is on the way - thank you for putting up with the cold in March and April). The Spring season provides another opportunity for the Heartland Soccer ecosystem to work together to develop our players and Referees, and to provide enjoyment of our fans. We know that one of the keys to a successful season is the synergy between the partners in the Heartland Soccer ecosystem.
It doesn't always work the way we want it to. There are times when a Referee gets frustrated and says things they later regret (we have had several instances of this already this season). And, there are times when the Referees are the target and have things said about them in the heat of competition (we have had several instances of this already this young season too). But, there are times when it all comes together the way we want it to. Consider the following comments from coaches and parents:
- I just wanted to say how good the referee was we had on Saturday. He did a great job calling the fouls and preventing the girls from fouling. He was very vocal in saying don't foul as the girls would be running down the sidelines. He did a great job and kept good control of the game.
- One of the best referees I had at a Heartland event. I was very impressed by his positioning mechanics. He had a great attitude and his professionalism was second to none.
One of the reasons teams come to Heartland is because of the level of competition. The level of competition is higher at Heartland than any other league in the area. This creates an excellent environment for everyone to get better faster. It also means that the Referees must learn faster. Referees, like players, learn from their mistakes. This means we know that your Referees will make some mistakes in your matches.
The Heartland Soccer Association Board of Directors is committed to the playing experience for all your teams. You see this is the commitment to securing the best fields in the area. You see this in the extra efforts in seeding the various divisions. And, you see this in the investments they are making for Referee Development with the Mentor program. Heartland uses only USSF certified Referees. But, this is only the starting point. We assign experienced Referees to mentor the Heartland Referees. The goal is to build performance skills that will result in more correct calls. The Mentors make sure your Referees learn from their mistakes and build on their skills. And, we want them to be both better Referees and successful adults. Every part of the Heartland ecosystem plays a role in building players and Referees into successful adults. A parent shared their thoughts on their Referee daughters:
- I didn't know who to send the note below to but thought you all might be interested in seeing it. We are very proud of our daughters, and we believe that being a soccer referee is really helping them to grow in character and personality - not to mention soccer skills! They both so often speak about the things they are learning and the wonderful interactions that they have with a variety of coaches, players and fellow referees. I do want to thank you and all of the people in your organization who are helping them to grow into strong adults.
Let's be passionate about what we can do to make this season successful in every way. Let's make sure every day is a chance for everyone to get better.
If you have a referee, coach, club, team or player accomplishment or a
photo that you would like to share please email:
All premier and recreational coaches must have a minimum of a USSF 'F" license to
coach teams in the Heartland League. All coaches must pass a background check prior to
being eligible to coach in the Heartland League. Heartland Soccer League is sanctioned by Kansas Youth Soccer.
Heartland Soccer Assocition set to host 400+ teams this weekend
Overland Park, KS - The 2018 KC Champions Cup will be held
April 13th - April 15th, 2018 at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex, Wyandotte Sporting Fields
and College Boulevard Activity Center.
This tournament is in its 9th year and is established as a top spring event and attracts teams from throughout the Midwest. This year the tournament will be open to teams of all levels of play within the following age divisions - Boys U8-U19 and Girls U8-U14.
This is one of Heartland's largest tournaments and 2018 will mark the biggest KC Champions Cup to date as we welcome in 436 teams. In 2017, 407 teams competed. The Cup has traditionally drawn teams from throughout the Midwest and this year will be no exception as teams from
Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota (62 teams), Missouri , Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin will travel to Overland Park.
"This is a spectacular event that attracts fierce competition from across the midwest. It's a great opportunity for players to to showcase their talent while playing on world class fields," said Shane Hackett, Heartland Soccer Association executive director.
"With this tournament, we have been able to create a great atmosphere for the children and their parents and we are glad that we have been able to keep growing the tournament each year to where it is today. On top of the great competition, Overland Park offers many family-friendly attractions, making this weekend a memorable experience for the traveling players and their families."
The KC Champions Cup is a free event and open to the public to cheer on their favorite teams. Also, we encourage and invite the local media to attend and cover the event! The first set of games will start at 5:15PM on Friday. Saturday and Sunday games will begin at approximately 8:00AM. The final championship games will be played before 8:00PM on Sunday evening.
The next tournament for Heartland will be the 2018 Midwest Mother's Day Classic, sponsored by Holiday Inn Express Shawnee and is expected to bring in more than 400 teams. The tournament is set for May 11-13 at the Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex and the new Wyandotte Sporting Fields. The registration deadline for this tournament is closed.
Join the conversation and use
#heartlandsoccer on all of your photos and posts this weekend.
17346 Midland Drive, Shawnee, KS 66217 - 913.400.2509
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS-KANSAS CITY WEST-SHAWNEE ANNOUNCES
EXCLUSIVE 2018 PARTNERSHIP WITH HEARTLAND SOCCER ASSOCIATION
KANSAS CITY, KS. - (April 4, 2017) -
Holiday Inn Express-Shawnee, KS one of Kansas City, KS area's newest hotels, announces an exclusive partnership with Heartland Soccer Association for 2018. Heartland Soccer Association is the nation's largest soccer organization and its travelers will be preferred at the 114 room hotel which offers beautifully appointed guestrooms, an indoor heated saltwater pool, and a spacious work-out center for its guests. Complimentary Breakfast is also provided each morning and every Monday through Thursday will find guests enjoying a complimentary light meal with beer, wine, and other beverages. Free WIFI and hardwired internet are also included for all guests.
Holiday Inn Express - Shawnee, KS partnership with Heartland Soccer Association also includes meeting space which will be utilized in conducting ongoing education courses and certifications for soccer officials. The hotel's 1800 sq. ft of meeting space offers everything needed to accommodate the classes. The hotel sits within a 2 mile radius of recognized restaurants unique to Shawnee, as well as other favorite dining options. Various entertainment and shopping venues are also close by, including B&B Theaters.
"We consider our partnership with Heartland Soccer Association and its travelers, officials, coaches and teams a privilege and a way to support Heartland Soccer Association as it invests in building the community around us," says Sandi Slayton, Director of Sales & Marketing for Holiday Inn Express-Kansas City West-Shawnee. Adds General Manager Cameron Caine "Holiday Inn Express Shawnee considers its partnership with Heartland Soccer Association to be a great opportunity to support Heartland Soccer Association as it provides the infrastructure for our surrounding communities to participate in healthy and safe play for youth soccer players. It is just one way our hotel can be part of contributing to the community we live and work in every day."
About Holiday Inn Express - Kansas City West-Shawnee
Holiday Inn Express, Shawnee is a 114 room hotel that just recently celebrated its 2 year anniversary. Since opening day, the hotel staff has served more than 100,000 people by providing accommodations and thoughtful friendly service to travelers to Shawnee wider Kansas City area. Holiday Inn Express is owned by Liberty Hotel Groups and is operated by Midland Hotel Group. Holiday Inn Express is a also a part of Intercontinental Hotel Groups which includes Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge and Indigo hotels, among others.
For more information:
Cameron Caine, JonShee' Williams General Managers, Holiday Inn Express-Kansas City West-Shawnee
, (913) 400.2509
Sandi Slayton, Director of Sales & Marketing, Holiday Inn Express-Kansas City West-Shawnee
, (913) 400.2509
About Heartland Soccer Association
Heartland Soccer Association is the largest youth soccer league in the country with more than 1,300 league teams per season, 21,000 league youth players, 2,600 tournament teams each year, 44,000 tournament players each year, 4,000 coaches and 2,000 active referees. Heartland Soccer Association was formed in 1977 as the Johnson County Soccer League and has grown from an initial 600 players to its current size. Today Heartland Soccer Association is a nonprofit and educational youth soccer association. Although the base for Heartland Soccer is still Johnson County, it now draws teams to play in the league from throughout the metro area. The Heartland tournaments draw teams from as many as a dozen states every year.
ohn's Heartland Referee Spotlight:
Q&A with Isabelle:
When did you start reffing?
I began reffing February of 2017. This is my third season.
What made you decide to get certified to referee?
My friend Raghav Rao, who is also a referee, talked about it a lot and suggested I tried it. I had always wanted to work, and being a referee was one of the only options for my age.
What is your favorite part about reffing?
My favorite part about reffing is just being able to interact with everyone who shares a common interest-soccer. I love working with kids, teenagers, and adults who all love the best sport in the world, just like me.
What is a life lesson you feel you have learned from reffing?
I learned that having confidence is one of the most important skills one can have. Confidence overcomes fear and boosts your self-esteem, and as a referee who controls the game, having confidence is a necessity. At times, parents and coaches have made me question why I am a referee or if I am good enough, but I look down at my badge and realize I am the one who is holding the whistle. Even if you aren't refereeing your best, confidence looks good on anyone and can help control the game so much easier than if you were timid or scared. Early on in my refereeing career, I realized that confidence was all I need for this job and for life in general.
What level of referee to you aspire to be?
I hope to one day to center ref a MLS game or a game in a very high league to prove that women referees are just as good as men who are referees. In my years and years of playing and watching soccer, I've noticed women referees are not nearly as common as men referees so I hope to show that girls can be just as knowledgeable about the sport.
Do you play soccer?
I do play soccer myself. Currently, I play for my high school Blue Valley Northwest. Besides playing for northwest, I gave up playing for my club to ref soccer. My teammates often laugh at me for reffing more in my soccer games than I actually play. I always say I am just a referee at heart.
Do you have another job in addition to reffing?
I do many other activities outside of refereeing. I run for my school's cross country team, play basketball, and also play soccer. I also play the alto and baritone saxophone in my school's marching band and jazz band. I definitely enjoy marching band because we perform at football games and compete in tons of competitions. I have made tons of lifelong friends from band.
What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was To Kill A Mockingbird. My favorite part about the book was at the end when Scout was standing on Boo Radley's porch and realized how no one should be judged by their image. The book really stood out to me and it is definitely one of my favorites.
What is your favorite sports team?
My favorite sports team is Aston Villa F.C. They are a soccer club in Birmingham, UK and will one day make their way back up to the top of the table in the EPL.
Congratulations to Isabelle for being in our
Papa John's Referee Spotlight this month!
How Do I Know Whether to Use Ice or Heat for Pain?
Knowing when to use ice and heat for pain is knowing what type of injury you have.
If you have an acute injury or an injury that just happened - ankle sprain or ankle swelling. First, make sure that it is nothing more serious like a broken bone, and then apply ice. You never want to apply heat to an area that is swollen.
Heat can help an injury once swelling has gone down or if the injury is a chronic injury - runner's knee or chronic low back pain. Heat the area for about 20 minutes. If you plan to exercise, then you can ice the area after physical activity. You never want to apply ice to a muscle that has never been exercised or worked before; you only want to apply ice straight to acutely inflamed or swollen joint or area.
To learn more about HCA Midwest Health visit us online at
Minsky's 20% Off online orders
The 2018 outdoor soccer season is here - and what better way to celebrate a game well played than with Kansas City's best pizza?! Order on your phone from the fields and pick it up on your way home! The best part? Minsky's has a special discount just for Heartland Soccer families! Just enter online ordering code
for 20% off at checkout!
You can build your own masterpiece from our dozens of fresh ingredients, or select a specialty creation from one of our Gourmet Pizza options.
Did we mention our pastas, salads and hot sandwiches? (And don't forget to order from our wide variety of appetizers - and warm chocolate chip cookies for dessert!) We also have gluten-free pizzas and dairy free items for our athletes with special dietary needs.
and have Minsky's delivered hot and fresh - direct to your front door, or pick it up at your favorite Minsky's store!
Offer valid at all participating Kansas City area and Lawrence Minsky's location. Not valid with other offers, discounts or package deals.
Eat Well. Live Better.
The Referee Corner
What makes an Offside infraction?
Dateline: Scheels Soccer Complex, Overland Park, Kansas, Heartland Soccer League, Week 3: The play: restart was a Direct Free Kick from just outside the Penalty Area. Defenders moved up. The attackers did not. The restart was taken. The Goal Keeper tried to make a play on the ball. The ball got by the Goal Keeper and the attacker put it into the goal. Was it a goal or was it an offside violation?
The fans on the attacking team thought it was a legal goal. The fans on the defending team were certain it was offside. The officials allowed the goal. Multiple opinions. Whose opinion is correct? What do the Laws of the Game say that would help us make the correct decision? That is the theme of this month's Referee Corner article. Offside is covered in Law 11. There are multiple considerations in deciding to call an offside offence. These considerations include:
- It is NOT an offense to be in an offside position
- A player is in an offside position if:
- Any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponent's half and
- Any part of the head, body or feet is near to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent
- The hands and arms of all players, including goal keepers are not considered
- A player is not in an offside position if level with the:
- Second-last opponent
- Last two opponents
- Or, behind the ball
- Timing of a team mate's touch (at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team mate)
- Involved in active play
- Interfering with playby playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team mate
- Interfering with an opponent by:
- Preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent's line of vision or
- Challenging an opponent for the ball or
- Making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball
- Gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
- Rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent
- Been deliberately saved by any opponent
- A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball is not considered to have gained an advantage
- Note: a 'save' is when a player stops a ball which is going into or very close to the goal with any part of the body except the hands (unless the goal keeper within the penalty area).
There is a lot to consider. We train the Assistant Referee's to keep in line with the second-last opponent or the ball, so they can be in the most effective position to make the right call. Positioning is very important. Determining involvement in active play is also critical.
Now, back to the play (we received a video). The person taking the video was not even with the second-last opponent. But we could see that an attacking player was closer to the goal line than the second-last opponent and the ball when the restart was taken (position and timing were there). That means the decision will be based on active involvement. The Goal Keeper touched the ball. Was it a deliberate play (it did get past her) or was it a save?
I shared the video with the Referee Mentors at Heartland. This group consists of experienced officials who have demonstrated a knowledge of the Law. Their decision after reviewing the video - some said it was a good goal and some said it was offside. They all referenced active involvement. Their decisions were based on whether they thought the goal keeper tried to make a save or made a deliberate play on the ball.
The Bottom Line: Some decisions are not easy to make. Understanding the Laws of the Game (in this case Law 11) provides the foundation for making the most correct decision. Is it possible we could have a different decision than the Referee team? Yes. Does this mean we are right and they are wrong? Or is this an opportunity for all of us to learn? If you have a question on a decision, share it with your coach. If they share the same concern, they will let us know and we will all get better from the sharing of the information.
Thank you for this opportunity to share the Laws of the Game.
The Coaches Corner:
This month's session is from Tactical Practices of the Pros
1 v 1 to Goal with a Neutral Player
The attackers are encouraged to use the neutral player to help them get behind the defenders. The neutral player should be limited to one or two-touch.
Heartland Soccer Association is seeking action photo shots of kids of all ages and abilities playing soccer in Heartland League Games or Tournaments. Submitted photos may be included in Heartland Tournament, League and other promotional materials as well as social media posts.
Instructions for submitting photos:
All submitted photo files must be .jpg format, must be a minimum of 1,200 x 1,600 pixels, and no larger than 2 MB in size. Submitting a photo doesn't guarantee that it will be used.
By submitting a photo for consideration for use in Heartland Soccer Association promotional materials, you agree that:
You are the sole author of the photograph and control all rights for its use. The photograph is original. You have the rights to grant usage of the photograph as stated below. There has been no prior sale, publication or transfer of rights to the photograph. The photograph shall not contain any libelous or scandalous matter. To the best of your knowledge, the photograph's creation, publication and use shall not infringe any copyright, right of privacy or right of publicity, or infringe or violate any right of any third party.
You grant to Heartland Soccer Association all rights to use the photograph in any and all forms of media, including but not limited to electronic, digital media and print.
You allow Heartland Soccer Association the right to edit, revise, adapt and crop the photo as necessary.
Get certified to be a referee!
As our local soccer community grows, the need for new and experienced referees continues. Join America's Largest Soccer League. More details on referee meeting schedules, training and education can be found on the
Sign Up to Become a Referee for the Spring 2018 Season.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OUR SPONSORS
3 Women and an Oven
4 Wheel Parts
Academy Sports and Outdoors
All Star Video
Anthony's Plumbing, Heating and Cooling
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
Boy Scouts of America
California Pizza Kitchen
Chick fil A
Dave and Buster's
Dick's Sporting Goods
Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel
FC Kansas City
Freezing Moo Ice Cream
Grill Park Place
Hague Quality Water
Harlan C Parker State Farm
HCA Midwest Health
Heritage Tractor Supply
Holiday Inn Express Shawnee
Huntington Learning Center
Jon Russell's BBQ
Kansas City Comets
KC Motor Company
KC Steak Company
Land of Paws
Menorah Medical Center
Moneytalks Financial Foundation
Morrill & Janes Bank
Museum at Prairiefire
Overland Park Regional Medical Center
Oxford Animal Hospital
Pacific Dental Services
Research Medical Center
Rock and Brews
Rosati's of Overland Park
Scott the Electrican
Simplified Team Management
Sporting Kansas City
Sprouts Farmers Market
Swope Park Rangers
The Foot Spot
The KC Steak Company
The Storage Place
University of Missouri Kansas City
Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun