BCPL: Vancouver-Richmond out of the gates

Quick post before I hit the field. Congrats to Richard Hawes (regular MMCB commenter) and Randee Hermus (great add on the girls side) on getting the nod to run to the Van-Rmd U13 boys and girls BCPL teams.

Here’s the full release. It’s cut and paste from a pdf so the formatting a mess. Oh well.


Jason Jordan, the Technical Director of the Vancouver‐Richmond High Performance League (“HPL”)
franchise, invites 1999* born girls and boys to attend Vancouver‐Richmond U13 HPL assessments (try‐
outs).  The assessment particulars and basic Vancouver‐Richmond HPL information is set‐out below.
Assessment days, time and locations are to be announced. We expect that the first of (likely) three
assessment  sessions  will  take  place  in  early  March.  Please  keep  an  eye  on  the  Vancouver  FC
(www.vancouverfc.info),  Richmond  Youth  Soccer  Association  (www.richmondsoccer.com)  and
Richmond Girls Soccer Association (www.richmondgirlssoccer.com) web‐sites for up‐dated information.
Pre‐registration for the Vancouver‐Richmond U13 HPL assessments is required.  Players must register by
March  1,  2011.    In  order  to  register  please  visit  the  Richmond  Youth  Soccer  Association  web‐site
(www.richmondsoccer.com) and click on “High Performance League.” There is a $20 assessment fee that
must be paid by credit card when registering.
Please contact Peggy Dang at: peggydang@shaw.ca for more information on assessments.
RANDEE HERMUS (Girls).  Randee’s coaching and playing background includes:
Coaching Background
 2009 Player – Assistant coach, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
 Vancouver Whitecaps summer camp coach
 High Performance cach for a number of Lower Mainland Youth Clubs
 GMSL coach for several Lower Mainland teams
 applying for Provincial B Certification
Playing Background
 10 years with the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team
 Olympic Games Team, 2008 Beijing
 2003 and 2007 Women’s World Cup teams
 Vancouver Whitecaps, 2000 – 2009
 W‐League Defensive Player of the Year

*Please note that as HPL rules are currently written, younger (2000 born and younger) players are currently not permitted in
U13 HPL and therefore we will not be accepting younger players at the assessment sessions.

RICHARD HAWES (Boys).  Richard’s coaching and playing background includes:
Coaching Background
 Assistant Coach, Hong Kong U23 National Team
 Bobby Charlton Soccer Schools (Manchester) ‐ Staff coach
 Vancouver FC (U14 and U16 levels) coach
 Provincial B Certification (applied, 2011, for National B Certification)
Playing Background
 Norwich City FC – youth
 Blackpool FC – reserve
 World Student Games

Playing Season:  2011 will be HPL’s inaugural year.  In the inaugural year, there will be a short fall
season.  The first full (March to November) season will start in March, 2012.  U13 players will play at U13
level both in the short fall season (2011) and the first full season (2012).  While the times and durations
have not yet been confirmed, the full HPL season will include summer break periods.  The break periods
will accommodate the Provincial Teams Program and, of course, allow some time for summer vacations.
The full season is expected to have 22 games and includes two trips to Vancouver Island and two trips to
the Interior.  Home games will be located in Richmond and Vancouver – expected venues include Boyd
Soccer Complex, Minoru Park and Andy Livingstone Park.
Teams:  we expect that Richmond‐Vancouver HPL teams will comprise 18‐20 players including two
goalkeepers.  As there are no out‐of‐district rules for HPL, players selected to Richmond‐Vancouver HPL
may reside outside of the cities of Richmond and Vancouver (indeed, the only restriction is that the
players reside in British Columbia).
Practices:  practices will be located in Richmond and in Vancouver.  A 3‐1 training ratio (practices to
game) is expected in the first season possibly increasing at some ages to 4‐1 in subsequent seasons.  We
expect that practices will start sometime in August.
Costs:  player registration cost will be approximately $2500 per season (the cost of the short fall season
will be prorated).  This cost includes the professional coaching, two sets of game kit, two sets of training
kit, warm‐up suits and transportation expenses to and from Vancouver Island and to and from the
Interior.  The Richmond‐Vancouver HPL franchise will be placing funds aside to assist players who are
unable, in whole or in part, to pay the registration costs.  The franchise will be developing policies in this

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43 Responses to BCPL: Vancouver-Richmond out of the gates

  1. FlyingHorse says:

    Thumbs Up to Van/Rich for bringing Randee into the fold! She will make an excellent mentor and coach.

    • Gregor says:

      Totally agree. Randee Hermus is a great addition. Very wise choice and she’ll not only do well but will draw players from other areas unless the other franchises can put someone of a similar ilk in charge of their U13 girls team.

  2. Pingback: HPL Founding Franchises

  3. mj2 says:

    U13 girls van/rich….. Great that an experienced female athlete is involved. Excellent role model. Great magnet for Van/Rich to attract at the youngest ageg roup and then hang onto players for the future. Proven coach capable of developing technically good young players……. TBA.

    18-20 players. Anybody here the words “line change” during a game. Certainly for practice situations coaching in a 10v10 situation is an option but I have not seen many coaches carry this off successfully. Coaching in a game like practice (that comment covers all the bases!!) with this many players is the true test of a coaches ability and understanding. Worth $2500…… doubtful (a figure which by the way was originally proposed to be $2800). Try handling those parents if your kid is not playing much.

    2 goalkeepers. Great idea at the younger ages. However, try finding 12 decent goalkeepers in the lower mainland at some of the other agegroups…. no chance.

    Lets hope we see more female coaches involved.

    • Gregor says:

      Hey Doomlord, let’s stick with one username 😉

      20 kids per team has disaster written all over it. Plus, as I covered before, what is it that is pushing the cost up so much? Does adding the cost of one training session, a trip to the Okanagan and the Island really mean it’s going to cost $1200 more per player than VFC’s fees last year? With 20 players you’ve now added $26600 to the revenue base of each team. The coach is going to get another $5000 over what VFC paid last year (on ave). What is the extra $20K per team needed for? This is what was nice about seeing Sportstown putting their bid online. They had a budget and everyone could see where the money was going. Yes, trips to the Island and the Okanagan cost money but even two trips to each is not going to cost nearly $20K.

      I’ve seen parents with stopwatches around their neck but that’s at our club which has a stated minimum playing time policy. These environments are supposed to have playing time rules but what that policy looks like is going to be left to each franchise.

  4. Colin Elmes says:

    $20 for the assessment. Is that really necessary?

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      I would suspect they have to pay the evaluators and rent the fields. Remember that some franchises have no money. And while an assessment fee may sound unpalatable, it is a practical necessity.

    • Gregor says:

      We charge $15 but we have to pay $55 to $75/hour for turf at UBC. We also pay independent evaluators. We generally break even.

      Hard to say if VR (that’s what I’m going with from now on for Vancouver-Richmond) need $20 because we don’t know where their sessions will be and what the process will look like.

  5. Colin Elmes says:

    Seeing as the cost of this program has become a massive discussion I would say the optics of kicking it off with a $20 fee is a bit dodgey.

    and 20 players. I agree with MJ2. Have fun with that on game days

  6. MJ says:

    Yep especially at U13, injuries aren’t common and at this level everyone will show up. With 30 minute halves, that’s line changes. My teams at this age function best with 1 or 2 on the bench not 9. But let see: 20 players * 2.5 K per =__.

    And 2.5K/30matches*(11 on the pitch/20 on the squad)*30minutes(hopefully)/match = $$/minute. I can see all the anxious parents hanging over the fence with their stopwatches. This can be a real challenge for a younger, inexperienced coach to manage.. I have seen in the past some not pretty behaviours on the part of parents with respect to young (and coincidentally female) coaches at the elite level (who think of the coach as their employee).

    I would be great if the franchises could get away from the traditional team-centred approach and work in more club-based manner so that teams train with each other, and there’s potential for srimmages, moving among age groups ete. The social aspects of the club environment if there is a physical clubhouse can’t be underestimated. Tough to do here, though.

    • Gregor says:

      I’d love to hear the developmental argument for 20 players on a squad. It just widens the player:coach ratio and reduces playing time.

    • J Larkins says:

      MJ – you are spot-on IMO. I blathered on about this on a past blog and asked why, at a club level at least, we could not get to a point where clubs have a more softened approach to the way the field teams so that there can be some adjustments through the seasons both up and down – say an ability to declare a first team, second team, etc. based on say a months’ worth of common training. That way I would not need 18 players on my U15 team (which typically all show up) and give the impression during a game that I am fielding two teams – apologies to the NVF team last weekend that were struggling with 10 kids, it just seemed unfair at the end of the game when I could put on six sets of fresh legs. I suspect that (again at the club level at least) you could look at an age group – minus Bronze – of say 50-55 kids, card them as an age group and not as teams, and say, generally, that you have one Gold, one Silver one and two Silver two teams out of that group and assure that you have sufficient numbers to field four teams each weekend (declaring your first team, second team, etc. say each month or quarter). Players could play on only one team per weekend, form and card check-in would be the same, you would may mitigate the issue of having one team with 18 kids playing and another with 11 at the same age group from the same club on the same weekend, it would build a more club-centric and less team-centric mentality (and probably mean training would be more skill and technique based and less tactical) , players that originally get assigned to higher teams but do not turn-out to be performing (or have attendance problems) can make way for players moving up, no need for hard-coded tryouts where a week in you realize there was a bit of a mistake and, I would fancy to guess, development would be enhanced for players (as practice sessions could be common sessions with bigger numbers, one point that someone said would be an good thing about carrying 20 players, more involvement of pro-coaching (if there will be anything left at the club level) and coaches of differing competence could benefit from others with more experience. I would also suspect that movement would be only on the fringes or as needed due to absenses and by the Christmas break you would have teams more of less set, with only the odd change for an injury or a sudden basketball career ambition.

      Anyway, there does seem to be some common observations out there. Someday attention will go to considering changes to fix them.

      • K says:

        BCPL is signing kids to the club not the team. Movement as it is in SYL.

      • J Larkins says:

        I am speaking in terms of the community based clubs – I do not think this could work at BCPL or Selects since there is, by definition, prescribed teams. The numbers they carry will be their own to determine and I agree with all that 18 to 20 keen players per team with the ambitious parents looking on will bring with it a few issues. Still MJ’s comment, I think, could be easily addressed at the community club level for the benefit of those clubs and, I think, the kids.

  7. Colin Elmes says:

    Our program for this Academy team season and beyond has made a decision to keep 11-a-side teams at 15 players and 9-a-side teams(format in US) at 13. This league ( and Van Rich specifically so far) is going to run into huge problems with this supporting this number of players with a user pay level at these $$ values.

    • Phil Hernandez says:

      Yes, but the Sportstown HPL teams were going to be 18 players weren’t they? (The blurb above on VR says 18-20 players). I realize you were going to be charging less but I wonder if there stilll wouldn’t have been some of the same issues?

  8. MJ says:

    The $20 fee is irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things. Have you seen the price of gas (to get to and from)…..?

  9. Canadian Spur says:

    Sadly the $2500 is about we all expected. Looks like there will be a large spread in program fees amongst the franchises.

    I think 16 is the most I would want to carry on a squad with 2 keepers at this age. That leaves only 4 on the bench (excluded 2nd keeper) so balancing playing time wouldn’t be too difficult

  10. Colin Elmes says:

    Phil. Max 18- and Sportstown FC is not in the picture now anyways( and yes our budget was $700 less)

  11. Bruce says:

    Wasn’t one of the key elements incorporated into the BCPL to remove limits on player movement up and down? I imagine that a large roster size would impede movement up and encourage movement down? With 20 players already on a roster, the pressure to not bring up a player will be pretty high. Having 9 players sitting on the bench will not be fun for anyone and the parents paying the $2500 will be even less impressed when their child’s playing time drops even more to make room for a call-up player. This causes parental grumbling on the sideline even in the best of cases.

    • K says:

      Which is why you need a club system not a team system, a tier-to-tier movement clause, and limited squad sizes of….??? Involvement with lower tiers can only really happen with a lower number of players signed to each individual BCPL team. Even then, a u15 BCPL team is going to bring up a kid from u14 BCPL before a kid from tier 2 U15 I assume…

      • J Larkins says:

        K, how would movement from tier 2 actually work? Say for VR BCPL in May – Vancouver FC season is done, so is Richmond United. I am not yet sure what the relationship between VFC and Richmond United is, or what either of their relationship is or will be to VR BCPL (although there seems to be one) – with differing seasons and no clear (at least that I can see) correlation between Metro/Selects and BCPL, I am not sure what tier-to-tier movement would look like except at the beginning of each respective season when I suppose some kids could get dropped (that has does not address the team size issue). Since there are no boundaries, I suppose any kid in tier 2 from anywhere could be called up – but it would be off-season for all. I know there was talk of tier 2 being a feeder system for BCPL but the actual connection and flow between the two in the roll-out is still unclear to me.

  12. K says:

    I have my thoughts, JL. But I suspect any movement from Tier 2 to BCPL would occur during the dog days of summer (ie, between Tier 2 seasons). Generally speaking the majority of movement will be from within a BCPL franchise, I’d think? IE, u13 BCPL player promoted to u14 BCPL “as-needed.” ??

    A lot of variables to consider. Etc etc.

    • Canadian Spur says:

      If the PL schedule is set up like the Y-league where all teams from one franchise play all teams from the opponent franchise then it makes sense that call-up would come from within the PL group of teams. If the schedule sees teams at different age group playing at different locations then there might be greater need for player movement from outside the PL rosters. In which case
      I would suspect that you might encourage a select few tier 2 players to train with the PL team during the tier 2 off season to have them availble for player permit as needed.

  13. theLISAway says:

    $20 assessment fee is very reasonable, $25 is common as well, and then there is the LISA way… ask for $100 and if a player is not selected eventually refund $75..I understand why they do it (to discourage tyre kickers, but seriously is it wrong to allow a player to measure themselves at a trial?)

    • Gregor says:

      yeah we call them “club shoppers” and because we’ve found that a high % of problems relating to people not accepting spots on teams come from club shoppers we had considered a high evaluation fee and then keeping it if people then turned down the spot they were offered. Haven’t done it though.

      • RR says:

        When the BCPL has been thrown wide open with the elimination of OOD restrictions, and in looking at the fact that parents will be shelling out $2,500 per season, what is the issue with club shopping?

        Yes, I can see that they make life difficult from an organizational perspective, but can you honestly blame someone who wants to kick the tires, to see if they’re going to get value for money? Isn’t this all part of the “accountability” that the HPL is supposed to be stimulating? i.e. If the franchise can offer what the player/parents are looking for, they’ll accept.

        Maybe I’ve missed something, or haven’t considered all the ramifications, but with the BCPL and the money it entails, it would sound like an astute move to cover your bases and take a look.

      • Canadian Spur says:

        Valid Point RR. Removing the district boundries for the PL is supposed to allow players/parents to choose the best program. I know my daughter tried out for more than 1 Y-league team and made her decision based on the coach she felt most comfortable with and the team she thought offered the best chance of success. At the elite level and at this price point with many unknown club programs I would be surprised if there wasn’t a lot of club shopping.

  14. Coachrich says:

    Are we to assume that when you call up players that you have pushed the same number of players down so BOTH the teams are balanced?

    It’s one thing to call up to strengthen or fill a bench but it’s another to leave a team with a short bench or to ask players to play 2 games on the weekend. The PL league and the PL clubs need to really think it through on how they are going to do call ups.

    I’d be interested to hear from those who used the Selects A&B Div system. Also those from Metro who are considering the A&B Div system as females have quite the social connection going on.

    • K says:

      Re: 2 games in a weekend – this is why I suggested most movement would be during summer when tier2 is on holiday. ??

      Lots of considerations, mostly ethical re: call-ups. One to consider, can or should a tier2 club be able to stop a kid from being called-up to BCPL at any given time. IE, are we more worried about our little trophies or individual players developing? BUT, BCPL can’t be bullies in this regard either…

  15. Coach rich says:

    There is another aspect that gets missed by a lot of admins, coaches, players and players parents which is the physical well being of the player. Some are not good judges of how prepared or how often a player should play at a high intensity and be balanced with rest. This is especially true at the youth level where there is a mixture of school and club sports.

    IMO youth players need to be tested, monitored and guided with their physical well being. Given instruction on what is a appropriate balance of competition and rest. Be taught prehab, maintenance and rehab around the sports and the team should have close connections to sports related doctors and therapists.

  16. mj2 says:

    Coach rich. Nice insight but good coaches are doing that already. My kids team will win the league (not that its significant) if they win their last game. So what are they doing… taking a practice off. Why? Too many kids doing too many things so why try to sqeeze more out of them. The other solution to help players in this new league. Play on grass. I do not think we have a clue yet what the long term impact is of playing a career on turf. This is a spring / summer experience. Surely the franchises have thought about this. As for tryout charges, its just another example of this sport meeting the north american culture and being forced to pay the price!!

    • K says:

      Can probably examine Scandinavia and Russia re: usage of fieldturf. If their premier men’s teams are using turf surely the youth are too. And their youth will be out there regularly.

    • Coach rich says:

      I would hope it’s quite a bit more than just giving kids a game off. Are players given a fitness test 2-4 weeks before the season after they had 4 weeks of prep? Were they tested again mid-season? Were players who had an issue during the fitness test or showing signs of poor motion mechanics referred to a specialist or instructed how to improve? Players shown how to inspect a field before the play on it, what are appropriate footwear for the various surfaces and how to modify their style for the field? Players with lower body injuries don’t play, they get doctor’s letter before they play again.

      Don’t even get me started on AT’s as it’s been discussed nationally and internationally at ad nauseam. Here’s a search string at FIFA who are supporters of AT’s and have paid big bucks to state their reasons for supporting AT’s –

      Rick Celebrini did a study on soccer knee injuries in Vancouver 3-4 years back and it had more to do with poorly maintained grass fields.

      IMO until cities build professional level and professionally look after soccer specific grass fields kids are better off playing on AT’s as they are a flat and consistent surfaces.

      • K says:

        I can see that, re: what Rick C. has stated. One of the issues re: poorly maintained grass fields might be also the stiffness of the surface. Playing in cold weather, poor warm-ups, or kids warming-up then just sitting on the sideline and then being introduced onto a less-than-ideal grass playing surface. I am a supporter of AT when it is a quality surface. IE, Percy Perry has a newer surface I believe?

  17. Mitch says:

    I agree AT fields are great and we need them in the fall and winter. But now we are shifting the season to spring & summer the need to play on AT should go down. We also have to consider the extra heat that comes off AT if it is 80F, the field temp. will be up around 120F. Even if the AT gets watered the temp. rises back up within 5 to 10 minutes.

    Has any club put any thought into building their own facility, I know the cost would be extremely high to do this. The reason I bring this up is Seattle news ran a story that field usage fees are going to jump 25o% in thier area. It’s just a matter of time before our local gov’t will start to raise the rates.

  18. Coachrich says:

    Only the BCPL is shifting which will replace the SYL on spring and summer fields. BCSA was told years ago by many of the cities in Metro Van that there isn’t any fields for soccer to move to spring and summer.

    If it’s too hot to play on a AT, play the game at night as most AT’s have lights. Watering a AT is not only good for a bit of heat control but the ball runs better too.

    Grass fields are always questionable as they are not fenced in and there maintenance is poor and costly. A good grass field with drainage would almost cost as much as a AT as grass fields are limited in use as they can only be played on a couple of times each weekend then they should rest. Cities can’t afford good grass fields due to their cost in up kept and their rest times.

    I followed the City of Van replacing the grass field on the west side of Connaught. Not only did it cost taxpayers about $1/2 M, it took them 2 years+ of no use to get the field ready as there install was brutal. Even now it would be a lousy fields for soccer.

    Look at the grass problems they had at the new Wembley. Even though they grow multiple pitches for replacement, they went to a hybrid field of real grass held together with artificial fibers produced by Desso called Grassmaster –

    Field Turf is probably selling here but it’s an interesting comparison –

    I believe NSGSC is building their own AT field that will have a bubble on it.

  19. Colin Elmes says:

    A bubble over a turf field. what a great idea…..

    Heard through the grapevine that neither of the first two Vancouver/Richmond announced HPL coaches were listed anywhere amongst the technical people in their proposal. Interesting..

  20. K says:

    Night games for BCPL is something to seriously consider during the late spring and summer months. Especially if playing on turf. Agreed – very hot.

    But I agree – if quality grass is available it should be used.

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