BC Soccer confirms no league standings for U12 and below

Posted on May 9th, 2013 by BC Soccer

Vancouver, BC: BC Soccer recently further highlighted its commitment the Canadian Soccer Associations (CSA) Wellness to World Cup Long Term Player Development (LTPD) program/model by re-confirming that there are to be no recording and posting of standings for U12 and below.

LTPD’s recommendation is that no league standings are to be recorded within the first three stages of development, Active Start, FUNdamentals and Learning to Train (these stages run between the ages of U4-U12). The BC Soccer Small Sided/Mini Soccer Development Manual has been updated to adhere to this recommendation for these age groups.

BC Soccer supports competition at all level and with the elimination of standings in children’s leagues, it is not intended to reduce the intensity of the competition among players in a game situation. LTPD recognizes that playing with competitive commitment and intensity is necessary to advance player development in ball technique, decision-making, mental concentration, and other skills and capacities.

Through the guidance and experience of the CSA, it has been established that young children will compete even in the absences of league standings. All young players understand that soccer is a game for scoring goals and “winning.” Simple observation of children’s soccer around the world shows that the absence of a trophy or league title does nothing to diminish each player’s desire to compete each time they step onto the field.

“Across the country, this has been a topic of debate and we at BC Soccer wanted our membership to know our stance on this; the matches themselves will still drive competition for these players but we need to distance ourselves from the WIN AT ALL COSTS mentality”, stated Luca Dalla Pace, BC Soccer’s LTPD Liaison. “This is a positive change that we made for the appropriate development our players within these important stages of development”, continued Dalla Pace.

Long-Term Player Development is a CSA soccer-specific adaptation of the Long-Term Athlete Development model (LTAD) developed by Canadian Sport Centres and is designed to promote lifelong enjoyment of physical activity, provide a structured player development pathway, describe best practices for elite player development and create long-term excellence.

“It is encouraging to see the continued support of a majority of our membership as it relates to this responsible development based policy. There are still a few that find change difficult, the pros of this definitely outweigh the cons and over time we will continue to see the benefits of the removal of the standings at these critical stages of development”, said Michael Findlay, Director of Soccer Development for BC Soccer and a member of the Canadian Soccer Association LTPD National Working Group.

“I believe that this is a step in the right direction in the development of our young players. Too many times coaches will coach to “win at all cost” at the younger ages so that they can see their team listed on the top of the standings, instead of coaching for the development of the players themselves. The game will always have a result and competition is important on that day but we must look at the overall development of all the players in our game. Standings over the season in the most part are for coaches, parents and administrators not the players themselves.”, said Dante Zanatta, Technical Director of Kelowna United

BC Soccer continues to be a leading Province in Canada with the implementation and education of LTPD; some of the highlight’s to date include:

  • Eliminated the Provincial Cup at U12
  • First Province to adhere to Small Sided and Mini Soccer Game Format
  • First Province to hire a dedicated staff member to LTPD
  • LTPD Implementation Plan was completed late 2009
  • Creation of Club Specific Player Development Manuals

The revised Small Sided/Mini Soccer Development Manual can be found here.

For information about Long Term Player Development (LTPD), please contact:
Luca Dalla Pace
Programs Coach / LTPD & Goalkeeping Program Coordinator

About BC Soccer

BC Soccer is the provincial sport governing body responsible for the promotion and development of the game in British Columbia. The professional not-for-profit society is committed to developing the game by inspiring British Columbians to lifelong active, inclusive and team play. Its vision is to pursue Canada's foremost integrated soccer development system built upon club, school, varsity and professional team excellence.

BC Soccer is comprised of 150 member Clubs, Districts and Leagues, spanning more than 120,000 registered players, over 2,500 referees, and thousands of coaches and other volunteer administrators and soccer leaders. Working with these member Clubs, Districts and Leagues, BC Soccer will operate under the guiding principles of Professional Leadership, Passionate Service and Progressive Collaboration. In managing its relationships throughout the larger soccer community, BC Soccer will promote the integral soccer values of authenticity, unity and integrity.

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