President’s Update: Spring 2018

Hello Bays members:

It has been another great year, full of soccer successes, personal growth and friendships formed. As we close out the 2017/18 season, I want to provide you with the following updates.

Youth League End-of-Season Celebration:

This year’s Youth League End-of-Season Celebration is being held on April 11th from 6-8PM at the Oak Bay High School auditorium. For parents and coaches who have not attended this event, it is an opportunity for Bays to celebrate our U12-U18 teams with a recognition and awards ceremony. Parents are welcome to join their players as we look back over the soccer season. The focus of this fun (and FREE) event is to recognize the achievements of each team and say thank you to coaches and supporters. Light refreshments will follow the presentations. Seating is arranged so that teams will be seated together. Parent seating is ‘as available,’ so we suggest early arrival.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED: To make this event a success, we are seeking donations for door prizes (3 per team), player/parent volunteers to make everything run smoothly and photos of the team in action for presentations (team/coaches are collecting). Find details about the event and how you can get involved.

U13 To Remain 8v8:

On February 28, the Presidents of the 10 Lower Island Soccer Association clubs voted 8-2 to keep U13 teams in an 8v8 formation on a half-field (as opposed to transitioning to 11v11 on a full-field). This will take effect for all LISA clubs for the 2018/19 season.

The stated benefits of this change are:

  • Offers more opportunities for players to get contact with the ball and make decisions that affect play
  • Less perceived pressure on players when playing a small-sided game
  • 80% of children believe they touch the ball more often, which is more fun
  • Helps goalkeeper development by giving them more opportunities to make saves
  • Game moves faster across the field, more end-to-end action (vs. being locked into one area of the field)
  • Easier for small/mid-sized clubs to form teams
  • Officials stay one year longer at small-sided games before being pushed up to full-field officiating

Bays VPs and coaches have met and are discussing logistics and moving forward for the 2018/19 season. While this change was the not a preferred option of Bays United, we are committed to unity between the clubs in Lower Island and are heartened by the successes of the Upper Island Soccer Association, whose teams have utilized this format for years. Questions? Please contact John Bentley, VP Youth.

House/Youth League Registration:

Registration for players U6 – U18 is now open! There are a few changes this year:

  • After two years without an increase, we have raised our registration fees by $15. For a list of fees and what they cover, visit our Registration Fees
  • No uniform deposit! Instead of an upfront deposit, only players (U9-U18) who do not return their jersey at the end of the season will be invoiced $75.
  • Bays relies on members to volunteer some of their time so that we can keep the Club operational and meet our commitments to players. We have many short-term and longer-term volunteer opportunities where we could use your help. New this year, if you prefer to opt-out of volunteering a fee of $25 will be added to your registration.

Questions about registration? Read our FAQs or email

Youth League Assessments:

Assessments for U12-U18 players will begin in April. The schedule is being finalized this week and will be posted on our website and registered players will be contacted. Youth players must be registered to attend assessments.

Players in the House Division (U6-U11) will be assessed in September.

Success Stories:

2018 was a banner year for Bays United in Cup competitions with six teams advancing to Coastal Cup and Provincials this spring/summer – an all time club record! Congratulations to all Bays teams who were successful! We also have 12 teams competing in District Cup Finals on April 7th and 8th. Follow our Facebook Page for the full schedule, game photos and success stories.

Congratulations to Dale Sparrow, Bays’ Field Scheduler, for being recognized as “Footballer of The Week” by the Lower Island Soccer Association. His tireless work behind the scenes to schedule fields and ensure games are played week after week has not gone unnoticed. Read more about his commitment and contributions to the club.

Dates to Note:

To all members and players – enjoy your Spring Break and remember to register early for the 2018/19 season!

Howard McElderry
President, Bays United FC