U stands for "Under". The age designation is a popular naming scheme that soccer has been using for quite some time.
Gotta divide up somewhere
NYSA's registration cut off date, July 31st, and registration policies are intentionally consistent with Washington Youth Soccer Association. The July 31st cutoff date is not necessarily the same as the local school districts, the Elite Player Development (EDP), etc. (they have their own cutoff dates).
No matter what date is used as the cutoff date, there will be players born one day(s) after the cutoff date. NYSA does make efforts to recognize that kids want to play with their classmates. For instance, U6 to U12 players can play up or down to their grade level regardless of their birthdate. U13 to U19 players can play up to their grade level. However, if a team has players playing down to their grade level, then that impacts their ability to play in tournaments such as the Recreational Cup.
For instance, if a player is "playing down to grade level", the whole team must play at the age level of the oldest player on the team if they participate in a tournament such as the Recreational Cup. The team could choose to participate in a tournament at the level that they played within NYSA, but then the player(s) playing down to grade level would not be able to join the team for the tournament.
The NYSA Registrar (Registrar@NorthshoreSoccer.org) is responsible for setting local Registration policies and procedures associated with registering players.
Updated March 2015