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.