How Divisional Team Home Game Times / Fields Get Assigned
Parents occasionally ask why AYSC Divisional team (U11-U18) home game times / field locations aren’t set weeks in advance (e.g. why teams are not given a complete schedule at the start of the season). Below are a few of the things that determine how U11-U18 home game times and fields are assigned. Piecing together everything is no easy task – it typically takes many volunteer hours to get everything worked out.
Taking all of the constraints below into consideration, the Field Coordinator is rarely able to plan beyond the next weekend or two. Game times / fields are usually set by the Tuesday evening preceding any given weekend.
We appreciate your patience as games are organized over the course of each season.
1. Turf Fields Used by Multiple User Groups (Youth & Adult)
Multiple local soccer clubs and user groups (both youth and adult) utilize the Aldergrove Athletic Park fields, which means that there are several turf blocks that are simply not available to AYSC. To come up with the schedules, the Field Coordinator needs to survey several leagues:
- Fraser Valley Men’s Soccer League
- Metro Women’s Soccer League
- BC Old Timers Soccer
- District 5 Boys
- Fraser Valley Youth Soccer (U11 and U12)
- BC Coastal Girls’ Soccer League
AYSC’s own mini soccer schedule (U5-U10) also needs to be taken into consideration. Occasionally there is also “interlock” between U9 and U10 Girls or Boys, where some games are played ‘home’ and ‘away’ with Langley FC and Abbotsford, and these clubs’ schedules need to be consulted.
The smaller East turf field is largely reserved for AYSC youth soccer on Saturdays, and adults on Sundays. The youth mini games are played on the small turf field mainly because the fields are marked for this age group.
In addition, some older youth teams participate in various cup games in addition to regular season games; these are scheduled with little advance notice as the teams win or lose.
Adult teams can usually move their games across fields but not times, which are set months in advance amongst several clubs. Youth games (U11-U18) are more flexible and are placed on whatever field and time can be found. Sometimes with a lot of luck there aren’t that many home games for some age groups and available turf time opens up.
To add one more pressure to the challenge of scheduling, the Township of Langley requires a schedule for night lights by Thursday morning so that they can set the computerized light system accordingly.
The AYSC Field Coordinator does some significant “horse trading” amongst all of the user groups to accommodate as many youth games on the turf as possible.
2. Number of Referees
Sometimes (more often than not) there is a shortage of referees, and this also has to be factored into the mix. If three games are being played at the same time, the AYSC Referee Assigner needs nine different referees. If games overlap timewise (e.g. 10:00-11:30 and 11:00-1:00), this also complicates how many refs are needed.
3. Visiting Teams’ Travel Time
AYSC traveling teams play opponents from as far away as Squamish. It’s unreasonable to expect these visiting teams to be at the park for an early morning (9:00 AM) game, so this is another factor that gets taken into consideration when setting game times / fields.
4. Coach Requests for Specific Game Times
When an AYSC coach makes a request for a specific game time, the Field Coordinator and Referee Assigner attempt to get the best field and best referee team available, at the most convenient time for all concerned. Given all of the constraints above, this often means scheduling a specifically requested game time on a grass field. (In such cases, the AYSC Equipment Manager’s availability must also be considered, to ensure that the specific field is lined.)
When our grass fields are closed by the Township due to weather, much more “juggling” of games is required, including having them played them during the weekdays.
How You Can Help
There are a number of ways you can help the Club to get organized each season:
- be patient – it can take awhile for everything to fall in line each season (and each week)
- keep requests for specific game times to a minimum