Ever wonder how a youth sports league schedule gets created? Here are a few of the things that determine how and when the AYSC Fall or Spring schedules get made up.
1. Number of Fields
Plotting out field usage is a challenging puzzle itself. The Township of Langley assigns a block of days and times to AYSC each season, and within that block we need to plan for game and practice fields and times for approximately 30 teams (or 700 kids). The Developmental program is run entirely at Brown field Wednesdays and Saturdays, which means we have to plot out enough fields to get all teams through each day or night in a limited number of hours.
We also usually try and balance the schedules so that a team’s games are spread across time slots, so that a team doesn’t end up with ALL early or ALL late games, especially with the younger kids. (We also try to ensure that the TOTAL number of teams down at Brown is even across time slots, so that parking isn’t a complete nightmare.)
It typically takes members of the Executive a full 6 person-hours to initially line the fields for the season. But in order to know how many fields are needed for each age group, we need to know the…
2. Number of Teams in Each Age Group / Number of Coaches
Of course no schedule can be made until teams have been formed – without knowing how many teams will play in each age group, it’s impossible to determine who will play when. An additional challenge we sometime face at the Developmental level is having enough coaches – teams can’t be created until enough parents have stepped forward to coach teams (for example, we often have to do some shuffling of players between our draft team lists once coaches have been identified, to make sure that a player ends up on their parent-coach’s team). And so the formation of teams is based on…
3. Number of Player Registrations
Aldergrove typically has a high number of late registrations – many come in well beyond our August 1 “deadline”. (In 2012/2013, 112 players or 22% registered late.) Our Club tries to not turn away anyone who wants to play soccer in Aldergrove even if they register late. We do have an “early registration” discount to try and increase before-deadline registrations, but many people simply don’t get around to registering until the new school year rolls around. We could strictly enforce a ‘no late registration policy’ like some other local clubs; this might allow us to plan schedules sooner, but MANY youth in our community would be turned away from playing soccer, and far fewer teams would play against each other.