BCSPL/Metro/Tier 1

Discussion in 'Youth Leagues & Cups' started by LosBlancos, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. LosBlancos

    LosBlancos Member

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    This is going to be a bit of a rambling rant, so please bear with me it on. My son has moved into U13 this season and I'm very confused by the decisions and direction of youth soccer at this point. I think BCCSL incorporating Metro into their umbrella is a step forward. From what I have heard, at the end of this season, the top and bottom teams of each tier will move up and down, but I am not sure if it is 1 or 2 teams per tier. Personally, I hope it is 2, as this will improve the balance of each tier. What is becoming evident though is that a few of the Metro teams are vastly better than the others, so what happens to them? Looking at BCSPL intake, we watched the jamboree games a few weeks ago, there is one team that is easily the best, 3 or 4 that are good, and a couple that are no better than the Metro teams. I fail to understand how an 8 team league that is so varied is going to get the best out of these kids. The one team won 8-0, 4-0, 5-2 and not sure on the last, but they did win. I've now heard that a number of kids from some of the other BCSPL teams want to transfer to this winning team. We'll see what happens in November regarding call-ups and what not, but this probably prevents kids that deserve a chance that are playing Metro from being selected. Both North Vancouver and West Vancouver Metro teams have players that are easily BCSPL level players that only tried out for one team due to the difficulty of travel in the city. The fact that that club took players from all over the city reduced those kids chances at being selected. And now this news of other players wanting to move.

    But the most disturbing thing I've heard was the email from BCSoccer explaining that to be fair to each and every BCSPL team, they would select a balanced number of players from each team for the Provincial program. Huh? What? Why wouldn't Luca just select the BEST 18 kids for the team? That makes absolutely no sense at all. I'm finding this whole system very confusing and convoluted. What need is there to include the Island and Interior in a Lower Mainland league? Why are we making 12-year-olds travel 4 hours away to play teams that they could easily face here? Wouldn't a 10 team Elite tier that runs in the BCCSL that allows teams to be promoted from Metro and religated produce closer games? Wouldn't restricting these top teams to select only players from their designated region make way more sense? A North Shore team can only have players north of Lions Gate and the Second Narrows. Burnaby is a team of players from the Burnaby region etc etc. The fact that the Provincial program places merit only in BCSPL has eliminated kids that only tried out for one team, a team that is vastly more popular than some of the other clubs, from ever being selected. A Provincial program that selects players from all the BCSPL clubs leaves superior players also not being selected. I seriously don't get it. No wonder Canada is so poorly regarded in Soccer development. It's not that hard. It almost seems that the ones in control care more about power and dictating what should be done instead of worrying about the ones that matter, the kids playing.

    Then I'll finish with this story I heard recently, 3 boys tried out for a Metro team, two didn't make it, one did. Those same 3 boys tried out for a BCSPL club, 2 made it, the one that made Metro didn't. That's seriously messed up and shows the broken system that currently exists.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  2. RRS

    RRS Member

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    You cover a LOT of ground here... so I'll touch on just a couple of your points:

    "The fact that the Provincial program places merit only in BCSPL has eliminated kids that only tried out for one team, a team that is vastly more popular than some of the other clubs, from ever being selected..."

    Not only does the PTP's exclusive focus on BCSPL players eliminate kids who tried out only for one team and didn't make it, but every kid playing Metro. There are indeed some Metro players out there who, for any number of reasons, elected to stay in Metro, but would have earned a spot in the BCSPL had they wanted to pursue it.

    Re: The 3 boys scenario, there are a number of factors that could have come into play in the decision-making process. Metro, unlike BCSPL, is encumbered by a limit on the number of Out of District (OOD) players that they're permitted to have on the roster. Last I checked, it was 5. The club my son plays for has a policy that states that an OOD player will be selected only if they are significantly better than the in-district competition for that spot. Without knowing the players and the metro team involved, it's hard to say, but not impossible that they didn't meet this standard.

    Many coaches, in my observation, look to fill in the positional holes when holding tryouts. If their current midfield is strong, they're not going to be looking especially hard at mids, for example.
    Each club has their own unique playing style, ball distribution philosophy, and player movement expectations -- those players already familiar with that style are going to perform better in the assessor's eyes.

    There's also the player type matrix to consider. Some coaches want pure athletes that they can teach how to play soccer. Some coaches prefer more technically gifted players. Some coaches prefer the more cerebral players over bigger or faster ones.

    Sadly, in some rather isolated cases, both at the metro and the BCSPL level there are the "roster fillers", one or two lower caliber players who are largely there to complete a roster, and who will receive significantly less playing time over a season. Not saying this is definitely the case with the boys you mentioned, but the possibility exists.
     
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  3. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    So many interesting questions and comments. As RRS said, a lot will often come down to one coaches preference (aka, bias) over another coaches. This is just human nature.

    I'll take a poke at a few based on my own perspective, and nearly 30 years experience in local soccer as a player and coach at all levels (except PTP - never played there). Your confusion is not unusual whatsoever. Especially moving from u12 (very localized) to u13 which becomes increasingly regional, and moves to full field with different rules as well as leagues. Mix into that all the different districts - some putting forward district-based teams (Coastal, Mountain etc at BCSPL, Van FC in MSL etc) and others putting forward specific club-based teams (Surrey United, Metro-Ford etc etc).

    "I think BCCSL incorporating Metro into their umbrella is a step forward."
    -agreed

    "From what I have heard, at the end of this season, the top and bottom teams of each tier will move up and down, but I am not sure if it is 1 or 2 teams per tier."
    -Is this noted in the BCCSL rules/manual? Pro-rel based on points has been avoided in these parts for decades, and rightly so. Not every team that wins should move up, and not every team that loses should move down.


    "Looking at BCSPL intake, we watched the jamboree games a few weeks ago, there is one team that is easily the best, 3 or 4 that are good, and a couple that are no better than the Metro teams."
    -This is the case in every league, at every level in the entire world.

    "...this probably prevents kids that deserve a chance that are playing Metro from being selected. Both North Vancouver and West Vancouver Metro teams have players that are easily BCSPL level players that only tried out for one team due to the difficulty of travel in the city."
    -The real issue here is not that these kids can realistically only trial for 1 BCSPL team (make it or not, so be it). The issue is that they aren't then being actively scouted for Whitecaps, or PTP because they aren't in BCSPL.

    "The fact that that club took players from all over the city reduced those kids chances at being selected."
    -Then they aren't good enough, if they aren't better than the other kids from Vancouver and area who were picked for that same team.

    "But the most disturbing thing I've heard was the email from BCSoccer explaining that to be fair to each and every BCSPL team, they would select a balanced number of players from each team for the Provincial program."
    -Well this depends on the purpose of the PTP. If memory serves the national championship is discontinued (as it should be for numerous reasons) in which case calling in equal numbers from each club makes sense - they can rotate selections and then invite a wide number of kids from various places to provide them a week of good training. If the purpose of the program is to put the best 18 on show for the Whitecaps, then no they shouldn't have equal representation. My personal opinion, the PTP is a make-work project for the BCSA coaches, and to put lipstick on a pig for the BCSA to attract players (aka, their money). Whitecaps scout BCSPL. They can then invite (and do) the best players to their residency for trials. They don't need the PTP to scout the players.

    "What need is there to include the Island and Interior in a Lower Mainland league?"
    -An excellent question. One I've been asking for the last year or so, after giving it more thought. The answer will go back to the equal representation question above re: PTP. It will go back to "fairness" to allow kids in these regions a platform to be seen easier. The truth is, it makes it easier for BCSA and Whitecaps to scout (not sure why BCSA would need to scout of the national championship is discontinued - is it still running?). BCSPL has two showcases tournaments each year if I am not mistaken? Even if they have 1, not 2, I believe my next point stands. Okanagan and Van Island should not be in BCSPL. Instead they should have their own standards based leagues, along the exact same lines as BCSPL. Can play the same seasonal calendar. This will build-up all of their local clubs. From those local leagues they can run "all-star camps" or something and then put together "all-star teams" and send them to the showcase. Extend an invite to those leagues to send coaches and refs etc to all the extras BCSPL offers them to further develop them (thus further develop the players) and thus grow the sport. And oh, by the way, save families money while actually making BCSPL more money because now instead of 8 teams you have 6 in Lower Mainland (easily can put together 2 more franchises in LM to replace Island and Okanagan) plus another 6-8 on Van Island and another 6-8 in Okanagan all running a standards-based league and just call them BCSPL Okanagan (call it "interior" and invite PG to join) and BCSPL Vancouver Island.

    "Why are we making 12-year-olds travel 4 hours away to play teams that they could easily face here?"
    -Another outstanding question. For the same reason we have 10-11 yr olds making 3 hour round trips for 60 minute games in which they might play 30 minutes or less. It's absolute insanity to me. Put our heads together and come up with something better! I believe BCSPL should not start until 15 or so. By then the truly committed are clear and obvious. Kids really begin quitting at all levels about age 15. Growth spurts are balancing at this age as well, slowly but surely. That anyone thinks these long drives is in any young players best interest is totally clueless. These same people will wonder "why did 7000 kids and adults (mostly kids) quit soccer in BC last year?" The answers are fairly obvious to me. Spend 10 minutes speaking to families and you'll get your answers.

    "Wouldn't restricting these top teams to select only players from their designated region make way more sense?"
    -This is where you and I disagree greatly. The answer is simple. No. Awarding kids spots in the top leagues (or any league) because of geography helps some kids, seriously hurts other kids. Awarding spots on geography is the worst decision that can be made. That BCSPL has open boundary is fantastic. Boundaries should be open at BCSPL, Metro, and Division 1 (which you called Tier 1). Let cream rise to the top. There will always be Kid X or Kid Y that can't play in their chosen tier for whatever reason. If the team in their region is too good for them because they have an amazing coach that attracts best players from other regions, is sad for Kid X or Kid Y, but it's the way it is. Not only should we have open boundaries at these three tiers, we should have open access to competition. So I agree, BCSPL franchises probably shouldn't be locked. But pro-rel on points earned is the wrong approach. The top kids in MSL can play BCSPL. Most have access to a team. The rest, are likely only ever going to play university at very best anyway and they can achieve that goal in metro. No harm done. You'll bring up cost to BCSPL as a barrier. I agree. That absolutely must be addressed. It's criminal, IMO.

    "No wonder Canada is so poorly regarded in Soccer development."
    -Exactly what you proposed to award players on geography is a contributing factor to why we are so poorly regarded in soccer development.

    As for your comment on players getting picked for metro vs. BCSPL - as RRS said, it will be due to many factors.
     
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