Promotion, Relegation and LTPD…
A recent announcement from the EODSA League, a league managed by one of the largest districts in the province left no doubt that as a group while they may support of the concept of Long Term Player Development and the new Ontario Premier Development League as proposed by the Ontario Soccer Association they are willing to undermine the principles of both to meet their own ends.
“The OSA proposal for League Re-structure in 2014 and 2015 raises serious concerns for our member Clubs regarding the U13 divisions in 2013. Consensus is that U13 divisions below OPDL should ALL be done by “self-selection” by Clubs (i.e. no promotion process and no cap of 8 Level 3 and 8 Level 4), thus members wish EODSA to strongly voice this at upcoming OSA meetings, and to vote against the OSA proposal if U13 will be Regional League with caps on team entries.”
Basically the clubs of EODSA while in support of the elimination promotion and relegation by standings and results at the youth level are seemingly in favour of some sort of club directed system that basically amounts to the same thing. This and they are definitely against the restriction of regional leagues to eight teams based on standards of coaching and facilities and are willing to withdraw support of the ODPL to get their way.
What the EODSA clubs are proposing basically amounts to a system of promotion and relegation determined not by results but by political process thus ensuring that ALL clubs or more likely a select group of clubs within the district regardless of standards have a team at the highest level (outside of ODPL).
All so a club can move (or promote) a team of players as a group “up” or “down” the ladder of development not because it is the best thing for the players involved but because politically and financially it is the best thing for the club involved.
That promotion and relegation an entirely adult system of reward and punishment was ever inflicted on youth soccer in this country is the biggest crime perpetrated against player development ever in sport, any sport, in this country.
The reasons I spoke to in a prior article:
“Another spin-off of this muddled morass is the inclusion of promotion and relegation at ALL levels of youth soccer in Ontario. While proponents will preach the virtues of “survival of the fittest” what it has really meant for years is that recruitment has trumped development and winning at almost any cost while never admitted to is the modus operandi for too many coaches and clubs.
It has meant mass player, coach and parent movement between teams, clubs and leagues in the never ending search for the fool’s gold of championships and medals at ever decreasing ages. This movement is a huge resource drain as clubs are continually faced with rebuilding coaching staffs, teams and volunteer pools as the annual migration set off by the end of the playing season rolls around like a nightmarish merry go round that never stops.“
All of this because the “system” we’ve designed favours the movement of teams of players over the movement and development of individuals. In a player oriented development system players would (and should) move teams would not.
It appears though, as always, while almost all clubs are willing it “talk the talk” not all are willing to “walk the walk” – unless of course it is in a self serving circle.