Last BCPL post

I think it’s time to wrap this up. This blog was never intended to be a BCPL forum. It became one because there was a very strong desire from parents for information about this new league and they could not find it anywhere else. Their considerable frustration with the process and implementation led some of them here to exchange info and vent.

I think that has been accomplished and now it’s just piling on. These franchises are all working very hard to make this work. They are doing so in an environment that has a leadership vacuum. Compounding the problem is that it is still a very shifting environment as the league rules regarding age groups, permits, etc get written (and re-written). While I’ve taken a few shots I think for the most part I’ve tried to pass on relevant information while stressing that patience is needed for this to work. That tone has very much been replicated in the comments and, clearly, the most valuable BCPL information has really come from those who have taken the time to post in the comments rather than from my posts.

I know a lot of people charged with running this league really do not like this blog. I’ve never lost any sleep over that. I care that I can live with what I post here and the comments I moderate. I think it’s been fair and it’s been a necessary tool. There have been many things I could have posted and didn’t because they didn’t meet my standard of fairness or relevance.

The anger of those who wanted MMBC shut down is misguided and, frankly, reeks of scapegoating. It was never a conflict of interest for me to post BCPL info and it’s not my job to be ‘helpful’ to a governance structure and its franchises, some of whom have done a very poor job of defining this league, communicating its mission and demonstrating the value proposition to parents.

But continuing to post minutae only tangentially related to BCPL is overkill and I’m not interested in it. The important issues have been discussed and the relevant information is out there. While I’ve been fascinated by the traffic that BCPL discussion has drawn to this site my ego is not so big that I need to chase ambulances to sustain it.

My interest as it pertains to soccer writing is analysis, humour and youth soccer training for the most part. That’s what this started as and what it will return to. Colin Elmes has predicted that will interest him, me and five others. We’ll see. I do it because I enjoy it.

My hope going forward is that BCSA appoint someone to be a point person for communicating information, that information is easily available and that they provide an opportunity for people to comment and contribute to the discussion as they have here. BCPL will survive this blog and they will survive and be stronger for learning that parents are not zombies willing to unquestioningly swallow anything thrown at them just because it’s ‘the next big thing’. A large part of this whole move to BCPL was supposed to be about giving players and parents more choice and making the entities providing soccer to these age groups more accountable. Actions limiting the flow of information are not consistent with these aims.

I also hope BCSA and the BCPL Board of Governors run a few open houses so they get out and meet their stakeholders. I hope they build the suggestions they get from their stakeholders into BCPL 2.0. I hope that the best players end up being shown that this league is in their best interests to play in and the franchises bend their approach (whether in pricing, coach selection, respect for family time during school breaks, respect for other clubs that have nurtured the talented players they are now inheriting) to make sure that happens.  More than anything though, I hope that it’s a tremendous success and five years from now we are witness to a renaissance in BC soccer that sees far more of our players exposed to international soccer, post-secondary soccer and professional soccer.

I’ll keep comments open for another day or two and then, if I can figure out how to do it, I’ll probably lock them down for awhile and go back to posting chalkboards showing how awesome Xavi is.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the discussion here and to those who have sent supportive emails and comments.

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35 Responses to Last BCPL post

  1. Post apocolypse says:

    All well said.
    Thanks for the forum.

  2. Capsfan4ever says:

    Very articulately put, Gregor, and I share your sentiments with regards to hoping the BCPL grows and becomes what its original intentions were at the outset of all this: a top tier league where the best soccer players can learn, play, and grow (hopefully into roster spots on Canada’s national teams!)
    Thanks for providing a great forum: the discussion has been entertaining and informative. I’ll be one of the “five others” who continue to read your posts 🙂

  3. scott says:

    Well that was fun while it lasted. Good luck to everyone as they participate in the complex and confusing world of youth coaching/parenting in B.C. Hopefully fun and games will happen for the kids. Looking forward to more posts involving analysis, humour and youth soccer training. Thanks for the information and chance to put in my 2 cents.

  4. Colin Elmes says:

    Gregor,

    Thanks pal…..

    Oh, here it comes again…..

    verklempt…

    talk amongst yourselves

    🙂

    • X says:

      For a layman like me this forum served to answer many of my questions as well as raise some that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

      Very interesting to hear all the points of view.

      We’re looking forward to year one training and playing in U13G BCPL and to see it’s evolution over the next few years.

      Thanks Gregor and to all commentators as well.

  5. Phil Hernandez says:

    I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.

  6. K says:

    Cheers, Gregor!

  7. Julie says:

    This blog has been invaluable to someone like me who is not entrenched in the soccer community–like most parents out there, I wager. I found out about the U17/18 debate, which clubs were charging what and when they were holding tryouts, and that I really had no idea what to look for in a coach. Thanks so much.

  8. Valleysoccer says:

    Thanks Gregor for allowing your forum to be not only a resource for parents but also an avenue for constructive input, suggestions and questions in the interest of youth soccer.

    Change is difficult for anyone especially without communication but your site has been refreshing as it has provided many the opportunity to candidly post their thoughts without retribution.

    We need to allow for more parent input into youth soccer as it would only help develop a better product. We need more consensus building and rational thinking people like yourself at the helm.

    In the end I sincerely wish youth soccer in our province can once again flourish in this great province. Debate is good when we all care about the sport. I just hope the Bchpl implement many of the excellent suggestions from many on this blog. All we are asking for is transparency/openness and no more of an entitlement “type of attitude.”

    Keep up the good work gregor.

  9. Stuck in Bridge Traffic says:

    Thanks for being there for us parents!

  10. Coachrich says:

    Gregor many thanks for putting this out here for all of us to benefit from regardless of which side of the sideline we stand on. More so for the parents of the kids who are the sports major paying stakeholder. I look forward to the coming days of Xavi once again.

    As a National Reformer in the game, shame on the BCSA and BCSPL for their wish, desire, expressions of anger and to some how use the system whether formal or informal to have the MMBC topics on the BCPSL censured. By doing this they have shown what is wrong in the soccer community with you as leaders and how far this provinces leaders have yet to come or even follow other provinces in reform. BCSA has a choice once again coming at the next CSA AGM as ASA Reformers along with other Reform Provinces re-table Reform package #1 (immediate reform). It’s time for BCSA to join reform or be accountable for acting as a CSA underling.

    Thanks again and cheers Gregor.

    Neil W. Humphrey
    “Coachrich”
    http://www.soccersuffragist.com

    • Gregor says:

      Thanks Neil. Just want to clarify that while they may have wanted these topics here censured, I myself was not, and did not feel, censured. I just know people didn’t like the coverage here.

  11. Stephen Burns says:

    Well done, MacGyver. It needed to be posted as there are many things going on behind the scenes that if exposed would not help this league grow. Anyway, FT and I destroyed you and Axel in Caps.

  12. Jerry K. says:

    Thanks Gregor, because of your blog and the comments there in, I’ve been able to way the pros and cons of BCPL and been able to move forward without hesitation.
    I thank you all for your input.

  13. RR says:

    Thank you Gregor, for helping shed some light on a very murky piece of business. Knowledge is indeed the most valuable commodity. And thanks to your time, effort, and commitment, we’ve all racked up one heck of a bill.

    I can understand your wish to close out the BCPL topic, but would you consider doing an annaul review — sort of a “State of conFUSION” report. BCPL is going to be a long and drawn out process, and those families just getting involved over the next couple years would surely benefit greatly from the insights presented here.

  14. The Kop says:

    Gregor thanks a bunch for trying to pass on info and thanks to all of you out there for your opinions and comments.
    This has been very helpful and to some degree entertaining.
    The sad thing now is what am I going to do all day at work.

  15. Ian McCarthy says:

    I’m relatively new to your blog, and so far I like what you say and how say it. Good job!!

  16. Mitch says:

    Thanks Gregor for giving us a venue to vent….but it’s time to move on..the subject has been beat to death. Let’s all convene after the mini season to compare notes.

  17. Canadian Spur says:

    Gregor, your blog has been of great help in getting information out to the soccer community, both from the what you have provided and, equally as important, from other’s who have shared their information and experiences on this site. Now that I have found the bog you can add me to the 5 or 6 people that will continue to be interested in “analysis, humour and youth soccer training”

  18. Rasta says:

    Thanks Gregor

    It was a great forum for getting information to the community and for many coaches (rather than just a few powers that be) to give our input and suggestions on soccer change in BC.

    With no other opportunity for meaningful coaching input into soccer in BC, a forum like this is very useful.

    It’s a good blog. Keep it going!!!

  19. JB says:

    Thank you Gregor. Your blog provided a great deal of information and insight respecting the changes to youth soccer in B.C.

  20. K says:

    My suggestion for follow-up topics…Arsenal’s central defenders! Or lack thereof!

    • Gregor says:

      Agreed. I’d say it’s hurt them not having Vermaelen this season but the reality is that I don’t see him doing much better defending on corners. Seriously, if you’re Arsenal playing away to Bolton, you’d better have a plan for dealing with corner kicks. Either they had a plan and couldn’t execute it or as the commentators said Wenger is to blame for not having central defenders who can deal with situations like that.

      • K says:

        Nope, don’t see Vermaelen helping much on defensive corners. Woeful. He’d help in all the other areas of the game though – including attacking corners, oddly enough. Haven’t had much chance to watch Mertesacker this year, but if goes to Arsenal as rumoured he’d help. Otherwise, Gary Cahill (but not for 25 million pounds!) would be a great purchase.

  21. islandsoccer says:

    starting to suffer from lack of MMC info on HPL…(and TTP also has gone quiet) …maybe someone wants to give us thirsty readers some insight into what is happening with MSL? Any truth to th rumour that the OOD rule will be bumped up from 3 to 5? Sure would be nice if both of these ‘leagues’ (MSL and HPL) had meaningful governance web sites with monthly meeting minutes posted……no organization should be entitled to gaming grants unless they post their monthly minutes ….

    • Gregor says:

      OOD rule change needs to be voted on but the plan is to bump, as you say, from 3 to 5. As for HPL, never heard of it. well I did go to one of the Fusion evaluations tonight….but watching Real Madrid v Barcelona was the story of the day.

  22. Atticus Finch says:

    Gregor,

    Unlike many who have posted their acceptance in your decision to end this blog I feel that if you go ahead you will have duplicated the lack of conviction that is so typical of the many in this province when it comes to the importance of people in the know and influence to assist the misguided and uninformed. My intent is not to undermine your decision but make you better understand the value and importance in promoting dialogue at a time that is critical to this sport. At a time more than ever that needs a mechanism of accountability, at a time when right versus wrong should take centre stage.

    Your right that parents are not zombies however they are people trying to survive in a climate of manipulation, misinformation and distrust and your wrong about BCSA, they will not learn from this exercise. I would wager a months earning’s that in your heart

    When the Whitecaps give BC soccer $200,000 instead of investing in youth development at the club level the lack of any outcry from any forum is unforgiving. Have we missed the point of how better soccer players are created and where they come from? Over the years I have seen clubs hand over talented, enthusiastic and capable players to BC Soccer only to be reduced to unwilling, exhausted and disillusioned players. Over the years I have seem individuals that have no business coaching our youth tasked and allowed to develop young soccer players.

    At what point will all these so called soccer professionals who like to walk around soccer games and events tailored with the entire gear (most likely given to them at the expense of parents) rally and collectively say this sport needs people that care more about the kids than their own pocket book.

    In fact although at many times I found your comments and those of your contributors to be misleading and lacking sincerity in putting all the cards on the table when it comes to this new league, your blog is precisely what is needed right now so that responsibility and processes are scrutinized. I have dipped my feet in the ocean and am prepared to take a dip if this blog continues.

    I concede that my contribution into the MMCB blog could have been timelier however like many parents just too wrapped up with life, but here I am and I rely on channels of information like MMCB to inform and guide and I’m not looking for a Punxsutawney style of participation. Over the last several months I have witnessed the worst decent into the abyss of what we call soccer in the province taking place.

    Gregor I am here to tell you that Monday Morning Centre Back and your contributors have levelled the playing field in this province surrounding the new league in many ways. By virtue of the spotlight that is shinning on you and your contributors several steps in the right direction have been taken. Without scrutiny and vigilance our sport is destined for failure. As far as the BCPL is considered if they are not prepared to receive and hear what their membership has to say via whatever media than I suggest that it’s time for the members to reconsider their participation.

    That’s a hell of a wish list.

    In any case you started it and you have the right to finish it or do you?

    • Gregor says:

      Where to begin on this one….

      First of all, seriously, you’re going to lecture me on standing up to man in the public and (a) use ‘Atticus Finch’ as your handle and an identity-hiding, if not completely fake email address, to post here. I don’t think that was the message in To Kill a Mockingbird.

      That has become a somewhat irksome part of this. Very few are willing to put their name behind their comments. It means the comments, and hence this blog, have less credibility and it means that while people are quite happy to see me stand there and take some bullets, they’re not really prepared to stand in the line of fire themselves because they’re worried about how it will affect them and/or their kids. I have kids too. I’m used to taking stick for things I bring up. Goes with the territory. I’ve done my bit and, as I said, there is little more I can effectively contribute to this conversation through this blog. I am not opposed to BCPL. I support it. I think it’s being implemented poorly and suffers from a leadership vacuum. End of story. Tired of repeating it.

      But let’s have a look at some of your comments:

      Unlike many who have posted their acceptance in your decision to end this blog I feel that if you go ahead you will have duplicated the lack of conviction that is so typical of the many in this province when it comes to the importance of people in the know and influence to assist the misguided and uninformed. My intent is not to undermine your decision but make you better understand the value and importance in promoting dialogue at a time that is critical to this sport. At a time more than ever that needs a mechanism of accountability, at a time when right versus wrong should take centre stage.

      Again, don’t talk about lack of conviction when you don’t want to use your real name.

      When the Whitecaps give BC soccer $200,000 instead of investing in youth development at the club level the lack of any outcry from any forum is unforgiving. Have we missed the point of how better soccer players are created and where they come from? Over the years I have seen clubs hand over talented, enthusiastic and capable players to BC Soccer only to be reduced to unwilling, exhausted and disillusioned players. Over the years I have seem individuals that have no business coaching our youth tasked and allowed to develop young soccer players.

      Okay, but this has nothing to do with BCPL. Write a letter to the editor or Richard at bcsoccerweb.com. He’s very good about giving coverage to these things.

      At what point will all these so called soccer professionals who like to walk around soccer games and events tailored with the entire gear (most likely given to them at the expense of parents) rally and collectively say this sport needs people that care more about the kids than their own pocket book.

      Uh, I’m one of those so-called soccer professionals who like to walk around soccer games kitted out…and I feel no shame in making a living doing it. I know what I contribute, I know I spend a ton of hours doing work that nobody sees and I know how much I care about the kids (and families) that I work with.

      In fact although at many times I found your comments and those of your contributors to be misleading and lacking sincerity in putting all the cards on the table when it comes to this new league, your blog is precisely what is needed right now so that responsibility and processes are scrutinized. I have dipped my feet in the ocean and am prepared to take a dip if this blog continues.

      So the blog is misleading and lacks sincerity buy you’re pleading for it continue? I’m guessing you’ve had some women slamming doors in your face over the years. “I don’t find you terribly attractive and you’re a bit boring but I’ll keep tolerating you because I need the sex.”

      I concede that my contribution into the MMCB blog could have been timelier however like many parents just too wrapped up with life, but here I am and I rely on channels of information like MMCB to inform and guide and I’m not looking for a Punxsutawney style of participation. Over the last several months I have witnessed the worst decent into the abyss of what we call soccer in the province taking place.

      Gregor I am here to tell you that Monday Morning Centre Back and your contributors have levelled the playing field in this province surrounding the new league in many ways. By virtue of the spotlight that is shinning on you and your contributors several steps in the right direction have been taken. Without scrutiny and vigilance our sport is destined for failure. As far as the BCPL is considered if they are not prepared to receive and hear what their membership has to say via whatever media than I suggest that it’s time for the members to reconsider their participation.

      Don’t want or need a spotlight. Just makes it easier for the snipers to find me. If there’s really still such a large, outraged mob looking for media coverage of BCPL, here’s my suggestion:

      1. Go to wordpress.org
      2. Get an account (free) and reserve http://www.BoycottBCPL.wordpress.com
      3. Choose a template and start posting.
      4. Ask local soccer websites to link to you.

      I do not have a monopoly on BCPL discussion. As you noted, many of the contributors here are more than capable of expressing themselves well in writing and making excellent points. It is incredibly easy to set up one of these sites and as Billy Bragg once sang, “If no one out there understands, start your own revolution and cut out the middle man.”

      That’s a hell of a wish list.

      In any case you started it and you have the right to finish it or do you?

      I’ve shown you above how you can achieve what you seek. And yes I do have the right to decide what I’m going to do and I made that decision. Self-determination and self-responsibility are the foundation of my belief system. That’s why I say what I believe to be true and necessary and I stand behind it with my real name.

      • Rasta says:

        Well said Gregor.

        I stand and tip my hat to you at how well you answered Atticus. I read to kill the book as well, and waiting for the anology in his “please don’t go Gregor” publication.

        I for one appreciated your blog Gregor. I very much appreciate your taking a few snipes for giving coaches and parents and avenue to find out and express regardind the BCPL. Your blog has done much to help BCPL give some accountability and to help parents make informed choices.

        By the way, I am really Bob Marley who is Clive Clarke.

      • Gregor says:

        Thanks Clive. I like to think I kept the swipes:info ratio fairly low but seeing how it all played out has been quite frustrating for many people so some swipes here and there were necessary.

  23. Colin Elmes says:

    Time to come clean…

    I am not actually Colin Elmes. I am Billy Mays who is actually Steve Allen.

    No, really…

    • Gregor says:

      Steve Allen is a bit of an enigma so that may well be true.

      • Colin Elmes says:

        Dear Colin,

        Sorry I havent replied to your emails over the last month. Frankly, you are just a pain in the ass and I have far more important things to do. But I do look forward to your next BCPL editorial which I understand is coming very soon.

        Big Dog

  24. islandsoccer says:

    Island HPL trials for Upper Island players are now posted on the UISA and LISA web sites…more details on the Island “franchise” is expected later this week.
    http://www.lowerislandsoccer.com look for the BCPL tab on the left menu.

    As for the (at times painful) Tier2 discussions, seems some progress (?) has been made and a proposal has been hatched to ‘pilot’ Tier2 at the u14/u15 age groups but retain Gold/Silver/Bronze at u13 and u16-u18 for the coming season.
    http://lisatier2.blogspot.com the implementation details are being worked on but the LISA Club Presidents voted (6/10) to retain existing club boundaries and transfer limits at all levels, effectively meaning small clubs can’t realistically expect to get to Tier2 team. Tier2 will become an exclusive Gold+ division and what remains below it will effectively be recreationally focused.

    Only UVI has indicated they will be in MSL, targetting teams from u15-u18 if demand exists, no Victoria area team will be in MSL.

    Lots of open questions and uncertainty will be the norm for this upcoming season! (not just at EA BCPL)!

    Has anyone assembled and posted a list of MSL teams per age group anywhere?

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