Congratulations on graduating from House League! For the last few years you have been playing soccer solely against other teams within Bays. So what happens now? Here is a list of frequently asked questions to help you understand what to expect.
Who will I be playing against?
Bays United is part of the Lower Island Soccer Association (LISA). Other Clubs in this association are Sooke, Juan de Fuca, Gorge, Lakehill, Prospect Lake, Peninsula, Salt Spring, Saanich and Cowichan. As part of Bays Youth League, all of your games will be against these Clubs (except Cowichan until U13). You may have to travel to Salt Spring to play matches.
What is LISA?
LISA is the umbrella organization for all the Clubs mentioned above. It is in charge of setting the schedules, monitoring the standings, promoting coach education and many other things. For more information visit the LISA website.
How are teams formed?
Youth League (U12 and above) assessments take place in the Spring. This year’s assessments will start in April and run through until late May (schedule still being finalized). There are generally two to three assessments for each age group.
When do I register?
As early as possible please! A note will be sent sometime in March to register for the following season. Please register before assessments. If you wait until late August to register, your child may be put on a wait list.
Are there different divisions?
Yes. At U12 there is a Blue (previously Gold) division and a White (previously Silver) division. Boys and girls now play separately (no co-ed division).
How many teams will there be?
The number of teams is determined by the number of children who register. However, there will be two Blue boys teams and one or two Blue girls teams (depending on numbers). The remainder of the players will play in the White division (e.g. in 2016/17 there were three White boys teams and two White girls teams). There will be between 10 to 14 players on each team.
Do the Spring assessments determine what team each player is on?
Yes – but there is also an in-season evaluation done by the previous season’s coach that helps form a true picture of a player’s ability. Taken together, the Spring assessment and coach evaluation will determine team structure for the following year. Additional input from next year’s coach(es) may also be required. Goalkeepers are usually assessed separately. The goal of Bays United at the U12 level is to have players of like ability playing on the same team and to foster an environment where players can be challenged, develop their technical skills and most importantly, have fun!
If my child doesn’t make the Blue team, are there other opportunities to play at this level?
Bays will strive to give players on the White team opportunities to play at the Blue level. At U12, players who show commitment, dedication and a positive attitude in addition to good technical abilities, will be offered the chance to occasionally play with a Blue team. This is called “soft-tiering” and is meant to recognize that player development is ongoing and that children develop at different rates. The decision to soft-tier a player will be at the sole discretion of the coaches involved and the Bays technical staff.
Are there standings?
No. As the U12 division is still considered a developmental age for players, scores are not kept during league play. No standings are kept until U13.
When are the games?
All games are played Saturday mornings. Most home games are played mid-morning (around 10:30 a.m.) but this can vary due to field scheduling demands. Away games may start earlier or later. The exact time of the match and the field you will be playing on isn’t known until Wednesday of that week. Your coach will be in contact with the Bays field scheduler for home games and the opposition for away games, and will let the team know accordingly.
Are the games the same?
Generally, yes. There are two 30 minute halves and teams play 8-a-side (as they do at U10/11). However, the offside rule is now in effect between the retreat line and the goal. Retreat lines are one third of the way up the pitch.
Who are the coaches?
As in the House League, coaches of U12 teams are volunteers and usually a parent of a player on the team, however, there may be people in the community who would like to coach a U12 team.
Will coaches be supported?
Yes. Every two weeks the entire group of U12’s (boys one week, girls the next) will train together and be coached by Bays technical staff. Coaches are also required to attend the coaching clinics run by Bays throughout the season, and take the free courses offered by LISA (i.e. Soccer for Life). Need more info or interested in coaching? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further questions can be directed to:
- John Bentley, VP Youth – email@example.com
- Randy Jones, Director Players/Teams/Coaches – firstname.lastname@example.org