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» Youth Soccer Discussions » General Discussions » Rec Division Team Creation << Older Newer >>
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micstew April 29th, 2013 21:19 GMT Print this post
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Looking for some feedback (opinions, experiences, NorCal policies or guidelines, etc) on Recreational Division (D4) Team Creation.  Some clubs do not allow "friend requests" or other player, parent, or coach involvement in creating teams.  Some clubs allow entire hand-picked teams - which inevitably results in a dramatic competitive imbalance within the age group.  Some clubs are trying to find a happy medium - that is to say, one that provides some degree of equality across teams but also allows some specific placement requests.  What are the rec division team formation policies of your club and what are the results?
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Norcaldad April 30th, 2013 00:15 GMT Print this post
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This message was edited by Norcaldad on April 30th, 2013 00:17 GMT

Usually if this is a young team (age). You find that the players are all friends and go to the same school. Usually the same neighborhood. I believe that on the app there is a place to request playing with a friend or a coach.  
I would think you would not find a imbalance in competetion until you get higher in the age groups. But when you get higher up you find the girls side drop off in the amount of players.
You might want to say which location you are in. That way the experiences can be tailored to that area.
At least in my area the apps for playing rec have all been turned in and the parents are awaiting word on which team their child is playing on. This usually does not change (team) as the years increase. Only if the coach does not come back or the team loses a lot of players.
Younger ages field more teams and the older ages get condensed down.
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micstew April 30th, 2013 02:41 GMT Print this post
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We're in a California club. Girls D4 Rec U5-U19. I think maybe it will help if I explain our specific situation...
The Rec teams in our club play only inner-league (until the couple of oldest age groups where there are not enough teams to do so).  The club allows unlimited placement requests.  Because of this, notable team imbalances start around U8 as the more competitive coaches and parents begin to seek each other out.  By U12 we have established recurring highly dominate (often undefeated) teams.  On the other end of the spectrum, some players go multiple seasons without experiencing the winning side of a game in inner-league play.  It is my opinion that these results indicate a failure of the club to provide a competitively balanced playing environment within which to play the sport.  Many players and coaches quit specifically because of the dramatic imbalance - if you aren't given a reasonable chance to compete, then eventually there's no incentive to even participate.
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Lets Play Soccer April 30th, 2013 19:11 GMT Print this post
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I'm in the Sacramento Region. I've seem both sides of the spectrum in D4.

I've seen coaches with blow out teams take the team to the next level D3 or now Bronze or Silver. This way the girls stay together and have better competition.  

Then I've seen coaches that add USClub registered D1 competitive, to their Rec club D4 team only purpose to blow out the Rec league. They must feel good about their team, but all the other coaches think they (the coaches) are Pathetic.

Usually there is a ranking system. Even in Rec. If a team is consistently at the bottom they'll be moved down and those blowing out competition will be moved up with the others. This evens out the disparity.

Where I am there are a large number of teams in inner league. We had six divisions of 5 plus teams in our age group.  I imagine if you are in a smaller town this might be a problem.
 

Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."- Bill Shankly
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micstew April 30th, 2013 20:10 GMT Print this post
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This message was edited by micstew on April 30th, 2013 20:13 GMT

Sac -  
Interesting feedback, thanks.  In our club, all D4 Rec players play in a single "division" in their age group.  There is no splitting of Rec into separate levels.  The club does have a "Rec +" program for a couple of the age groups, which is separate, but they have the same problems within that space as well.  The most obvious answer (rank the players and create more reasonably even teams) has not been well received by parents and coaches who want to keep their dominate teams together under the premise that the kids just "want to play with their friends".  Many have threatened to quit if the club tries to even out the teams - much like the players and coaches who have already quit due to a recurring lack of balance across teams.  In short, the club is now at risk for losing players from both ends of the issue.
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Norcaldad April 30th, 2013 20:26 GMT Print this post
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This message was edited by Norcaldad on April 30th, 2013 20:28 GMT

I would think that they would move up to the next level. But usually they do not let whole teams move up.
I agree with LPS- the age groups up here have between 5-9 groups inside of their age group. basically levels. With Level 1 being the better and going down. They also play the surrounding leagues. So you might have one level that plays mostly teams from the same club. And others that play Eureka,Lomis,Rocklin,Roseville. So they are able to play teams that are at the same level.  
You will probably have to find where parents stand on the issue. Is it possible for teams to play against teams from surounding clubs? How do the other clubs handle this. Do they play just inside their club or do they play other clubs.
Sometimes you have to decide what is better for your children. Do you push change? With the understanding of people leaving. And if they leave, who would it hurt more. Sometimes it is just talk, and they know if this was to happen they would not leave. Push to play other clubs with the same skill level. Or just leave and play with another club.
But I do not see ranking players as working. Who is going to be the judge. The better option would be to take the better teams and move a player or two from these to other teams. Only if you cannot play against other clubs. Look at your bylaws and see what it says about playing league games against other clubs.
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micstew April 30th, 2013 22:20 GMT Print this post
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Thanks NCD.  Our Rec division does not have 'levels' and only does inner-league play except in the oldest age groups where we don't have enough teams to do so.  Cross-league play is a fallback only.  There are no by-laws that prevent it (as far as I know) but I'm sure the vast majority of parents would rather not drive out of town for recreational soccer games if they didn't have to.  Other clubs in the area have the same general approach.  
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Norcaldad April 30th, 2013 23:25 GMT Print this post
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The example, I give of playing different clubs is not a lot of travel. Basically the cities are connected. Meaning you cross the freeway and you enter a different city. Not sure how your area is. So for most families it is a ten munute drive to the furthest field.
Good luck. Sometimes it does not workout the way you want. And when that happens you just try to enjoy your kids running around enjoying a beautiful game.
PM: Norcaldad
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