In simple terms, “Select” soccer means that players are chosen (selected) for positions on teams using a means of assessment, such as a tryout. Positions on teams are secured based on performance. This differs from recreational soccer where players may be placed on teams simply by signing up.
In South Carolina, Select teams begin at the age of U13 as recommended by United States Youth Soccer. States vary as to the number of levels within Select soccer they are able to offer and support with some states having as many as 4 or 5 competitive levels within Select. South Carolina supports two levels: Challenge (highest level) and Classic (second highest level), and offers two statewide Select leagues: SCSCL (South Carolina State Challenge League) for Challenge teams and PMSL (President’s Medal Soccer League) for Classic teams. States also differ in the names they assign to their various levels of play. What is called “Challenge” in South Carolina may or may not be equivalent to what is called “Challenge” in North Carolina or some other state. To add to the confusion, what South Carolina calls “Select” soccer was formerly (and sometimes still is) called “Classic”; other states call it “Travel” or something similar.
Beyond the Challenge level of play is the Region III Premier League. First and second place finishers of the SC Challenge Cup are invited to participate in this region (not statewide) league, competing against other top teams from surrounding states, providing them with a level of competition unavailable within the state of South Carolina.