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ECNL/PLW Next year...

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ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:43 am

Looks like it's going to be here faster than we thought... If you are an 03 next May will be your tryouts... Good luck! Thought there would be an extra year of OPL! How tough will that be against to 03s that are early year birthdays?
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by TSCSOCCERDAD on Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:13 am

I think it's going to be a wash. It may be harder on some of the smaller clubs due to numbers. Personally I'm glad as it will give my kiddos another challenge, as all of mine are late in the year birthdays. Get to play on a new team with a new coach. Messi born in June and Rooney and Pele born in October so there is hope. May force your kid to acquire some new set of skill to compete. Maybe they get to play a new position. Of course, they could go from a strong team to a stinky team.

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by bird04 on Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:13 pm

Yellowcard wrote:Looks like it's going to be here faster than we thought...  If you are an 03 next May will be your tryouts...  Good luck!  Thought there would be an extra year of OPL!  How tough will that be against to 03s that are early year birthdays?

Could you post a link to the ECNL part of this assertion? Thanks!

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:42 pm

It's all out there for you to discover with your big words... Lol. If your kid is an 03 birthyear then they will be u14 next season. ECNL is u14 and up. Also, the ECNL forums have mentioned it and I might have picked up some info along the way from additional reliable sources. Or I'm making it all up to see what people say...
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by bird04 on Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:22 pm

Have heard a lot about OPL, but not much about ECNL except for tschlurker's input. Was just wondering if you had a link because I was curious. And, yes, "assertion" might be considered by some to be a big word, I guess. But it fits well here 'cuz, as you stated, "Or I'm making it all up...." That would be an assertion (true or false) on your part until backed up by some evidence. So post some evidence so we can all get a little better informed. No big deal, I would think. Wink

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:07 pm

The big word comment was totally a joke that you didn't get... But moving on, it wouldn't be a big deal if I weren't concerned about giving my source away so I will instead post the following that is subject to change of course...

ECNL Directors of Coaching:
On August 24, 2015, the US Soccer Federation announced several significant changes to the youth competition environment to be implemented in the coming years. Fundamentally, these changes have been made in the interests of long term player development and can be placed into 2 major categories: (i) player age group cut-off dates; and (ii) small-sided game structures and sizes. (To read the full US Soccer announcement click here.)
As a league sanctioned by US Club Soccer (a national association member of US Soccer), the ECNL is required to follow the rules, regulations and policies of US Soccer – including these new mandates. As a developmentally focused organization, the ECNL also supports any attempts to create a better environment for youth players.
The recent US Soccer mandates will have an impact on almost every facet of youth competition in this country. Of immediate importance to ECNL clubs, these mandates – and especially the change to calendar year registration – will require adjustments to the structure of ECNL competition. Since US Club Soccer and other national sanctioning bodies have determined to implement the calendar year age group change beginning in the 2016-17 competition season –this adjustment will occur in ECNL competition in less than 12 months. The changes that will be implemented by the ECNL are outlined below and in the attached document.
ECNL Changes Due to Birth Year Registration / Age Group Cut-Offs: EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2016
Beginning August 1, 2016, ECNL teams will be formed using the new age group cut-off date of January 1. The most significant impact of this change is that teams will now generally consist of players in two different school years; in other words, players born from January 1 to July 31 will generally be a year older in school than the players born from August 1 to December 31. To accommodate the structural challenges imposed by these changes, ECNL competition will be structured as follows in 2016-2017:
Age Group
Birth Year (Jan 1)
ECNL National Event Requirement
U17/18
1998/1999 (Juniors/Seniors)
2 Regular Season ECNL National Events
U16
2000 (Sophomores/Juniors)
3 Regular Season ECNL National Events
U15
2001 (Freshman/Sophomores)
3 Regular Season ECNL National Events
U14
2002 (8th Graders/Freshman)
1 Regular Season ECNL National Events
U13
2003 (7th Graders/8th Graders)
Optional Regular Season ECNL Events Only

The new ECNL competition structure outlined above addresses several challenges imposed by the mandates:
· U17/18 Players: The combination of the U17 and U18 age groups has a positive developmental impact by insuring U17 players play “up” while also addressing the inherent player shortage that would otherwise occur in “pure” U18 competition in a calendar-based age group. (This shortage occurs because in a calendar-based age group every year a percentage of “rising U18s” will actually be graduating from high school and will no longer be participating in youth soccer.)
· College Showcasing: As the oldest ECNL age group will now include a high percentage of juniors in high school, this age group will have increased collegiate showcasing needs. Accordingly, this age group will now have 2 required ECNL National Events each year to allow appropriate showcasing. The total number of required ECNL events per club will remain the same (9 per year), as the youngest age group including freshman aged players will only have 1 event.
· 5 Years of ECNL Competition. For development reasons, it is important to maintain five years of ECNL competition for players. By using a January 1 age group cut-off, the youngest age group in the ECNL will now technically be labeled U13 – although this age group will actually include players that are only 6 months younger than would have entered the ECNL in previous years.
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by bird04 on Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:50 pm

Very good! And sorry if I missed your joke...in my experience many don't have a sense of humor (maybe me, too?!)... What I read from this is that U13 (7th/8th Graders) will have only an optional regular season requirement. I guess that means that the Club is not obligated to form the U13 Group? Or could they form a U13 group but elect never to play? It will be interesting to see what happens....

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:14 pm

No worries! I am always joking around... But in all seriousness, This letter was sent around to the DOC's of ECNL clubs. You are right that they are not obligated to form a team as it is optional and for this age group there will not be any National Events. You will get those later on as they get older. I can't give you evidence but I know that ECNL and PLW will happen for the 03 age group next year with certainty. Also, be on the lookout for opportunities to play in pure age tournaments in many ages over the coming months... This will give them a better idea of who might be playing together next season. If Texas does it then you better believe TSCH is going to try it as well...
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by bird04 on Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:11 pm

Thanks! Very helpful. Do you have any direct knowledge of 03 ECNL/PLW next year at TSCH, in particular, or is this just the general trend in TX/OK of which you are speaking?

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:25 pm

That is exactly who I am referring to... All of that is directly speaking about TSCH. Be ready if your kid is an 03... Its going to happen but as I always tell people, don't be discouraged if your kid doesn't make ECNL the first year or the second... PLW is a great vehicle as well. I also believe this age group will have a very solid OPL team too! Lots of talent in the 03 birth year!!!
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by bird04 on Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:57 pm

Thanks again!

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:14 am

You are welcome! I will be sure to update with any info I can release... Should hear some more next week!
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by tschlurker on Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:17 am

The letter is very interesting, but given the new age matrix the age groupings are technically inaccurate. http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/assets/1/15/US%20Youth%20Soccer%20Birth%20Year%20and%20Season%20Matrix.pdf
03s now will become U14 next year (not U13) so it seems they would definitely be in ECNL and SRPL (PLW morphed into SRPL this year). It seems that means late in the year 03s - 7th graders next year - get 6 years of ECNL.

Having an older kid the more interesting part (looking at the U17/18 Players and College Showcase sections) is that it appears ECNL is going to combine the entire birth year 99 group with the 98s still in High School. ECNL clubs will thus have a 99/98 team and an 00 team but no 99 team. This seems unusual to me and I hope other leagues do it differently; it seems that ECNL will have to do the same thing every year (in 2017-18 the remaining HS senior 99s would group with the birth year 00s etc.), which injects even more team change into the birth year switch.

There will be drama...

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:50 pm

You are exactly right! The letter came out before the updated matrix as well... There could be a select few that get 6 years for sure! I was thinking that the u19 piece would help the problem you list above but it hasn't all been hashed out yet. The thing that a lot of parents fail to realize is that team change is actually going to happen throughout the career of a soccer player. The really good players can play with anyone at any time. The quicker they get used to it the better they will be for it.
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by tschlurker on Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:23 pm

The kids usually figure it out, it is the parents who lose their minds. Once they get to high school they play with older (sometimes way older) kids every day, so high school juniors playing with seniors is not a stretch.  Still not sure if the way  they've apparently decided to do things at the upper ages makes the most sense, and could lead to bigger changes than is usually the case.  For example, it seems likely this year's 99 ECNL team will  stay pretty intact as next year's 98/99 team when they become seniors as they are one of the better teams in the country.   So many of the about 10 kids born in the last half of 99 who currently play 00 ECNL many not be able to play ECNL next year in their junior year if there is no pure age 99 team.  That doesn't seem to match up with a 5 year development/college exposure plan.

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:58 pm

I agree... That whole thing with ECNL when they get older is gonna be tough to line out. Seems like the late in the year birthdays are the ones that will get hurt the most by it... I don't have an answer to make that any better! What about u19 in ECNL?
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by tschlurker on Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:21 pm

That would make more sense than the current plan.   TSCH original plan was to allow senior 99s to play up with the their 98 classmates, but I think that plan anticipated there would also be a pure 99 team.  
However they slice the ages kids born in a certain part of the year will face an age bias, it is unavoidable.  It is the late-in-the-year-birthday kids' turn, but it would seem there are fairer ways to do it than grouping 99s with 98s (which creates an 18-20 month difference between the youngest/oldest in the age group instead of 12 months).

Thanks again for the info, look forward to updates.

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:25 pm

You have a good point... The age bias is always unavoidable. Look at the current teams in place and how most top teams are made up of the majority late in the year birthdays... I think some of that is going to flip flop... Not in every case of course but I can see it happening quite a bit for sure.

Hopefully there will be some more news next week!
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Soonerdad04 on Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Congrats to all the teams this Fall season! Good luck on all the upcoming tourneys and have a great Holiday season with your families!

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by tschlurker on Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:27 pm

Yellowcard, any word on what ECNL finally decided with the issue of grouping all 99s with 98s next year?

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:39 pm

Sounds like there won't be enough to form a u19 team because half of the year will be gone to college... That is still a possibility but not certain. The other option is forming two teams if the player pool is large enough. If there are enough 99s and leftover 98s to make two teams that would work too.
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by bird04 on Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:56 am

Yellowcard wrote:Sounds like there won't be enough to form a u19 team because half of the year will be gone to college...  That is still a possibility but not certain.  The other option is forming two teams if the player pool is large enough.  If there are enough 99s and leftover 98s to make two teams that would work too.  

That is exactly why USYS is so brilliant! This true age thing is a fantastic way to clear out overly crowded practice fields by removing most seniors in HS from playing...Think of all the money saved across the USA what with clubs not having to invest in expensive extra fields, etc...Now if we can just get a bunch of kids to quit in the younger ages 'cuz their friends have had to move to other teams, well...then maybe the clubs can sell some of the now superfluous real estate. Genius plan, I say!

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:07 am

While I agree it doesn't make sense in many ways I think the only option is to embrace it... I don't imagine it's gonna go away. I will say one thing in reply to the younger ages remark. If kids quit because their friends move to another team I might suggest that they weren't cut out for competitive sports and possibly a "friends matter most" rec team is better for them? Perhaps?
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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by bird04 on Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:51 pm

[quote="Yellowcard"]While I agree it doesn't make sense in many ways I think the only option is to embrace it...  I don't imagine it's gonna go away.  I will say one thing in reply to the younger ages remark.  If kids quit because their friends move to another team I might suggest that they weren't cut out for competitive sports and possibly a "friends matter most" rec team is better for them?  Perhaps?[/quote

Perhaps. But I would note that over the last few years, the overall number of kids playing soccer has declined (along with other youth sports, to be sure)...the first time this has happened, I believe. So the effect on club financial health of a 10-15% drop in comptetive players will be very bad, especially for the smaller clubs (already burdened with new field requirements for the small sided rules). And, while infrequent, there is always the young girl who may be in it for the social aspects, but later on develops into a top flight player. I can think of 2-3 in my oldest daughter's age group just off the top of my head. Once you mandate that 7th graders will now have to play along side 8th graders, etc....that 10-15% drop off looks very likely, IMHO, especially on the girl's side of club soccer where girls don't move around from team to team as much as the boys seem to.
I agree that there's nothing to do about it, as it is coming regardless of how much people complain. But that doesn't relieve us of the duty to call something stupid when it is, in fact, stupid. At the very least, it'll be an interesting spring tryout season!

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Re: ECNL/PLW Next year...

Post by Yellowcard on Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:59 pm

There are some valid points there! Club health is an important part I agree. But I also think a certain amount of Natural Selection (Survival of the fittest) in competitive sports is a good thing... Let's be honest... There are 10-15% that don't have what it takes to play competitively anyway. Having kids that have played up for multiple seasons in the past I can tell you it was great for my players. And it definitely helped with the competitive edge that helped them make top teams in their own age group later. Kids make new friends so easily... if they really love the game they won't quit. Yes it's stupid if you are negatively affected but if this age group change is something that will benefit your player then the outlook can be different. I have talked to many parents and the half that fall in the late year birthdays are the only ones I hear complaining... Like I have said before, it is flip flopped for the early year birthdays as now they get to be the older kids on the team... Either way most kids only have a couple kids on their team they go to school with so that doesn't really matter anyway, not to mention if they go to a big school they probably don't see each other every day. I also think its healthy to allow the girls to change teams a little to make them a more complete player. They all need to know how to play with different styles anyway. The other half of people are upset that their long time team is getting split up but they fail to realize that it might be a blessing in disguise.
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