In February 2018, Presidents of the 10 LISA Clubs agreed to transition U13 players to an 8v8 format (half-field) as opposed to the 11v11 format (full-field). Although Mainland teams play 11v11 at U13, Upper Island teams successfully transitioned to 8v8 at U13 a few years ago. BC Soccer leaves the decision to each District on the format they choose to play.
Following consultation with coaches and Technical Staff, it was clear that Bays did not support a shift to 8v8; however, we have agreed to implement the change to maintain unity and consistency among the Lower Island clubs. Due to player and coach expectations having been compromised for the upcoming season, however, Bays is proposing having the following U13 teams in the U14 league (boys and girls) for the 2018/19 soccer season:
U14 Gold*: in addition to the usual U14 Gold team a second team will be formed, made up entirely of U13’s (let’s call them the U13-11’s)
U14 Silver**: balanced teams made up of U14’s and U13’s that want to play 11v11
* Note that if there aren’t enough qualified boy or girl U13 players that want to play 11v11 to make a full gold team, then those players will be placed on a U14 Silver team or an 8v8 team in the U13 league.
** Subject to player numbers. See team formation below.
The remainder of the U13 players will play in the U13 league in the 8v8 format (let’s call them the U13-8’s.) We anticipate having one U13 Gold team and the remainder of the players on U13 Silver teams (for both boys and girls).
Please note: at this time it is impossible for us to judge how many players will want to play in either format and therefore it’s difficult to know how many teams will be formed in either the U14 or U13 leagues next year. Due to the inherent complexity in team formation, announcement of some teams may be delayed until mid August. There may also be VIPL considerations that would affect this process.
What format should my child should play?
It really depends. There are many reasons to stay with the 8v8 format, such as:
- More touches on the ball = more enjoyment
- Players don’t get isolated
- Less space so players need to find space
- Play is more dynamic
There are reasons that your child might want to play the 11v11 format including:
- Less crowding, more room to run and dribble
- A player with a big shot isn’t confined to a small space
- Physical players are less likely to have contact with other players
A general rule would be if your child is a fast, strong, physical player, then they would probably do well with 11v11. If they are not as strong, another year of 8v8 would help them immeasurably. If you are unsure about where your child should play, contact your U12 coach from the 2017/18 season.
What about Cup play?
U13 teams that are competing in the U14 league will be unable to play B Cup or District Cup at the U14 level. This may mean that U13 teams will not be playing matches on those weekends when the U14 teams are playing in Cup. It is unclear at this time whether the U13-11’s team will be able to compete for the U13 B Cup.
Is LISA going to do anything for the U13 group?
There are plans to possibly have futsal sessions during the year and at the end of the year there will be several weeks of 11v11 exhibition matches.
How will the assessments work?
Each age group will attend assessments for their age group. The U13’s will be run as 8v8. There will be invitations in the next week or so to the top 24-26 U13 players (based on the 8v8 assessments) so they can be seen in an 11v11 format. All players will be notified. If your child does not make the U13-11s Gold team, you will be contacted to determine your child’s preferred option (U13-11s Silver or U13-8s). See further information below.
What if my U13 child wants to play 11v11 but doesn’t make the U13-11’s Gold team?
Your child could play on a U14 Silver team, playing in the U14 League if space permits. We would recommend though that U13 players play on the U13-8’s Gold team (if selected) rather than the U14 Silver team, as the quality of play is likely to be higher.
How will the team formation work?
U13-11’s and U13-8’s Gold Team: After the 11v11 invitational assessment for U13’s (see above), the top 16 U13 players will be offered a spot on the U13-11’s Gold team. If one (or more) of these 16 would prefer to play 8v8, then that spot on the team will go to #17 on the list. We will do this until the team is full and then proceed to fill up the U13-8’s Gold team.
U14 Silver Teams: Recall that the U14 Silver player pool will be a mix of U14 Silver players and U13’s who didn’t make the U13-11’s Gold team but want to play 11v11. For this team (or teams if more than one Silver team) priority will be given to the U14 players who didn’t make the U14 Gold team. They have nowhere else to play; they must play on a U14 Silver team. That team would then be filled up with U13 players if needed. It is possible that some U13 players who want to play 11v11 won’t be able to as numbers won’t permit it. An example of this would be:
- If there are 10 U14 players available for a U14 Silver team and 13 U13’s that want to play 11v11, that’s a total of 23 players, which is too many for one team and not enough for two teams. The 10 U14’s would get priority for the one team and six U13’s would be selected to form a team of 16. The remaining seven U13’s would HAVE to play in the U13 League.