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Author Topic: Soccer reshuffle creates concerns  (Read 1476 times)

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Offline Lepard LLC

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Soccer reshuffle creates concerns
« on: March 03, 2007, 01:36:22 AM »


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Soccer reshuffle creates concerns
Darrell Todd Maurina

An ongoing soccer problem has forced the reorganization of youth soccer teams from Waynesville, St. Robert and Fort Leonard Wood.

At a Feb. 21 meeting that didn’t have enough people present for a quorum, Community Recreation Board Chairman Bill Westfall said he’s been in extensive discussions with the Ozark Mountain Conference, which governs youth recreational soccer in the area, regarding the way sports teams are sorted into teams and assigned to coaches after children sign up for soccer.

“We were asked by Ozark Mountain to look at our sorting system,” Westfall said. “They came back and said, ‘You will sort according to our standards.’”

The Ozark Mountain Conference wanted even more changes, but local youth sports leaders decided to re-sort the teams only once.

“We’ve caused enough turmoil in our community, and I’ve got some very angry parents,” Westfall said. “I wasn’t happy about the whole thing, but that’s just the way we sometimes have to do it.”

Recreation Director Janet Ruiz concurred.

“It’s been a crazy situation for me,” Ruiz said.

A key issue locally has been the desire of some parents to select coaches with a reputation for winning and of some coaches to select the members of their own team. Some Waynesville and St. Robert coaches have accused smaller communities in the area of informally stacking their teams by keeping their off-season junior high soccer teams together for continued off-season play; people in other communities have accused Waynesville and St. Robert, which have a much larger number of teams, of stacking teams by partnering better coaches with more skilled players.

That conflict led to a three-hour review of the selection process in Waynesville and St. Robert, Westfall said, and Ruiz said an additional two hours were spent sorting players by the correct age divisions required by the Ozark Mountain rules rather than by birth year.

The new teams were sorted without regard to coach or parent preferences except that coaches are allowed to have their own children on their teams, Westfall said, apart from extenuating circumstances.

“We did not look at parental situations except for a few must-dos,” Westfall said. “There are some situations where if a kid doesn’t get a ride, they weren’t going to play.”

Despite the youth soccer controversy, the total number of teams actually increased from the fall to spring seasons. The community recreation board supervised 28 teams from Waynesville, St. Robert and Fort Leonard Wood in the fall and that number grew to 29 in the spring with 315 players registered.

Cathy Ferguson, the president of the Kiwanis Club, also spoke to board members about the role of her organization. Ferguson said some people have asked why the Community Recreation Board has representatives from Kiwanis on a board whose other members are governmental bodies such as the Waynesville R-VI School District and the cities of Waynesville and St. Robert.

Ferguson said the recreational sports program began with an initiative by the Kiwanis Club 22 years ago.

“It has grown over the years, much to our enjoyment and delight,” Ferguson said. “Kiwanis is a well-respected community organization, and because we have this 20-year history with soccer, we are able to get things done.”

Offline blissfullybusy

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Re: Soccer reshuffle creates concerns
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2007, 05:05:30 AM »
I have to say that I attended the board meeting in January and have spoken with Janet and know they did everything they could do to be fair this season.  I'm impressed with the way they handled it, you can't please everyone all the time, but the way they did it was fair.
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Offline Strictly Confidential

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Re: Soccer reshuffle creates concerns
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2007, 02:37:38 PM »
LOL - I have been involved with the game locally for seven years now - the rules and exceptions cited are the exact same they have always been - having been to the fields I can also tell you the teams have not changed.

It is typical to re-organize the rosters prior to every fall season in the rec league - this is spring - so new sign-up's are added, and players not returning are dropped, but the teams otherwise remain the same for the spring season - this is normal, and perfectly acceptable, per the rules. HOWEVER -

The "must be on my team or they can't play" exception has been the same all along, and this is where the stacking takes place - in addition to teams having two or three coaches, all with their kids on 'their' team.  There was a team that had what, 7, 9, 11 ride requests last year in the U12 category - a very large percentage of kids that can't play if the coach doesn't provide rides, no?  Yet I saw many of the parents with the "riders" at the games.

There is a U15 girls rec team that keeps the same kids every year, with the exception of normal attrition, through moves/relocation, etc.  With what, 30-40 girls in the rec division in their age group how do you think the coach is given his roster of 15-18 girls?  They aren't assigned, they request his team, OR (gasp) he requests certain girls - so, they can talk fair all they want but certain folks choose to ignore certain fundamental problems.  This is unfair to all the other kids, who are spread out every two seasons, but you bring it up and you'll hear - "their just girls - what are you worried about?"  No, winning isn't the concern - selective application of certain rules and standards is the issue.  Besides, aren't we all about equality these days?  They choose to play a single gender team in a gender-integrated league - so they should play the girls they are given - not the ones they choose...  It's the mere principle of the matter.

There is now a "all girls U12" team as well - odds are it is rostered in the same manner, as it is the U15's girls coaches wife that now has the U12 all girls team...Hmmmm - one farming young talent for the other?  Why not - they are being permitted to do it!  Don't like the supposition?  Then apply the rules to these teams in the same manner the lip service says the other teams are being set up - simple really.

Do outlying communities with two teams typically have one that is stacked, and one with less skilled children?  ohhhhhh yea - Billy was right on that , no doubt about it.

People just tend to loose sight of the fact that it's about the kids, fun, and the whole learning experience, and they do, and will continue to take advantage of loopholes in the rules/system - and people that let them do it - read, "Rec Board".

Bill - you reading this?  For seven years now I have advocated putting every kid on a master roster - at the annual meeting the coaches sit at a table and take turns picking kids from that roster.  Each coach should be granted two special requests before the "draft" starts - that way they can get their kid on their team, or snatch that superstar they want so bad - it is the only way to do it fairly from the get-go.

My.02, for what its worth.
"All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." --Edmund Burke

Offline Princess_KA

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Re: Soccer reshuffle creates concerns
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2007, 09:30:56 PM »
My son decided against playing soccer this year.  For the the last 3 years, he has wanted to play on a team with his best friend.  His best friend's dad is the coach of that team. There team is as average as my son's prior teams the least few years.  There was no reason for wanting to be on this other team, other than to play soccer with his best friend.  Since some others have ruined it for everyone else, we were not permitted to request a specific coach.  He got tired of waiting for it to happen and has opted to spend time with me at the gym a few times a week instead.  Maybe that sounds bad to some of you, but I guess the point is, my son wasn't in it to win it.  He was in it to have fun, share the experience with his friends, and learn and become a better player. He loves soccer, but I guess he's a little tired of the let down every season.

I can't believe that we have to actually consider setting up rosters for child soccer teams. I guess I'm completely lame because I just didn't think the emphasis should be winning.  I guess I don't get it at all because I thought the emphasis was on teaching our kids a skill, pulling them away from video games and showing them that OUTSIDE is fun, too, and holding their interest in a positive activity that will help keep them out of trouble.  Sorry if I offended anyone by my thoughts on this.  That was not my intention.  I just wish I could better understand other points of view on this issue.