Sunday, December 17, 2017
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HELP COACH MAKE CALL ABOUT FORMNG SOCCER TEAM

It’s time again for “YOU MAKE THE CALL”!
Here is what was presented to me:
A soccer club held a try-out for youth interested in playing on their club soccer team. The try-outs went fine until they got to the 13u and the 14u age divisions. There were just enough 13 year olds to form a 13u team. This meant that there would be no room for anyone to miss a game because of an illness or any other reason. The numbers were just enough to put a team together with only one or possibly two substitutes.
Now, when it came to the 14u age division, only 4 boys showed up for try-outs, obviously not enough to put a team together. The coach did recognize the effort it took for all the kids and parents to at least come so he worked with the kids for an hour giving them a little practice time to at least get the benefit for coming.
When he saw these 14 year olds practice he noticed that their skill development was at a lower level than the 13 year olds. Nice kids and coachable kids, just not very skilled yet.
When this little practice session was over, the coach knew that he had a decision to make as to what to do with these 14 year olds.
These were the 3 options that he came up with…
1. He could tell these 14 year olds that he didn’t have enough kids come to form a team and thus there would be no team for them to play on.
2. He could combine these 4 players with the 13 year olds to make a good-sized team with enough substitute players. The problem with this idea is that now he would be forced to play at the 14 u age division as the rules state that you must play in the age division of the oldest player. He knew that his 13-year-old players were not yet ready for the next age group and the 14 year olds were not skilled enough to carry the team. The anticipated result is lopsided losses, with discouraged and frustrated kids and parents. He also knew that this would not be fun for the opposing teams either; beating a team so badly isn’t fun or helpful for the winning team.
3. He could combine the 2 age groups just like the 2nd option but have them play at the 13u age division, knowing that this would be in violation of the age rule. To justify this idea, he knew that it wouldn’t make any difference at all that he had 4 older kids because they would not be noticed based on their skill level and game contribution. In fact, this is the level that these 14-year-old kids should be playing at anyway according to their skill level.
Ok, can you help this coach out? What should he to do? Are any of these three options a good solution, or do you have a better one?
Let me know by emailing me your response so that ‘YOU CAN MAKE THE CALL’!
tomkuyper@kidsandsports.com

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