Note to those posting for the first time: Your comment comes to me and I have to approve it. Sometimes I can do that right away either at my laptop or on my iPhone but sometimes it takes a bit of time. Once your first comment is approved you can post (assuming it’s from the same IP address) and it will go straight up on the blog. I still check posts to make sure they’re not personal attacks or malicious but that’s really not been an issue.
The whole U18 dilemma has been hanging out there for some time now. Colin seized on the confusion over how it would work and jumped in with a player-friendly solution for the girls in terms of start and end dates being compatible with post-secondary objectives and parent friendly in terms of it having a negligible cost.
As with other issues associated with BCPL, most of the concerns reside on the girls side. There does not seem to be any pressing issues regarding U18 coming from the boys side.
But there’s still a lot of girls signing up for U18. Surprisingly, it’s not the 1994 players that are abdicating spots on these teams for other options but increasingly we’re hearing of 1995 born players not buying in. At this stage, among Lower Mainland franchises, the status of pure U17 (’95 born) teams is as follows:
- Mountain United FC: have a solid team
- Coquitlam Metro-Ford: will not field a U17 girls team
- Surrey United: as of this morning it seems they have pulled the plug on the U17 girls teams but this is not confirmed
- Magnuson Mariners (Abby): no word but find it very hard to see how they will field a U17 team
- Fusion FC: plan to run a U17 team but contingent on having sufficiently strong players try out. 50-50 at this stage given they lost six ’95s to Mountain.
- South Fraser SC: ran their first U17 tryout last night and had about 19 players. Make of that what you will.
So there are two concerns when you look at the timeline I threw together (download pdf or .xls below). I’ve given each birth year a colour and tracked how they will progress through the divisions until November 2014.
The first concern is anywhere that you see the same colour appear during the same months, that means those players are expected to be on two teams at the same time. This happens when players are in the last three months of the U16 season (Sept, Oct, Nov) as this overlaps with the first three months of the U18 season (starting in September).
The second problem is not structural and not really as important. Given that it seems most franchises will not field a straight U17 team (which really threw a monkeywrench in the plan to run this as a double age group) a lot of U17’s will get squeezed out of BCPL for a year and then, perhaps, come back for their U18 year to join the players their age who already played one season of U18 and the best players a year younger.
The key issue is how do you transition from U16 to U18 given the inherent three month overlap in the seasons and the fact that there won’t be many spots for U17’s in the division.
Thoughts and solutions on this welcome. Even from those of you at franchises who have been told not to post anything here 😉