Should youth soccer season move away from the winter months?

Discussion in 'Youth Leagues & Cups' started by jmoulins, Feb 4, 2017.

Should Greater Vancouver's youth soccer season move away from the winter months?

Poll closed Apr 5, 2017.
  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
    88.9%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  1. jmoulins

    jmoulins Member

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    If nothing else comes out of Vancouver's experience with a real Canadian winter, I hope it will lead the powers that be to seriously consider moving the season away from October-February. We will have missed at least 4 games and 8 practices to the weather this year.
    Is there anyone with VYSA or BC Soccer on this board who could explain what would have to happen in order to make the change?
     
  2. LFC

    LFC Active Member

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    Playing during better weather is def a better more enjoyable experience for all players especially the younger ones.
    If the kids enjoy playing then naturally their game will develop quicker than if they are playing in cold wet weather.
    BC Soccer should let the registered members[ coach,s & parents] vote on the the playing calendar:
    Sep to April with a break all of Dec & Jan with an option for a break in Feb as well if needed.
     
  3. LFC

    LFC Active Member

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    The old boys club will make all sorts of excuses for not changing the current playing calendar - a perfect example is the school calendar with 10 weeks break in the summer which apparently was set in place for agricultural reasons, mainly to help farmers and farming families.Its 2017 now and calendar is still the same .
    BC Soccer or Canada Soccer needs to step up and make the necessary changes to the winter soccer calendar. They have done it for the BCSPL Leage .
    Starts Feb 25/26 to Nov 19/20 with a break in the summer during July & Aug.
     
  4. Admin

    Admin Administrator

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    It's a field issue I believe, all cities and munis would need to get on board and shift field allocations around.
     
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  5. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    if there's a will there's a way.

    This June take a drive around your town and count the number of empty grass pitches from 3:30-10:00pm.
     
  6. E11even

    E11even Member

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    It is absolutely a facility issue. For example, we have MANY large fall clubs struggling to participate in the Cascadia Spring League, simply because of field space. A change of season would need full buy-in from cities, to accommodate anywhere near the number of participants in the fall. It would not be easy, as this would impact other sports for sure (ie. grass fields share a baseball outfield, turf is used by other sports such as field hockey). It is definitely not that easy... although would be great :)
     
  7. jmoulins

    jmoulins Member

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    I feel like this has all been discussed before, but...exactly where are soccer and baseball sharing fields? Nowhere that the 4d teams are playing that I can think of.

    But let's assume you're right, and these are the obstacles that would have to be overcome. Does that mean we should shrug our shoulders and live with the status quo?

    This season has been exceptional, but we lose games and practices to foul weather every season. On the other hand, in the 8 years I've coached six a side spring soccer at Brittannia Micro Footie, we lost one practice, to a lightning storm.

    A couple of seasons ago a BC Soccer board member came by one of my Wednesday night practices in the kind of freezing rain that seems to blow up from the ground. It was one of many miserable nights when I've looked at the 8 or 9 kids who showed up to practice and thought "We've weeded out the weak ones". The board member said he was there looking for ideas from coaches on how to improve the game. More coaching clinics? More development camps? I looked at the kids trying to stay warm and told him "Move the schedule". He laughed at me as if it was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard and he said "No, seriously".

    Seriously. Move the soccer season to match the season in every other part of the country.

    Just because we can, theoretically, make our kids play soccer in December doesn't mean we should.
     
  8. E11even

    E11even Member

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    Well if there was ever a year to re-start those discussions, this would clearly be it.
     
  9. Anna Cooper

    Anna Cooper New Member

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    Yes, yes, yes to changing the season to exclude the winter months (December-January at least). Every year my sons lose a minimum of 2 games due to weather (I'd like to see how many the Squamish and Bowen Island team loses because many of the cancellations are from those cities). While this year may be an exception for the past decade or 2 (I understand from folk born and raised here that this winter is what they knew as children), there is no use calling it a season when multiple games (and training sessions) are missed. I feel there is an equity issue seeing as the high performance youth clubs book the winter off thereby having access to better facilities, including the weather. As per any strong soccer country, the way to build a national soccer program is to make soccer as accessible to as many children as possible, not restrict the stream to the small number of currently skilled players. I would be happy to do more than contribute to a discussion feed to move this issue to action.
     
  10. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    I for one never said it would be easy - I think that should not stop anyone from taking this on. This should be examined very seriously by the leagues and BCSA.
     
  11. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Exactly!!!

    And you know what, we'll "lose" some kids to other sports. So be it. It will all even out in the wash. But I had kids crying at practice last week because they were so cold. I couldn't feel my toes for about 1 hour after practice. Enough is enough.
     
  12. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Absolutely. Especially with BCSPL already running on this much better calendar. Don't have to move every league in one fell swoop. Move MSL to the new calendar. Then Gold. Or create a new 2nd/3rd tier to support BCSPL and have that run from the new calendar. Those that want to/can adjust to the new calendar and meet the required standards would be invited to join at the 2nd or 3rd tier.

    Not easy. But must be discussed beyond this web page.
     
  13. jmoulins

    jmoulins Member

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    I actually think we'd retain some of our best young athletes who we now force to choose between soccer and hockey. I've written here before about the number of kids I've coached who tried and failed to juggle the two sports. Those 7am hockey practices don't look so bad to parents when the alternative is 8:30 am in an icy rain watching your 7 year old shivering on a gravel field.
     
  14. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    I assume you meant 8:30pm for the 7 year olds? Or were you referring to games on a Saturday at 8:30am?

    I hope your club isn't having 7 year olds practicing at 8:30pm ;)

    I for one, in the current soccer set-up, won't be too disappointed if my kid picks indoor activities instead!! I would definitely be the one shivering watching them practice soccer ;) lol but I won't coach my kid....hot chocolate in hand on the sidelines for me :)
     
  15. jmoulins

    jmoulins Member

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    8:30 warmup for 9AM games, on gravel fields all over Vancouver. My U15 boys team is on it's 3rd or 4th season of 8:30 AM starts (on a good turf field).
    Some of these kids will grow up never having played on a grass field.
     
  16. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    wow that's early! You won't want to hear that the rule for district 5 is no kick offs before 10am* ;) I learned that the hard way after playing an away game at 9am, and reading the rule book about a month later! Oops.

    *I think for u11+
     
  17. jmoulins

    jmoulins Member

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    Correction. The house league kids start their season on grass fields, but it doesn't take long for the fields to break down in the October rain and they move to gravel. The only time my U15 gold boys play on grass is when we travel to Sechelt.
     
  18. LFC

    LFC Active Member

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    Field availability is a huge hurdle only in some areas [ not Surrey ] but if there,s a will there,s a way.
     
  19. LFC

    LFC Active Member

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    jmoulins , totally agree and there,s kind of an old boys network in charge of all the main Soccer organizations & leages and they don,t want change and won,t accommodate fresh ideas to improve development & enjoyment of the game.

    " I looked at the kids trying to stay warm and told him "Move the schedule". He laughed at me as if it was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard and he said "No, seriously".
     
  20. rich

    rich Active Member

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    Fields are an issue, and probably the major one. Just for chuckles, I asked the municipality what field allotments we could expect to get if we moved to a Spring season. The answer was somewhere around 60%. In South Delta, we lose Winskill Turf all spring - we get zero allotments there due to lacrosse and baseball. I guess there may be a way to do it, but I don't know what that is.

    When we've all retired from this, we can sit in the pub over a pint and tell "remember that one year when the snow...." stories.
     

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