HPL: Have your say (not anymore – polls closed)

UPDATE:

* Wondering when the SurDel Peg campaign to push them to the top is going to come to its conclusion. I’m sure there’s no organized effort going on here 😉 Big, big surge in the last several hours!

* To put the percentages into context, we’ve had about 2000 votes cast so far (remember each person can vote up to 24 times (up to 8 times for each of the three polls). No real surprises for me. Strong support the Island being competitive is about the only eyebrow raiser.

* Details starting to come out about tryout plans. Earliest date I’ve heard mentioned is Feb 27 for one group’s U13s.

* Also hearing vague rumblings about individual teams both being recruited to move to shore up certain HPL applicants where they are weak and teams approaching HPL candidates with proposals to move en masse there if certain conditions are met.

Just realized WordPress has some pretty easy to create polls. Might as well put them to good use.

I’ve done three polls up. If you have a good idea for any others, put it in the comments and I’ll give it some thought (ie. if I agree I’ll probably do one up). My three are as follows.

1. Who can pull this off given the tight timelines? Who can staff this and make it hum right out the gate from an organizational point of view?

2. Who is best able to compete at this level?

3. Who is going to get a franchise?

It’s set up so that you can put in between one and eight answers (as eight franchises will be handed out) for each poll.

Here we go….

It’s set up so you should only be able to vote once.

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67 Responses to HPL: Have your say (not anymore – polls closed)

  1. Mitch says:

    Can’t seem to vote more than once on the 1st and 3rd poll. Like the idea of poll.

  2. Colin Elmes says:

    Ok I did it. And no I am not the .89 percent that Sportstown FC received on poll 3. Or is that 89 percent? 😉

  3. K says:

    Guess we’ll see who the prophets were on Thursday.

  4. Colin Elmes says:

    Do you mean “profit”? I thought this was all non- profit

  5. Andy says:

    I’ve followed the various discussions on this site with interest over the past couple of weeks and, like everyone else, I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of the HPL franchise bids…..I also think that the HPL is a great opportunity for BC’s youth soccer community to come together and make real progress in creating a proper development path for our young players. Something tells me that its not going to be quite as easy as that.
    My take on the franchise selection process is this…..everybody thinks they can put together a great program, and everybody believes that they can meet all of the requirements. I assume that everybody has put together a professionally presented bid, I thought Sportstown’s was very impressive. I wonder why BC Soccer are stuck on the idea of 8 franchises ? Perhaps its just because 8 is a nice number…but why not give everybody a go in year one, with the condition set that those failing to meet the criteria will be dropped or replaced in year two ? We could even use the proposed ‘mini season’ this summer as the year one for this purpose.
    Maybe this is too simplistic, but I think that it would be the fairest way to form the league…..and I also think that anything else is going to mean that the league starts out with uneccessary bitterness and controversy between people who basically have the same motives.

    PS….Logistically, it is just as easy to create an eleven team league as it is to create an eight team league

    • Phisper says:

      We could have 11 or 16 or 20 teams, and we are back into the watered down Metro scheme. There are a limited number of quality coaches, and of those coaches, who is interested in coaching HPL? and who has the time flexibility? Are great coaches from North Shore going to travel to Abby and visa versa?

      8 is a good start. I am curious to see how this plays out.

    • I Caramba says:

      Hi Gregor; great site and a great source of information.
      What’s really happened here is that the districts have handed over control of ‘the tier 1 male and female leagues’ to BCSA. These are now BCSA’s babies and BCSA is choosing its ‘partners’ to actually run the teams. BCSA has chosen to make this a ‘high performance league’ incorporating ‘high performance training program’.
      Questions:
      1. Will whitecaps be running separate ‘academy’ teams above ‘tier 1’? ie is HPL actually tier 1? Or tier 2? Whitecaps own plan would affect HPL considerably.
      2. Is there a BCSA plan for what happens immediately below HPL? This is a major question, so hopefully the districts & clubs, likely left to figure this out, are thinking hard about this now.

      Comment/prediction (boys side, anyway)
      * The 4-5 greater Vancouver HPL teams will be stronger than metro teams currently, Victoria and abbotsford about the same and okanagan unlikely to be as strong as typical current metro teams. Do communities with less depth have the ability to sustain teams in this league in the long term?
      * With no boundaries, many of the provincial team/whitecaps prospects players will migrate to a particular ‘franchise’ which will dominate the ‘league’. Quite quickly, some method to regulate player movement may be needed. Unless HPL is really ‘tier 2’ (below whitecaps academy) of course.
      * BCYSSL & girls metro as tier 2 will be very difficult to work in current forms and some kind of regional gold-metro system could be devised, combining the best teams from 5 district and 4 district on the boys side, but this will take a lot of effort by overworked volunteers who are preoccupied with HPL.
      * Long term, this will have an effect on minisoccer as HPL entities will have to start looking at players far younger than U12 (playing super 8, remember) in order to transition them to appropriate U13 HPL teams. This will drive changes below U12 that may be contrary to the spirit of the CSA/BCSA-mandated changes that happened (?)3 years ago.
      * Turning some of the HPL entities into actual clubs will be a challenge, long term.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Caramba, you have hit on many of the issues that are currently plaguing the interim committees (hurriedly assembled to produce and deliver bids in the insane timeframes permitted) and, one supposes, BCSA. There are others. Many others. Hang on tight.

        As to 1. : not only will the Whitecaps be running separate academy teams “above” HPL, they will be scouting the league in search of the best players (along with the PTP and NTC). (There may not be teams at every age level however.) If that makes HPL tier 2 then so be it.

        As to 2: “a BCSA plan for what happens immediately below HPL”. It depends what you mean by “plan”. By most definitions, no they haven’t choosing, instead, to let the HPL clubs work with local feeder clubs to work out a viable system. BCSA has made some suggestions although it would be fairer to say that the HPL Committee has made those suggestions and not BCSA directly; some would say there isn’t a difference.

        PH

      • Canadian Spur says:

        MSL League (new Tier 2) is meeting on Wednesday and the District chairs will be in attendance to vote on changes to the league structure. Not sure what the outcome will be but I’m hoping this means the end of district teams!

      • Joe says:

        Caramba, I think your predict that HPL will be stronger than metro is a bit Optimistic , each age group will be losing 2-3 metro teams and from what I’m hearing from many metro players/ parents and coaches is that they won’t be making the trip out to abbortsford . And as for some of these players going to existing metro team.. sure, but will it make these team better ?
        If you believe this will happen the take a look at the NTC rooster at GU14 & GU15 the teams with the most NTC are not the teams in 1st place

      • thiku says:

        I would tend to agree with Spur on that one – travel for competitive soccer is pretty standard everywhere in the world for the serious players…..

    • Joe says:

      Andy I don’t think the number of teams is the problem. The problem is that many of the best teams are not in line for an HPL team and many clubs with no Metro team in place are in line for an HPL team .

      If you award an HPL team based on performance then you have what we got now.
      As Phisper stated coaches won’t do the travel , and it’s not likely the players will either.

      • Canadian Spur says:

        Joe, I think you will find that most of the serious, commited players will play in HPL and will travel to play in the league, While they may not travel to Abby, there will be other choices. The point of this league is to provide a higher competitive environment for the elite player. Anyone not willing to travel a bit for a better opportunity I would suggest is not a serious, committed player and shouldn;t be in HPL anyway.

      • thiku says:

        sorry – repeating self. wrong thread above.

        I would tend to agree with Spur on that one – travel for competitive soccer is pretty standard everywhere in the world for the serious players…..

  6. Joe says:

    Here is one for us conspiracy theorist?

    Is it possible that I have Michael Findlay peg all wrong ? maybe he is much smarter than I think ?

    If your Michael Findlay and you’re serious about making changes to soccer in this province, you will need to remove distention. Doing battling with ½ dozen Districts that answer to the 50 or so clubs would be the first step?

    If you award 8 HPL franchise the rest of the clubs will either conform or fight to survive. If clubs decide to fight the BC soccer will throw up every road block they can. Giving control of the 1st and 2nd ter to HPL clubs will be step #2

    If HPL takes control of soccer in this province, does it really matter who gets an HPL franchise ? All the other clubs will have to conform to HPL teams which will lead to merger then control over all level of soccer in this province.

    If believe in HPL , then you would probably see this as good thing , (it would defiantly cut down on poaching ) and it will come down to one man vision to set us on the right coarse.

    If you don’t them Michael Findlay vision, then Michael is really DR. Evil and were going to get shagged !

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      This is why people shouldn’t drink before noon…

      • Joe says:

        Elaborate my non drink friend .

        Do you think there will be peace in the soccer world after feb 17 ?
        What make you so sure the majority of the clubs are behind this ? And what is the plan if a the non HPL clubs keep metro running ? I will order another drink and wait for your reply .

    • Canadian Spur says:

      There is go guarantee that their will not be dissentioni n the ranks of the 8 HPL Franchises. Seeing this as a “Michael Findlay Conspiracy” makes no sense.

      HPL will not control tier 2 ( see my post above). HPL franchises such as Burnaby/North Shore or Vancouver/Richmond may not have tier 2 teams byut rather leave that to their feeder clubs.

      • Joe says:

        Thanks for your comment
        The Michael comment is tongue and cheek (I don’t think PH is an Austin powers fan ) but seriously.. I not really against HPL. , it’s just it doesn’t look like they thought this through . Yes I read what you said regarding tier#2,
        Keep in mind many of the players and parents from these feeder teams are in the dark about HPL and what little discussion is going on is coming from their coach. And in most cases it won’t be positive .

        For argument sake let’s for suppose that these players from the feeder clubs, (which by the way outnumber the HPL metro teams). decide to play in tier#2 and not tryout for any HPL teams . .
        This could result in Tier #2 stronger than HPL . Now back to my crazy conspiracy…. What will HPL do ?.… will they roll over and allow this to happen or will they give the HPL teams the Teir# 2 spot

        If a metro team is strong , I think most teams would choose to stick together and play teir# 2 especially if there is a coordinating effort with other feeder teams
        To play at teir#2

        Your comment that some players from feeder teams will tryout with HPL teams. Resulting in stronger HPL teams .

        Yes some player from feeder clubs will tryout for HPL teams but this was already happening in metro which was resulting in the top teams getting stronger but the league competition getting weaker making it a 2or 3 team league .

        And your comment regarding players who are not committed to making sacrifices to HPL are not elite players .
        The feeder team will be contributing the vast majority of the elite players, without their support HPL will not be elite .

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Joe,

      Don’t really see much of a risk of tier 2 being stronger than HPL. The very fact that there are so many more teams means that that league will be more watered down than HPL. There are way more gold teams than select/metro teams and in most cases the cost to play gold is significantly less than metro/select and while there are the odd gold team that could compete with the weaker select/metro teams, the gold leagues are in no way stronger than the current top tier. Yes there will be weaker HPL teams (Abby, Okanagan) but even if some coaches do not encourage their players to go to HPL I don’t see very many top players choosing to stay in tier 2. The players that will be in HPL will largely come from current metro/select programs and these players are not in the completely dark as there has been a lot of discussion. I agree that there hasn;t been enough information flow down to the lowere levels ( I coach in the lower levels) but most players on gold or lower teams wouldn’t make HPL teams.

      • Joe says:

        Sorry CS your missing my point . Let’s take a look at G U15
        in SRY we have only one possible HPL club . The other 3 will be feeder clubs they could easy add 2 more teams from metro and one gold and form a league stronger or at least equal to HPL and each parent will save $2000.00

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Joe,

      Not missing your point at all. There will likley be 2 HPL franchises in Surrey so you should have 2 strong HPL teams but tosuggest that teir 2 will be stronger because their may be one or 2 strong teams is to much of a leap for me. I don;t think we can simply look at one age group/gender and draw a conclusion that tier 2 might be stronger. There just isn’t enough evidence to support this.

      • Joe says:

        There might be two HP franchises but SU doesn’t have a metro team, your Suggesting the other three SRY metro teams will support SU with players.? I’m not so sure about . What I suggesting could happen is HPL will end of with five metro teams and the remaining five metro teams will stay and contiune playing metro.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Joe, It’s not a question of if the other teams will support SU in HPL as they may not. The question is will the the players and parents go to SU to acheive a spot in an HPL team and for that I think the answer is yes.

  7. Canadian Spur says:

    Interesting to see that there is generally a consensus on 7 of the teams that will get a franchise with Surdel Pegasus and South Fraser splitting the vote for the 8th spot.
    I guess the stats submitted by the Surdel Peg bid haven’t convinced everyone!

  8. MJ says:

    That’s a good point about the battle among HPL and the clubs. If the existing leagues/clubs tighten the standard on the Gold league and pitch it as quality play in your neighborhood for $250, it will be interesting to see how the market forces play out, especially at the older ages where the number of kids that want to eat and breathe soccer starts to diminish.

  9. Rick Gruneau says:

    One issue that has not received sufficient comment in this HPL discussion is the question of cost. The idea of this league is arguably player development. But, there is no doubt that we are creating a vehicle that will comparatively advantage kids from affluent families and put barriers in the way of kids from less afflent families. It is kind of crazy in a way because in our quest to ID and to train the best prospects for international competition we’ve completely cut out a capacity to develop kids who can’t afford to pay for expensive soccer schools or to play in the HPL. The only way this issue can be avoided is through some sort of extensive needs-based bursary program run through clubs and through BC Soccer. I don’t see anyone talking about this. Just as an aside I should note that some broader reserach I’ve done on Canadian sport participation since the early 90s suggests that boys from affluent families are participating in roughly comparable numbers, or slightly less, to the early 1990s, while there has been a BIG jump in participation from girls from affluent families. But among the Canadian working class the drop off in sports participation has been really striking. HPL keeps the trend alive. Elite sports for the wealthy. Recreational sport for everyone else–if they participate at all.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      good point about the cost. The programs available (i.e. Kidsport) barely cover the cost of recreational programs and wouldn’t come close to covering the cost of HPL. Hopefully the HPL applicants have built in some capacity to accomodate hardship cases in their budgets. If a player has the ability he/she should have the opportunity.

  10. Bruce says:

    All of these discussion points have been fantastic, but I hope that some of the very personal perspectives that I see here do not end up weighing heavily in the club selection process and the implementation of HPL.

    – There seems to be some confusion between a committed player and a committed parent. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve seen “If a player is committed, they will do ‘x’”. A committed player will not get very far if we lose the parents along the way. BCSA and HPL must find a way to attract talent into the soccer pool, which means competing with other sports and coming up with an implementation that does not detract parents or players. Having a fanatic as a parent helps, but it should not on the application form. And of course as players get older, their dependency on their parents will drop. How many U14B parents are at the practices compared to U16A?

    – I see no end of comments deriding the Okanagan’s and Island’s ability to field competitive teams (which may be true for all I know), yet I see another ton of comments referring to how players/parents should be unconditionally willing to travel to wherever the best program is. The 4 days/week trip to Vernon will be tough for some if OK has the best program. I imaging the reason to include teams in the Okanagan and Island, with the full knowledge that it is unlikely they will field top teams in the near future, is to ensure there is top level infrastructure in the major soccer geographic regions in the Province. Excluding areas outside of the lower mainland from top level player development will not help the overall soccer development in the Province. Keeping with that theme, ignoring geography completely within the lower mainland would be absurd. Regional distribution to support the player base must come into play. This doesn’t mean that I think that more than one club can’t exist in a region, only that the overall selection must have some geographic balance.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      Bruce,

      I think most of the comments regarding willingness to travel is referring to the 6 lower mainland teams and does not inlcude the Island or Okanagan. Both those groups will have their own travel issues has they covera large geographic area.

      • Bruce says:

        I realize that. I simply believe, like it or not, that there is a limit to what can be expected from parents regarding their time and $ if we want this to succeed. Some parents may drive from West Van to White Rock to ensure their child plays on the desired HPL team, but we should not use this as a standard. It’s the extreme statements about how truly committed players (not the parents?) should be willing to travel anywhere or they shouldn’t be playing HPL. Really? Taking into account the geographic distribution of the customer base should be taken into account when selecting the clubs. The pressure will then be on the (for the most part) new clubs to deliver the goods. If they don’t succeed, then HPL will require processes for contracting and expanding.

        FWIW, if my son has the opportunity to play HPL I’m one of those parents that would drive him wherever is required.

  11. mj2 says:

    Nobody knows with any certainty too much about what the second tier will be like (other than 12 teams) or if the teams in it will be allowed to play in the “A” cup. I do agree that some teams will be competitive with some HPL teams. Evidence … Richmond, for example, will be doing its best to hang onto its boys teams / players and employing a coach to work with them. Despite being in bed with Vancouver the support is not unconditional from Lulu island!!! That plus some parents (lets be honest here they make the decisions) playing the “lets wait and see game” mean not all the strong players will be playing HPL to begin with. Perhaps BC soccer will be heavy handed and decline scouting tier 2 teams for possible provincial players thus forcing the hand of many passionate parents.

    Rick, you are quite right to raise the costs issue and how it immediately alienates many kids. BC provincial soccer programs have been like this for many years, although the coaching staff do like to drive around in flashy mercedes sponsored vehicles. Perhaps they are leading edge in terms of emission standards which would account for why so little comes out from BC HQ. The lack of provincial leadership in the game led to this. I remember reading some of your stuff way way back when. Sociologists never die … it seems.

    I’d still like to hear more about the vision these potential franchise programs have for the development of the game.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      We don’t even know for certain that there will be 12 teams in tier 2. One proposal that is being discussed is to have the Metro/Gold league (or whatever it is to be called) have unlimited number of teams and then have the league tiered at Thanksgiving. We will hopefully know more by this time tomorrow.

  12. Setup says:

    Good Morning all… Are they proposing putting the U17 & U18 metro girls together as a single U18 HPL division next year? Or will there be separate division for U17 & U18. If one division is forecasted for U18 HPL next year, what will happen to those players who currently play U17 METRO that don’t make HPL? Will playing U18 Gold be the answer or would a U21 WMS team be better. And if you did play Metro would you be satisfied playing at a Gold level for next year.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      Setup: U17 and U18 will be combined into a single level in HPL. There are several reasons including but not limited to:
      1. a natural attrition rate at those ages
      2. competing programs including Whitecaps Residency and post-secondary teams which will impact a U18 player’s ability to stay on the team in the fall portion of the season.

      The girls in U17 Metro who try out and fail to make the HPL team will return to whatever the U17 Tier 2 league is in place. (There are meetings taking place this evening (Wednesday, Feb 16) to discuss Tier 2 structure. ) There is no plan currently in place to combine U17 and U18 at the Tier 2 level.

      PH

  13. Phil Hernandez says:

    Well unfortunately, I wake up today to see that the poll has become something of a joke. To be sure, it was never meant to be particularly scientific but it was functioning well enough as a barometer of people’s opinion on the HPL. Then along came the SurDelPeg voting bloc who organized a massive voting campaign to push their club to the top. I say take it down now Gregor; it served its purpose and is now just a platform for some childish behaviour. I can’t believe people would stoop to this; worse, what does that say about the way the club will be run?

    PH

    • Gregor says:

      Can’t say I’m surprised by a bit of bloc voting. I’m actually more surprised that until some point yesterday afternoon it was functioning very well as a barometer. I have closed it now though (we had just over 3000 votes cast in a day and two nights).

  14. MJ says:

    Phil– it seems that grade12s will be in a difficult spot. With a Jan-Nov schedule, most grade 12’s will not be available after June of their senior year. And the grade 12s I have known are “done” a lot sooner than June of their grad year. Does a U17/18 team take grade 12’s and hope to find replacements for the fall season when they are gone? Or are HPL U17/18 teams basically only U17s and the Grade 12s are on their own after Christmas of the senior year? Will their be 6 teams worth of ex HPL players looking for Tier 2 roster spots in November of their senior year?

    • Setup says:

      Do you think a U21 team be a better option for this kids?

      • MJ says:

        Nope. Not for girls, they want to play with peers and for most joining a team of older strangers in mid-season of grade 12 is probably not a priority. My experience is stability in the team in the last year or 2 (gr 11 and 12) is key to retention. There will always be a few that will go wherever to be on the “best team” but not for the average kid.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      MJ-we cannot know what will be in the minds of the coaches when selecting a U17/18 side. Some may conclude that choosing grade 12s will hamper the team not only from a wining point of view (yes I know – development, but let’s not completely kid ourselves) but also from a team unity/harmony point of view. Others may choose to cross the loss of 18 year-old players bridge by inviting also-rans from their tryouts to join the team after the summer rest period (they may in fact encourage these players to attend academies during the March-July timeframe to stay in shape knowing that there will be openings later in the year – kind of a reserve squad). Other teams may not be significantly impacted due to a lack of turnout of grade 12s, or because few if any of their grade 12s are planning to attend university. Others will try to weather the storm until the tier 2 season starts and then use permitting to fill gaps (assuming that the tier 2 league is not re-aligned calendar-wise to the HPL). Not to mention that with a maximum of 12 Tier 2 teams (if that is as many as will be allowed), then the problem may manifest itself further down the ranks.

      I agree it will be difficult. I guess we’re all lookign for answers.

      PH

  15. Everton#1 says:

    Been reading the comments from what I can imagine are parents, coaches, etc and there has been a lot of great ideas and discussion.
    Thought I would weigh in on this geographical issue. As a parent I want to see my kid at the best program but would also consider location as a factor as we all have busy lives and running in various directions. I have seen a few comments that South Fraser makes sense from a geographical standpoint but personally I dont see this. If indeed there are two HPL franchises south of the Fraser River I think the geographical thing actually hurts the South Fraser bid. If I live north of the Fraser, SU and SurDel Peg are closer and centrally located than South Fraser and if I live in White Rock/South Surrey it is a twenty minute drive to these. If SU and South Fraser are getting a franchise I would think SU has a pretty big smile as it is these kind of factors that may make one program slightly stronger than the other, all things being equal.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      True, but consider also that an argument could be made that the talent pool in the Surrey/Delta/Langley area is sufficient to support three clubs. So while geography may hurt South Fraser, the talent pool supports it. Add in the fact that with only one club (CMF) east of Bby and north of the Fraser, players from that area may choose a club south of the Fraser and the pool becomes even larger.

      Who knows how much weight the Selection Panel will place on geography and talent pool, so this is all speculation.

      PH

      • Everton#1 says:

        Agreed, but if I live in Coquitlam and my kid doesnt make the CMF squad I am going to look at Bbby and SU before I consider South Fraser. If I go to SU my kid bumps a Surrey/Langley kid to another franchise or Tier 2.
        All I and from what I see others are saying is that I am hoping that the best programs are awarded a franchise as opposed to geography, Island and Okanangan aside.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        Notwithstanding that the logistics for tryout periods, which has yet to be worked out, may throw a wrench into that plan, I would like to think that if the HPL wants to be truly high level then it also needs to be be accessible. Accessibility has cost, location, and talent pool components. The greater the talent pool, the more likely an HPL club or clubs will land in the middle of it. Thus, the HPL may choose to place three teams in Surrey. An argument could certainly be made that the Surrey area has the talent pool to support three teams. As it happens, this would work out better for you since there would now be 54 spots for the Surrey players to vie for as opposed to 36 increasing the chances of an unsuccessful CMF player to “bump” a Surrey player. In other words, you should hope for three franchises in Surrey if you are not sure that your child will crack the CMF squad. Otherwise, displacing a Surrey kid is going to be a lot harder and you may find yourself looking at an even farther location.

        PH

  16. islandsoccer says:

    GY: Your comment about the Island being competitve, well, we are really talking a year from now and it is almost impossible to predict that far in advance. A good SuperY season would certainly help recruit Island kids for HPL. There will be some logistics that have to be addressed come June/July when mini-season trials happen.
    I think its safe to say the Island will struggle in year one in part due to a lack of a LISA u14G and a u15B metro teams [in 2010], but again, a good Y league season may make up for that. Also the poor showing of UVI Metro teams is not a good indicator of competitiveness.

  17. Brendan Quarry says:

    HPL will create a big problem for grade 12 girls. It doesn’t address the primary objective for high-level female soccer players, which is college recruitment – not professional soccer. By combining U17/U18, the HPL system effectively kicks out a bunch of grade 12 players at the very time when they should be gaining college exposure. Furthermore, even if there are grade 12s participating in the HPL, the season ends in November of their grade 12 year. That’s another problem because Canadian universities begin their recruitment in November for grade 12 players. At TSS, we’ve helped numerous players get recruited to Canadian schools and virtually every one of them were recruited between November and March of their grade 12 year – the very time when the HPL league is not operating. After speaking with some Canadian university coaches, I asked if they would start recruiting earlier in light of this new season. They said it would be very difficult because none of the players will have even applied to university yet.

    As the CSA noted in the Wellness to World Cup, our youth soccer systems are often geared more towards boys than girls. This seems to be the case here.

    • Brendan Quarry says:

      Sorry, I was somewhat paraphrasing the CSA document. The criticism actually reads “Young female players often follow programs designed for males.”

    • Setup says:

      So would it not be better for the girls that play in HPL ( after season is over) and those that didn’t make HPL play at the highest level of soccer. Could this not be a U21 Team? I’m seeing that many girls could be left behind. If you have girls that have played metro girls soccer since U14 that don’t make HPL but inspire to move to collage, what avenue will they have when they turn 18. Will playing Gold be enough competition for these girls?

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      The U17/18 HPL season ends, for grade 12s, in the November after they’ve graduated, not during their Grade 12 year. (Most grade 12 students graduate in the year they turn 18 which is the same year as U18 for HPL purposes). Therefore most, as opposed to none, will have not only applied but been accepted to and attending universities. Which is of course the problem. The Grade 12s will not be able to finish their HPL season and HPL U17/18 teams will have to plan accordingly. (Yes I know there are huge questions mark in that sentence.)

      Universites, like any other going concern, are not going to bypass HPL and scout only Metro/Gold between Nov – March. They are going to want the best players they can get. They will adjust their scouting practices, I guarantee it.

      Still a problem for Grade 12 girls but, in my opinion, not because they won’t get scouted but because they may not get selected to HPL teams in the first place because the coaches know they cannot commit to a full year of play. (Which means they will play in tier 2, which means unviersities will be scouting Nov-March…oh never mind, I’m getting dizzy…

      PH

    • Coach rich says:

      Well stated Brendan.

      What is the season of the TSS PDL program and is it a better route for Grade 12 females?

    • Brendan Quarry says:

      Phil is correct that they will have the opportunity to play HPL in their grade 12 year starting in March. Essentially, the HPL spills over between their grades. So they start off in HPL in March of their grade 11 year which spills into November of their grade 12 year. If they are selected to HPL again, they can resume in March of their grade 12 year. The problem is that most players will have already been recruited by March of the grade 12 year.

      As far as PDL is concerned, that only takes place in the summer. The critical months for gaining exposure to Canadian college coaches is November – March of the grade 12 year. For example, TSS arranged a trip for 4 players from our program to visit Queen’s just last weekend and train with the varsity team. We have 6 other players going there in a few weeks. Look at the girlsCan Western Showcase over Easter. Many Canadian college coaches target that event because it’s really the time they solidify spots on their varsity team. Can’t really do it any later than that. Last year, the McGill coach offered spots to players in our program right after the girlsCan event. Same with the Queen’s coach.

    • Brendan Quarry says:

      Here’s the other problem. How does one ever leave the HPL? If you decide to play Metro in your grade 12 year instead of HPL because you get to play from November – March, when exactly can you do that? Your HPL season ends in November of your grade 12 year and yet Metro started back in September.

      • Phil Hernandez says:

        “you can check out any time you like but you can never leave…

        First of all, we don’t know if this will really be a problem as it is possible that universities may change their recruiting practices/ timeframes or the people behind events such as the GirlsCan Western Showcase may arrange to hold several of these showcase-type events over winter.

        If there is still an issue, then the most likely scenario is for players that have completed their HPL season to drop down onto the Tier 2 team. Does this disrupt the Tier 2 team? Absolutely. Such is life in the “minors”. What should not be permitted is for players to drop into Tier2 teams only for showcase purposes and then re-acquire their HPL spot in Feb. Once they drop, they stay dropped.

        PH

      • thiku says:

        Transfer following conclusion of HPL season in November. It probably wouldn’t even be a transfer as the HPL registration will have been satisfied which effectively makes you a free agent come November’s last game.

      • Brendan Quarry says:

        Assuming the Metro team has spots available at that point.

    • Brendan Quarry says:

      By the way, when you say “PDL”, I’m assuming you’re referring to the USL Super 20. PDL is for U23 men. The Super 20 only has age restrictions for older players. All players must be no older than 20 years old during the calendar year in which they’re competing. For example, this year the cut of birthdate is January 1, 1991.

  18. Joe says:

    Sorry Brendan, what I meant is if a 15 0r 16 year old player wants to womens soccer at an elite level, what our her options .

    • Brendan Quarry says:

      Joe, as far as I know there are no restrictions on how young a player can be to play in the Super-20. I think the Americans are way less hung up about that stuff. If someone is good enough, they play. For those you don’t know, the Super 20 is a US-based league.

  19. Colin Elmes says:

    Brendan, arent you supposed to be working?

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