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MASC
07-19-2007, 11:37 AM
This site is concerned with youth soccer in Massachusetts and generally with 200 or so players in the GU14 and GU15 age group or less than .2% of the youth players in Massachusetts.

Soccer in MA is not healthy!

There are too few people giving back to the sport. The following are the most obvious areas where the "Premier" soccer community needs to contribute in order for the sport to become healthy:

1) Referees. There are far too few qualified referees. Many games at all levels have too few qualified officials. Most involved with the .2% feel that referees are below dirt. This attitude permeates youth soccer. Ever wonder why most teens hate officiating?

2) Coach/train. It takes much more than being a good player to coach/train players.

3) Administration. This is not very exciting. Teams, clubs, leagues need people to register players, collect monies, organize trips, order and distribute uniforms, maintain fields, etc.

4) Volunteer. Massachusetts has turned-down/refused to apply to host the Nation's Cup Regional Tournament or the National Finals due to a lack of support from the soccer community. The .2% demand everything but give nothing back. MA has no one willing to volunteer so all USYSA regional and national competitions will take place where people are willing, i.e. as far from MA as possible. Of course such is in keeping with the reputation of selfishness that MA has earned. A beautiful complex has been built in Lancaster and it will never host a regional or national competition.

Liverpool Coach
07-19-2007, 12:30 PM
This site is concerned with youth soccer in Massachusetts and generally with 200 or so players in the GU14 and GU15 age group or less than .2% of the youth players in Massachusetts.

Soccer in MA is not healthy!

There are too few people giving back to the sport. The following are the most obvious areas where the "Premier" soccer community needs to contribute in order for the sport to become healthy:

1) Referees. There are far too few qualified referees. Many games at all levels have too few qualified officials. Most involved with the .2% feel that referees are below dirt. This attitude permeates youth soccer. Ever wonder why most teens hate officiating?

2) Coach/train. It takes much more than being a good player to coach/train players.

3) Administration. This is not very exciting. Teams, clubs, leagues need people to register players, collect monies, organize trips, order and distribute uniforms, maintain fields, etc.

4) Volunteer. Massachusetts has turned-down/refused to apply to host the Nation's Cup Regional Tournament or the National Finals due to a lack of support from the soccer community. The .2% demand everything but give nothing back. MA has no one willing to volunteer so all USYSA regional and national competitions will take place where people are willing, i.e. as far from MA as possible. Of course such is in keeping with the reputation of selfishness that MA has earned. A beautiful complex has been built in Lancaster and it will never host a regional or national competition.

All fair and valid points. As a coach who has volunteered for the better part of 2 decades and has run programs both big and small I can tell you that finding volunteers is not easy. The soccer community usually just says tell me how much to pay and where to go and I'll do it. In all fairness though parents have a lot on their plate and probably volunteer for other activities and can not do everything. I truly feel that if it were said that we were doing it here that the volunteers could be found. Getting them in advance is the hard thing but also I have never been asked about being a volunteer for something like that. And I think a lot of others don't know about it either. The advertising / public knowledge of soccer events is almost non-existent.

Your point # 2 above couldn't be truer.

This forum is much more for gossip than anything else. Or at least that is how it is being used right now.

Personally I'd like to see more games in a season. Regular season. Playing 7 games in a spring puts way too much emphasis on winning. The current system allows for maybe 15 games in a full year of outdoor play. There should be at least 30 outdoor games per year without doing double headers, tournaments, etc.

Referees will always be a sore issue on both sides. Give me the ref who does not give effort and who is just there to collect a paycheck and I'll complain. Give me the ref who works hard to get in position to make good calls and gives an honest effort and I'll always salute them. The coaches and players and parents are all putting forth efforts to provide for a good game...the refs should do so as well but they don't always. I am not a ref basher. I think the zero tolerance policy has a lot to do with this. First of all if a parent tries to follow this they're going to keep things inside until they burst and then when they burst it gets overly emotional real quick. I have also had refs approach me before games and tell me that one word directed towards them and they'll eject me and I don't know them. The refs know they have the zero tolerance policy to fall back on and they abuse it. Again, not all but I have seen a few who have. And most of those instances are with young refs who feel they are sheltered and nothing can be said to them and so they don't even try. Throughout the world communication is a part of any sport. We need to teach our players, parents, coaches, and refs that it's okay to talk about our differences on a call. But that there is a time and a place for that...NOT every time and every place. As a parent how would you like it if a ref felt you said or did something inappropriate at a game and then yelled out at you about it? How would you feel as a coach if the ref yelled at you during a game and tried to embarass you? It's about respect. I've found most officials are okay if you talk to them in the right manner and they will reciprocate. It's easy to sit here and type these things in but in the heat of the moment it is more difficult. Due to the lack of qualified referees it's got to be a great part time job if you have the inclination.

Cujo
07-19-2007, 01:30 PM
This site is concerned with youth soccer in Massachusetts and generally with 200 or so players in the GU14 and GU15 age group or less than .2% of the youth players in Massachusetts.

Soccer in MA is not healthy!

There are too few people giving back to the sport. The following are the most obvious areas where the "Premier" soccer community needs to contribute in order for the sport to become healthy:

1) Referees. There are far too few qualified referees. Many games at all levels have too few qualified officials. Most involved with the .2% feel that referees are below dirt. This attitude permeates youth soccer. Ever wonder why most teens hate officiating?

2) Coach/train. It takes much more than being a good player to coach/train players.

3) Administration. This is not very exciting. Teams, clubs, leagues need people to register players, collect monies, organize trips, order and distribute uniforms, maintain fields, etc.

4) Volunteer. Massachusetts has turned-down/refused to apply to host the Nation's Cup Regional Tournament or the National Finals due to a lack of support from the soccer community. The .2% demand everything but give nothing back. MA has no one willing to volunteer so all USYSA regional and national competitions will take place where people are willing, i.e. as far from MA as possible. Of course such is in keeping with the reputation of selfishness that MA has earned. A beautiful complex has been built in Lancaster and it will never host a regional or national competition.

Where is Lancaster? I looked on a map and couldn't find it.......last time I checked most people in Ma. lived inside 128. For years I have been pointing out that this area is terribly neglected and grossly underrepresented in the MA soccer world.

07-19-2007, 01:43 PM
This site is concerned with youth soccer in Massachusetts and generally with 200 or so players in the GU14 and GU15 age group or less than .2% of the youth players in Massachusetts.

Soccer in MA is not healthy!

There are too few people giving back to the sport. The following are the most obvious areas where the "Premier" soccer community needs to contribute in order for the sport to become healthy:

1) Referees. There are far too few qualified referees. Many games at all levels have too few qualified officials. Most involved with the .2% feel that referees are below dirt. This attitude permeates youth soccer. Ever wonder why most teens hate officiating?

2) Coach/train. It takes much more than being a good player to coach/train players.

3) Administration. This is not very exciting. Teams, clubs, leagues need people to register players, collect monies, organize trips, order and distribute uniforms, maintain fields, etc.

4) Volunteer. Massachusetts has turned-down/refused to apply to host the Nation's Cup Regional Tournament or the National Finals due to a lack of support from the soccer community. The .2% demand everything but give nothing back. MA has no one willing to volunteer so all USYSA regional and national competitions will take place where people are willing, i.e. as far from MA as possible. Of course such is in keeping with the reputation of selfishness that MA has earned. A beautiful complex has been built in Lancaster and it will never host a regional or national competition.

Where is Lancaster? I looked on a map and couldn't find it.......last time I checked most people in Ma. lived inside 128. For years I have been pointing out that this area is terribly neglected and grossly underrepresented in the MA soccer world.

The field complex is a couple of exits west of Devens on Route 2. Not far from Fitchburg. Are you using a map from the 1800's?

MASC
07-19-2007, 01:54 PM
Where is Lancaster? I looked on a map and couldn't find it.......last time I checked most people in Ma. lived inside 128. For years I have been pointing out that this area is terribly neglected and grossly underrepresented in the MA soccer world.

There are far more people in the rte. 495 to rte. 128 belt than inside of it.

Metropolitan Boston according to the US Census is everything inside Rte 495.

Inside Rte. 128 is very well represented in that Newton, Needham, and Waltham all are inside or straddle Rte. 128 and the most poweful clubs and leagues have significant presence in that area. Additionally many of the MassYouth executives are from that area.

teskicks
07-19-2007, 02:04 PM
A minor point but I think most of Needham is outside of 128.

Cujo
07-19-2007, 02:12 PM
Where is Lancaster? I looked on a map and couldn't find it.......last time I checked most people in Ma. lived inside 128. For years I have been pointing out that this area is terribly neglected and grossly underrepresented in the MA soccer world.

There are far more people in the rte. 495 to rte. 128 belt than inside of it.

Metropolitan Boston according to the US Census is everything inside Rte 495.

Inside Rte. 128 is very well represented in that Newton, Needham, and Waltham all are inside or straddle Rte. 128 and the most poweful clubs and leagues have significant presence in that area. Additionally many of the MassYouth executives are from that area.

I did a statistical analysis sometime back that showed that MA soccer is not representative of MA population on a per capita basis. Lancaster is not a viable playing venue for half of the population. Kind of the same reason why the Home Depot complex in Calif. is in southern call and not Big Sur. Obviously different scale but analogous still. Anyway this is a little bit of a digression from the subject at hand. I left MA soccer for health reasons (surgery and diabetes) but am reluctant to come back. I don't tolerate parents who try to run the show and who play games and all you have to do is look at the posts and temper tantrums in here to see why I probably won't ever get involved again in Mass. I know many would like to portray me as a jerk but I really am not. I get along with most people and am really a nice guy. I just won't kiss anybody's ass because their kid is a soccer whizz and they have a fat bank account. I paid my dues as a volunteer coach and board member for years and ran a club without taking a cent for myself. By far most of the experiences I had were positive but the 10% that weren't were so bad that I don't think I can do it again. The 10% as I have stated a million times ruin it for the other 90% and I mean everywhere and not just in soccer. The toll that coaching and administering soccer took on my wife and family were enormous. As my wife said to me "do you know how hard it is to stand on the sideline and listen to people criticize and rip you for every move you make"? Who needs that? I went into coaching bright eyed and idealistic and left slightly cyncial and jaded after 14 years. I'd work 9 hours coach for 4 and get home to eat dinner at 8pm to a message on my answering machine from my Athletic Director asking me to come in at 730am to meet with Miss Crankypants who was upset because her daughter only played 10 minutes in todays game. There is your answer MASC.

07-19-2007, 04:39 PM
It would be wonderful to have a 16 field complex with lights and 5 turf fields in an area inside of rt 128 (or 495 for that matter) The question is where do you think this property is. I remember the great line from Back to School when Rodney says to Bomabay: "Where are you going to build this factory... how about Fantasyland?" Property values and availabilty inside 128 are such that finding space for a two field municipal complex is next to impossible. Lancaster is a pretty good spot, no more than 60 -70 minutes from just about anywhere in the state and southern NH.

I have read the complaints about finding enough volunteers as THE reason for MYSA's lack of willingness to host a regional or national event. I think it is a factor but not the only one and alone propbably not as important as some others combined. One problem at lancaster is going to be parking. Even with only the front five turf fields in use the state cup filled parking in the upper lot to its limits. Add three or more grass fields up front and it could be a real problem if the lower parking (which does not seem to be as substantial) is inadequate for those back 7 or 8 fields. Actually a national event, which requires about a 1/4 of the fields and hotel space of a regional would be a better fit but you do run into problems advertising it as a Boston event and booking rooms in Fitchburg and Worcester (sorry central Mass)

Cujo
07-19-2007, 05:22 PM
It would be wonderful to have a 16 field complex with lights and 5 turf fields in an area inside of rt 128 (or 495 for that matter) The question is where do you think this property is. I remember the great line from Back to School when Rodney says to Bomabay: "Where are you going to build this factory... how about Fantasyland?" Property values and availabilty inside 128 are such that finding space for a two field municipal complex is next to impossible. Lancaster is a pretty good spot, no more than 60 -70 minutes from just about anywhere in the state and southern NH.

I have read the complaints about finding enough volunteers as THE reason for MYSA's lack of willingness to host a regional or national event. I think it is a factor but not the only one and alone propbably not as important as some others combined. One problem at lancaster is going to be parking. Even with only the front five turf fields in use the state cup filled parking in the upper lot to its limits. Add three or more grass fields up front and it could be a real problem if the lower parking (which does not seem to be as substantial) is inadequate for those back 7 or 8 fields. Actually a national event, which requires about a 1/4 of the fields and hotel space of a regional would be a better fit but you do run into problems advertising it as a Boston event and booking rooms in Fitchburg and Worcester (sorry central Mass)

That is a legitimate question. I am not sure if an effort was made. It would require working with the state as they have quite a few unused parcels left over from their network of now defunct mental hospitals. Waltham stands out. In any case whats done is done and the facility is out of reach for many players and their families.

Red99
07-19-2007, 05:36 PM
This site is concerned with youth soccer in Massachusetts and generally with 200 or so players in the GU14 and GU15 age group or less than .2% of the youth players in Massachusetts.

Soccer in MA is not healthy!

There are too few people giving back to the sport. The following are the most obvious areas where the "Premier" soccer community needs to contribute in order for the sport to become healthy:

1) Referees. There are far too few qualified referees. Many games at all levels have too few qualified officials. Most involved with the .2% feel that referees are below dirt. This attitude permeates youth soccer. Ever wonder why most teens hate officiating?

2) Coach/train. It takes much more than being a good player to coach/train players.

3) Administration. This is not very exciting. Teams, clubs, leagues need people to register players, collect monies, organize trips, order and distribute uniforms, maintain fields, etc.

4) Volunteer. Massachusetts has turned-down/refused to apply to host the Nation's Cup Regional Tournament or the National Finals due to a lack of support from the soccer community. The .2% demand everything but give nothing back. MA has no one willing to volunteer so all USYSA regional and national competitions will take place where people are willing, i.e. as far from MA as possible. Of course such is in keeping with the reputation of selfishness that MA has earned. A beautiful complex has been built in Lancaster and it will never host a regional or national competition.


Getting back to MASC's original post, where he made some very valid points -

Early on when our kids became interested in soccer, we tried to volunteer but found obstacles at the town level, some in-place politics that ended up being exclusionary in order to keep the status quo. Of course to the detriment of the majority of players in our very active soccer town.

By the time our one child really began focusing on soccer vs other sports, she made it clear that she did NOT want us involved in any way, and she was pretty articulate about explaining that the experience would be better for her if we just stayed on the sidelines (and in particular, did not yell or shout at anyone on the field) and just drove her to her stuff - pretty much the only question we were allowed to ask was whether she'd had fun. Wise at age 11. And I'm not talking about coaching, training or even admin (which organized mom would've been great at), she did not even feel comfortable having us volunteer at any level. It worked out best for everyone that way and I think took a lot of pressure off of her that I see other kids experiencing. She is the one who has decided to what level she wanted to bring her soccer. I can't help think that if we had pushed harder to become involved, she might have backed off. Now that's definitely not every kid, I see kids whose parents coach, are team parents, etc. who are just as enthralled with the sport and happy and accomplished as my daughter, but maybe there are some other kids out there who have personalities like my daughter and really have done better because their parents did not volunteer. I suppose we could have ignored her wishes and given more to the game to help create a happier soccer environment in Mass as MASC suggests, but at the end of the day we have to do what's best for her. (sorry if that makes us seem anti-it takes a village, but what's a parent to do)?

It's pretty ironic that on the one hand, in other posts Cujo blasts everyone for not volunteering and becoming involved like he did (ie. giving up countless hours, expense and overall mental health, apparently, to better the game of soccer) and on the other hand, he is advocating that parents get lost and stay lost. Really he scares me, I don't think the poster that reflected that it was good to know where he was coaching so as to avoid that club was that out of line. Not sure you realize how ballistic you come off sometimes, Cujo, and as I said before, you sound like you tried hard and HAVE given a lot to youth soccer over the years, but unfortunately you've had some experiences that have made you bitter and close-minded, and I too would want to avoid a coach like that. (Never mind having you as someone who would interview my kid for an internship when you spend most of your "Work" day posting on this forum, is your employer okay with that)?

Anyway, I'm getting off-topic too, sorry MASC. Cujo is just depressing.

As for the refereeing, my daughter took the level 9 course (8 hours+ on a beautiful Sat. afternoon in August) and refereed about 9-10 games one season a few years ago. She was a U-13 refereeing U-9s and 10s in BAYS. Overall, the parents weren't too bad, they were pretty understanding and I think were appreciative at having a ref who tried hard and was very focused on the game and took it seriously. The coaches, though, that's what drove her away from ever doing it again. Screaming at her, berating her -- of course, not all of them, but it happened enough times over the course of the 10 games that she decided it wasn't for her. I'm sure not an atypical story, unfortunately (I know the referee situation has been discussed ad nauseum). But anyway, that was her experience.

So, MASC, while we are ardent youth soccer supporters, sometimes it's hard for everyone to help out, especially with two jobs, several kids, and the different personalities of our little players taken into account. But I do support your position, and am open to hearing what you think we could do differently?

Fred Marks
07-19-2007, 05:42 PM
I wouldnt agree with the statement that soccer isnt healthy in Mass.

There are clubs here now that can compete Regionally and Nationally. The travel leagues and the MTOC seem fine. Recreational soccer is very healthy. High school soccer is popular.

The people who I know that are involved in club soccer across the state are very enthusiastic about it.

Each year it appears to me that the teams we play against locally have better and better coaches.

I would think that we would need an appropriate facility before we could host a Regional event. That has nothing to do with volunteers. If Lancaster is never used for a Regional competition it will be because of parking, roadways and hotel deficiencies.

"The .2% demand everything but give nothing back". Is this a MASC/MAPLE thing?

07-19-2007, 05:53 PM
This thread certainly wasn't about the Lancaster facility, although some discussion has been about it. It is important to understand a couple of things. First, Mass Youth Soccer is a private entity and even with its charitable mission was well down the list of potential suitors for surpluss state property. Second, the Lancaster complex is about 230 acres. It was purchased in the late 90's for significantly less than today's inflated market values. Somewhat unique business partnerships (thank you Norm Wagner) allowed the price to be manageable. It is ulikely that Mass Youth would be able to purchase a tract of property of this size and quality in today's market - even in Central Mass. A flat parcel inside of 128 of this size (except in a re-use context) is essentially non-existant. Third, developing a field complex in a re-use context is virtually impossible. Not only is the acquisition cost exhorbitant but it is also so much more expensive to develop the property. The demoltion and removal of existing structures, addressing environmental issues and heavy permitting expenses simply aren't worth it. Finally, Mass Youth Soccer really doesn't buy the world ends at Framingham mentality. It sees its mission as serving the entire state, Provincetown to Williamstown and as it has been said, Lancaster is equally inconvenient for just about everybody.

MASC
07-19-2007, 05:53 PM
No worse than Devens that has 11 to 15 fields in use each Sunday.

Devens seems to have less parking than Lancaster. How do all of these teams manage to play and there not be significant parking problems?

Do people actually car pool so that greater than one player is transported per car? MASC had a tournament at Lancaster with 36 teams on site all day and there were no complaints with respect to parking. The state cup semi-finals only involve 28 teams (14 games), who are not on site all day. The finals only involve 14 teams (7 games).

At many tournaments there are few facilities closer than a half hour drive.

From Boston to Lancaster is under an hour. Concord is 15 to 20 minutes tops.

At PDA events, the tournament hotel was twenty minutes from the fields.

Atlantic Union College is very close. Devens has new hotels. There is a beautiful new hotel and conference center with-in a mile or two west on Rte. 2. Isn't Cushing Academy just down the road? One could handle a significant event in Lancaster in June, July or August with some good planning.

MASC
07-19-2007, 06:21 PM
"The .2% demand everything but give nothing back". Is this a MASC/MAPLE thing?
Fred,

The remark was based solely on the posts that have been on this bulletin board.

There has been advancement, but there are also serious systemic problems: There is a significant shortage of qualified referees and a huge gap in the "middle" with respect to developing referees. Additionally there are political issues involving long held prejudices and grudges. The politics in youth soccer, ie. the towns, the clubs, the leagues, etc. are brutal.

In terms of challenges: Every league has issues with fields and officials. There is a very high demand for both and a signifcant shortage of both.

No where did I mention MAPLE. MAPLE is not the issue and has never been the issue. MAPLE faces many of the same challenges that MASC does.

Fred Marks
07-19-2007, 06:24 PM
OK... just asking... wasnt sure where you were going with that...

07-19-2007, 09:11 PM
OK... just asking... wasnt sure where you were going with that...

to the original point, two in our family volunteer from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m. every saturday during the fall season in the local rec league as do-whatever-is-needed people, ref, deal with coaches or parents, run the snack bar, set up, break down, etc. etc. for a 500 plus player rec league. In additon, we are available to work with teams and coaches during the week

THAT is where it all needs to start.


interested.

07-19-2007, 09:18 PM
There are not enough parents that played a high level of soccer to volunteer to coach/train young town level teams. Other sports seem to have greater numbers of good town coaches.

Blue Devil
07-19-2007, 09:46 PM
There are not enough parents that played a high level of soccer to volunteer to coach/train young town level teams. Other sports seem to have greater numbers of good town coaches.

I agree with you to some extent because more of us grew up playing other sports. But if you look at the masses of little league, youth basketball youth football you will also find people coaching who weren't necessarily great players or experienced coaches; and if you include the caveat that they need to have played at a high level in their sport; most haven't.

Where I disagree is that I find that soccer does a better job of training parents who volunteer -providing games for the the coach to play at practice with the very young - all sorts of practice suggestions as they grow for the rec coaches etc, etc. Many of the other sports rely on our past experience to self generate practice plans and skills acquisition and don't utilize Coerver or other style curiculums available to break down skill transference. There is a technical aspect to coaching and there is a good with kids aspect to coaching youth sports. If you are good with kids in one sport that part transfers to other sports. If you have the desire to learn and teach soccer; most can pick up enough of the technical to be a good town rec coach; and if you want to really work at it you can be a pretty good town travel coach even if you didn't play in your youth.

I am sure this varies from town to town but in our neck of the woods the youth soccer association will pay for licensing for any coach who want to take courses. Many of the travel coaches played in HS and college and a surprising number play in the adult leagues.

Net it all out and I think that the youth soccer coaches are on par with the other youth sports and I don't think you need to have played at a high level to be a good coach. (But it sure helps to have played at a high level if you are also a good coach with kids) If you want to make the argument that their are few great youth coaches in every sport - I would agree - but hey that's what makes them great.

07-20-2007, 06:49 AM
MASC is correct in his assumption that the players who participate at the highest levels of youth soccer: MAPLE D1, ODP, state cup round robins, regional premier leagues and USYSA championships make up a vey small percentage of the soccer pie in this state. I also agree that this forum focuses almost entirely on that small segment of the soccer community. However, his blanket assertion that those players and their parents give nothing back to this sport is simply wrong. In fact my experience has been the opposite, those families tend to be far more invested in the success of youth soccer in this state than most others. They do volunteer within their clubs to run the tournaments, golf outings, fund-raisers and team events. These players work at local clinics and camps and do become refs. As varsity players in their home-towns these players become the face of soccer for young players in their local town leagues. Massachusetts has a lot of kids playing soccer, very few will ever play a single club game. Whether MAPLE, MASC or SUPER Y. Perhaps it is too bad that the issues impacting those players like the shortage of field space, difficulty in getting parents to volunteer with local organizations to coach or administrate and the difficulty of refereeing don't get discussed here, but this is afterall a site populated almost entirely from Touchline (MAPLE) refugees. But overall the state of soccer in Mass is good. Participation (both player and volunteer) remains strong. Lancaster is a fantastic addition for all players in the state, and yes our premier teams stay competitive on a regional and sometimes national level. Its easy to point out problems and accuse others as the cause, what is hard is acknowledging success and working to expand upon it.

beentheredonethat
07-20-2007, 06:57 AM
Where is Lancaster? I looked on a map and couldn't find it.......last time I checked most people in Ma. lived inside 128. For years I have been pointing out that this area is terribly neglected and grossly underrepresented in the MA soccer world.

Cujo .. I'm sure you remember when you were a kid and the group told you they were going to be at one place and actually went to another. That's where the map is.

Cujo
07-20-2007, 08:11 AM
Where is Lancaster? I looked on a map and couldn't find it.......last time I checked most people in Ma. lived inside 128. For years I have been pointing out that this area is terribly neglected and grossly underrepresented in the MA soccer world.

Cujo .. I'm sure you remember when you were a kid and the group told you they were going to be at one place and actually went to another. That's where the map is.

Like when my mother ditched me at a restroom on Route 66 in Kingston AZ. Is that what you are trying to say or did I miss something? I am confused.

keeper
07-20-2007, 09:17 AM
Does every topic have to become a urinating contest or a way for you guys to deal with your other compensation issues.

I think MASC was trying to be provocative in order to start a discussion that could yield something a little more positive than most of the other topics in this forum. The usual trend is to attack the messenger or attack the message, rather than discuss solutions. It’s always easier to point out problems or assign blame for them, or just deny they exist in the first place. But MASC’s lament simply pointed to issues that I doubt anyone really disagrees with; how do we get more refs, more training for coaches, more help off the field, and a better way to mobilize and marshal resources throughout the entire State. His post questioned the preoccupation in this forum on such a narrow segment of those playing soccer.

Defending the status quo lacks both vision and any sense of ambition for the future of youth soccer. The idea of continuous improvement should apply and having some set of goals for each and every year would be a benefit to everybody. Of course, the “I got mineâ€￾, “you’re on your ownâ€￾ types will not see any value in such discussion, they only want to talk about themselves or put down someone else.

Do any Clubs have programs to help develop, train and support young refs?

Do any Clubs have programs to teach players coaching?

Have any Clubs developed a management process that would help other Clubs or do any Clubs share resources?

Do any Clubs work together on any issues, or do they leave that for the people running MAPLE?

Or, do Clubs not bear any responsibility for any of the above?




.

MASC
07-20-2007, 11:59 AM
I do not know of any club that discourages players from becoming referees. I know of several that encourage players to be become referees. It has been discussed at some club meetings that the club might pay course fees for players who want to become referees.

MAPLE has sponsored some referee courses. MASC has sponsored some referee courses. By sponsor we mean that facilities were provided and instructors paid (cost roughly $70 per student).

The sponsoring of referee courses by MAPLE and MASC is a long term investment/commitment to referee development. A newly patched referee is not ready to handle MAPLE or MASC games. It is not expected that they would be ready for at least two seasons more typically two years. (There are exceptions.) These newly patched referees need to learn the trade and so generally start with in-town programs progessing to travel programs to the top level travel teams and then if still interested to more competitive games.

The clubs that I am familiar with, provide some level of payment for coaches to get licenses and for continuing education. The local town program pays 100% for licenses through E and then there is a sliding scale for licenses D and above.

Blue Devil
07-20-2007, 12:05 PM
I have sent out an email to 20 players who have played for me in the past mnetioning the referee shortage and asking if they are interested in becoming a ref. I challenge other forum readers to do the same

07-20-2007, 12:06 PM
I know at Nashua World Cup many of the older players have completed the referee course and work a lot of EDP games. Some of them are also involved in the Micro soccer program (U5/U6). I'm not sure what the club policy is on subsidizing coach courses for player, but they do for their coaches.

07-20-2007, 09:17 PM
Do any Clubs have programs to help develop, train and support young refs?

Do any Clubs have programs to teach players coaching?

Have any Clubs developed a management process that would help other Clubs or do any Clubs share resources?

Do any Clubs work together on any issues, or do they leave that for the people running MAPLE?

Or, do Clubs not bear any responsibility for any of the above?



The new USSF Development Academy program will also address referee development as well as player development.

07-20-2007, 09:22 PM
It's Onthree. I'll say it again: When was the call for volunteers for a regional and/or national event? I'm surprised I haven't seen it.

beentheredonethat
07-21-2007, 06:04 AM
There are not enough parents that played a high level of soccer to volunteer to coach/train young town level teams. Other sports seem to have greater numbers of good town coaches.

As someone who coaches in another sports realm (basketball) I can tell you that this statement is really off base. The youth basketball leagues around these parts are full of parents who think they know the game because they played some in middle school but actually have a very light understanding of the technical and tactical aspects of the game. In fact the overwhelming majority of coaches I run into don't have a clue what they are doing and are actually doing more harm than good. I was taught the game from some of the best basketball people in history and this absolutely motivates me to do what I do to give back to my game so please don't take what I am about to say as anti giving back. Also know that I have spent time coaching soccer as well as painting lines, manning coffee stations. and doing hopefully my share of what ever needed to be done to support our town's programs. My kid is even getting into the act and is about to take the referee course. All of that said, I honestly believe that our collective youth sports organizations have grown so large that their manpower needs have really outgrown the supply of quality volunteers and this is such a problem that perhaps we should actually let the sports atrophy a little by scaling back some events, especially ones that clearly tax an already strained infrastructure. I take the point of view that in this age of "no one left behind" we have created such an atmosphere of entitlement that we can't physically support everyone's desire to participate and consume resources on the equal basis that ideal advances. Bigger is not always better.

FSM
07-21-2007, 11:17 AM
There are not enough parents that played a high level of soccer to volunteer to coach/train young town level teams. Other sports seem to have greater numbers of good town coaches.

As someone who coaches in another sports realm (basketball) I can tell you that this statement is really off base. The youth basketball leagues around these parts are full of parents who think they know the game because they played some in middle school but actually have a very light understanding of the technical and tactical aspects of the game. In fact the overwhelming majority of coaches I run into don't have a clue what they are doing and are actually doing more harm than good. I was taught the game from some of the best basketball people in history and this absolutely motivates me to do what I do to give back to my game so please don't take what I am about to say as anti giving back.

The trainer that my daughter is currently seeing has a background in baseball and says the same, but he also notes that soccer has made more effort to educate youth coaches than any other youth sport he knows. He said that in baseball, anyone that ever played Little League, thinks they are the next Terry Francona.

Other interesting comments he has made: based on the kids he works with, soccer has the best all round athletes than any other youth sport. Retaining boys through adolescence is another issue, but these young athletes are initially playing soccer, at least in Massachusetts. He also has said he particularly enjoys working with soccer players, both male and female, because they seem to understand the importance of what they are being asked to do. I know he enjoys working with my daughters because they respond without question to his instruction and he seems to think they are looking to be pushed even further ( I don't think my kids are anything more than just regular kids in that respect, so his comments may just reflect the difference between girls and boys). In the past his work has been mostly with male athletes of traditional American sports. He has said that many of them are the biggest whiners when it comes to the work being asked of them, something my daughters have also noted when they are in the gym. He feels it is because they just assume their size (football) or height (basketball) is all that is needed to excell at their sport. IMO this may be what differentiates many soccer players from other sports, - size has less of an impact in soccer.

I honestly believe that our collective youth sports organizations have grown so large that their manpower needs have really outgrown the supply of quality volunteers and this is such a problem that perhaps we should actually let the sports atrophy a little by scaling back some events, especially ones that clearly tax an already strained infrastructure. I take the point of view that in this age of "no one left behind" we have created such an atmosphere of entitlement that we can't physically support everyone's desire to participate and consume resources on the equal basis that ideal advances. Bigger is not always better.

One of the theories of the movement to short sided games in youth soccer is to cause less of an affect by poor coaching and to allow the game to be the teacher. Of course, it is still all relative, but the SSG is meant to replicate the street soccer that is responsible for producing many of the world's top soccer players.

beentheredonethat
07-22-2007, 05:33 PM
his work has been mostly with male athletes of traditional American sports. He has said that many of them are the biggest whiners when it comes to the work being asked of them, something my daughters have also noted when they are in the gym.

My daughter does a morning workout at one of the local high schools and at least half of the 60-70 kids that show up every morning are female. In fact there have been many mornings which the female soccer players outnumber the football players.

This year I moved from coaching girls to boys. I think girls are much more realistic (if not overly conservative) about their athletic abilities than the boys are. With girls I found that I spent a lot of time convincing them that they could do something if they would just try it where as with the boys I spent all season trying to convince them they didn't have the sort of freakish athletic skills that would allow them to overpower their opponent.

07-22-2007, 05:45 PM
Quote:
his work has been mostly with male athletes of traditional American sports. He has said that many of them are the biggest whiners when it comes to the work being asked of them, something my daughters have also noted when they are in the gym.


Wow!!! Let's paint boys with a broad stroke. Why don't you all change the name of this forum to Talking GIRLS Soccer.

beentheredonethat
07-22-2007, 06:26 PM
Wow!!! Let's paint boys with a broad stroke. Why don't you all change the name of this forum to Talking GIRLS Soccer

Guest .. Is there something invalid about the observations I just made? If you've got something to add, add it.

FSM
07-22-2007, 06:58 PM
Quote:
his work has been mostly with male athletes of traditional American sports. He has said that many of them are the biggest whiners when it comes to the work being asked of them, something my daughters have also noted when they are in the gym.


Wow!!! Let's paint boys with a broad stroke. Why don't you all change the name of this forum to Talking GIRLS Soccer.

Now if you had read (and comprehend) the entire post, he was referring to some boys who play traditional sports as compared to girls AND boys who play soccer and work out with him. In other words this a small sampling based on the kids he works with, not a broad brush.

With girls I found that I spent a lot of time convincing them that they could do something if they would just try it where as with the boys I spent all season trying to convince them they didn't have the sort of freakish athletic skills that would allow them to overpower their opponent.

As I may have mentioned, :) I have some experience working with horses. Now it never occurred to me to try to out muscle a 1000 lb horse, but I am amazed at the number of males, including my husband, who thinks that they can, as BTDT says, "overpower their opponent". Here's another FSM guarantee: it doesn't work out well for the human who tries.