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Fall intramural soccer opportunities at JBLM

Participants of JBLM’s Youth Soccer Camp for ages 9 to 15 years old, at Child, Youth, and School Services (CYSS) Youth Center on JBLM. (Credit: Ken Dietiker, courtesy of JBLM MWR)

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It's officially soccer season here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), which means it's time to go into the garage, find your soccer ball and cleats, and head to the nearest park to practice. Soccer season, which takes place every fall from August to October, is an exciting time at JBLM, as there are plenty of opportunities for youth and adults to get onto the field and play.

"Soccer is a very popular sport at JBLM," said Cynthia Williams-Patnoe, the sports director at Child & Youth Services (CYS), a division of Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) at JBLM. "Youth sports help brings together our military community with a focus on children, families and sports."

Intramural soccer season officially started at JBLM Aug. 19. It ends in mid-October. It includes both non-competitive and competitive teams for youth and adults. Children as young as 3 can play on the JBLM "Bumblebees" teams without a care in the world. Adults can let their competitive edge take over on the installation's Commander's Cup team. For everyone in between those two ends of the spectrum, MWR-CYS department, Sports, Fitness & Aquatics department and public schools have you covered with organized soccer teams and leagues.

Children ages 3 to 12 years old, particularly, have ample opportunities to play soccer at JBLM. MWR-CYS organizes intramural soccer teams for youth, grouping them in age brackets.

"Our team age groups are 5- and 6-year-olds, 7- and 8-year-olds, 9- and 10-year-olds and 11- and 12-year-olds," said Williams-Patnoe, who's been working at MWR-CYS for 29 years. "Because we're a recreational league, we include all youth no matter their talent or skill level. We want children and youth to learn the fundamentals of the game, to learn how to work together for their common goal as a team and to have fun! We want families to enjoy their children and each other in a recreational atmosphere outside the home."

While MWR-CYS doesn't have intramural soccer teams for ages 13 and up (because this age group has opportunities to play on school teams), they do have functional fitness programs that include soccer at School Age Centers on JBLM.

"We also have Funky Fit Soccer Camps throughout the year, and Funky Fit activities in the Child Development Centers," said Williams-Patnoe. "Funky Fit Academy, which is for teens, is at the Hillside Youth Center and it covers strength, agility and speed ... We'd like them (military youth) to be physically fit, show good sportsmanship and know that character counts both on and off the field."

Parents interested in registering their children for soccer, or who are looking for the full season calendar, can find more information online at and

"Parents can make an appointment with CYS Parent Central Services for free, annual CYS registration," said Williams-Patnoe. "They will need to bring their child's shot records, a DoD ID, a current sports physical, and various other forms." A registration checklist can be found at

Adults interested in playing soccer recreationally will find what they're looking for at MWR Sports, Fitness & Aquatics, which offers competitive and non-competitive soccer leagues.

Those interested in playing competitively can try out for the installation's Commander's Cup team. JBLM's competitive Commander's Cup, Indoor Soccer season will begin mid-September. An informational meeting will be held Sept. 9, noon, at Cowan Stadium, or 1 p.m. at McChord Fitness Center.

Those looking for non-competitive, or "open," soccer leagues need only be 18 years old with a valid Department of Defense ID and have installation access to JBLM. In both cases, more information about upcoming sports opportunities can be found online at

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