Wednesday, July 08, 2015


Wow...I started this blog in 2003!  It is interesting how AYSO links people together.  Last year I was in Nashville, Tennessee (of all places) and who do I spy at a vendor table?  Jeff!

Jeff's daughter was on one of the teams I coached (for my daughter) in sunny California around ten years ago, and there he was in Tennessee.  It was fun talking about our kids and how similar all moody teenage girls are, no matter what state they live in (mine is mostly the state of denial).

So, here we are a decade later, and I am gearing up for a new season.  This year will mostly be referee stuff as the Director of Referee Instruction, but I *may* coach again if my little one (not so little anymore!) wants me to.

We have setup our basic referee courses, and are tweaking the dates for our intermediate referee class.

Trying to setup some sort of opening day ceremony - however...I have decided that I don't want to be the guy who does everything.  I put out a call to the board for helpers, and if nobody steps up then it just isn't meant to be. I guess that's what I've figured out as an AYSO helper - don't be the guy who does everything.  It just takes up too much time, and you really aren't that appreciated.  Get more helpers, and at least you can complain about everybody else NOT helping to each other.

OK, we're off!  Stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

BU10 Team 12

We had our first practice!
Only four players showed up :(  I ended up sending an email to all the parents chiding them for not keeping me in the loop, if their kids are not going to make practice.

I have two strong players, and two weaker ones (so far).  Trevor was a pretty good keeper last year; we'll have to see what shakes out when the rest of the team shows up for practice.

First game on Saturday!   Let's hope we do well...

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Pre-season recap

First games are Friday night!

We had a lot of trouble getting coaches this year.  We had to disband a BU10 team!  Fortunately we were able to absorb the kids into other teams, but it was hard.  I don't know what parents are thinking! 

This is really a failure of our previous coach administration - which was non-existent.  We get a good surge in U6-U8, it really is pretty easy - training is online, no pressure, teams are fun.  What we need to do, is encourage those guys starting in the middle of the season to think about getting the next level of training.

We did this with the referees - seeing who is having fun, supporting them, and encouraging them to go to class.  We can do this with the coaches too!

However, what I hated the most were the teams where the parents didn't even bother to get back to us.  I find this quite rude.  I wanted to disband those teams just because!  In any case, this whole division had better not expect any favors!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Turkey Tournament 2012 - won't happen.

Even though I put in the work, everybody seems to be too busy to pull it off this year.
However, I have assurances that we WILL do this next year!

U10 Team formation success!

We just had a successful team formation.  There was an element of controversy last year; due to the MIA status of our RC.  The division comissioners did a yeoman's job so setting up the teams, but did so without input and there was, at the very least there was an appearance of impropriety (if not actual ethical lapses).

Also, the past RC allowed the comissioners to be in charge of the divisions in which their kids played, again allowing for an appearance of conflict.  It didn't help that the teams did well (it might have been good coaching) -- there was a lot of complaints and accusations flying about.  So much so, that we had arguments from parents at boad meetings and had to hold two meetings of the  'Fair and balanced team fomation committee'.  The bottom line is that we repeatedly had to hold up our Regional Guidelines to show that we have a way of balancing teams - the procedures just weren't followed.

So, we had team formations.  Some coaches showed up, and we even had some player evaluations!
I printed out all the players on 3x5 index cards.

I had the coaches rank all the players, based upon personal knowledge, evaluations, and years in the league.  We then 'snaked' them, starting with the best 9 yr old players down to the weakest players. Then we reversed it for the 8 yr olds.  The coaches all agreed that the teams looked balanced, then we move it so each team had a coach or a potential coach.  We then had a double draw and adjusted the teams.  Had everyone look, and made some adjustments that were approved by everybody to fine tune it.

So now we had full transparency; anyone at the meeting can't complain because they all said it looked good - and anyone who wasn't there doesn't get to complain!  If they cared, they should have attended; it was open to everyone...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fund raising

We went out and signed up with Community Discount Cards, a fundraising group.  We select 30 local business, and then they go out and try to get them to give some sort of discount (10% discount, free drink, etc).  We get 50% of the selling price, and the company sets up incentives for kids selling the most, and so forth.  I polled the board for suggestions, and only a few came back with anything.(I told the rest they had no right to complain in the future).  The RC signed, and we are ready to go!
Initial order is 1000 cards, which is about how many players we have in,  I suspect each player in the competitive divisions should be able to sell two cards each.  Let's see how it works!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Turkey Tournament 2012 is moving closer!

Jay agreed to be our Referee Administrator for the tournament!  He wondered a bit about what he would have to do, besides looking cool in his shades, master of his domain, kind of like the Road Boss in "Cool Hand Luke."

Essentially, the RA has to round up sufficient 'local' referees to to handle any matches that won't be covered by referee teams provided by the participating teams; verifying the eligibility/appropriateness of the referee teams provided by said teams; making sure all games are covered; and finally verifying that the referees for a particular team fulfilled their obligations thus can get their deposit back.

I have been corresponding with other regions about their tournaments, one RC told me that 70% of the teams forfeit their referee deposit!  (which run about $300 per tournament!).

So far, this is the swag (Stuff We All Get):

Region tournament pins - Everyone
T-shirts - Everyone
Ref Patch - Referee
Ref Flipping Coin - Referee
Ref Food - three games and you get a greasy burger and limp french fries

Ray Bradbury died.

What does this have to do with soccer?  Nothing. However, we need more than soccer in our lives.

I like Ray Bradbury's earlier works.  Farenheit 451 was ground breaking, read that when I was quite young.  I liked the Martian Chronicles; at the time I was a big fan of "hard science fiction" with rocket ships and technology - these stories explored the human side of science.  Then he drifted into fantasy, and I sort of stopped reading his stuff.  There was a huge paradigm shift in science fiction, away from science and predictions of the future; everyone turned to fantasy works. Now, I like swords and magic as well as the next guy, but I missed the future stuff.  Almost nobody was able to predict how computers would change our lives and society; all the SF writers thought we would have atomic powered cars and FTL transport capabilities; little did they realize that we would have computer driven cards and the Internet.

Science is coming back into Science Fiction; and Ray would have been right up there, reminding us that for every alien we crush beneath our treads, the loss dimishes humankind.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Spring League is over!

Had no team to play against for the last game :(

We played 3 on 3; the kids had a good time - however this personified the season for me.
I don't think we will bother with Spring soccer next year.  No focus, no commitment, and we weren't able to wrestle at any tournaments which hurt us at the National wrestling finals.