Kids wanting more soccer this summer will have that chance because the Williams Lake Youth Soccer is introducing a co-ed six versus six league for players born in 1995 through to 2002 that will run from August through to Thanksgiving.
“We have had co-ed in the past when we had lower numbers in our older age groups, but the six versus six format is new and we’ve never really run a summer fall league,” said WLYSA administrator Rob Tazelaar, adding it’s all about having fun. “It will be recreational, not super competitive, but a chance to kick the ball around.”
A demand for more soccer from players ages 11 and up is driving the decision to give it a try.
“The demand is there so it’s basically a pilot project and we’ll see how it goes,” Tazelaar said.
“If it works, great. If it doesn’t, we’ll try something else. If we had tried to run another league we might have been OK with it, but I don’t know about numbers because so many people are away on vacation and on the tail end of it, we’re running into hockey.”
It’s about trying to find a balance, he added.
There will be no practices and all games will take place up at Esler on weekday evenings Monday through Thursday, leaving weekends free for players and families.
Age divisions will be formed based on the number of registrants and players are guaranteed 10 games, playing on a U12 sized playing field using U12 sized goals and U12 rules.
Halves will be 30 minutes in duration.
Tazelaar has been involved with youth soccer in Williams Lake for more than a decade and said it’s on the rise.
“Our numbers were up by 50 players overall so we’re back up over 1,000 players again,” he said. “The final count was 1,024.”
Praising the WLYSA executive, Tazelaar said the members show leadership and direction.
“They require a lot but they get things done and I think soccer’s moving forward for the kids in this town,” he said. “We had a big bump in the U9 females and our U5 numbers were huge and held from last year when they were U4s.”
Commenting on the colourful t-shirts selected for the younger soccer players this last season, Tazelaar said it was lots of fun.
“We tried grey camouflage for one of the U10 boys teams and they loved it so we might extend it into all the mini boys divisions,” he chuckled. “I tried one team to see how it would go and it seemed pretty good.”
The Future Stars program for players aged nine and ten is still running through the summer, and depending on how the new summer fall co-ed program does, WLYSA will decide which programs will continue.
“We’re giving everything a whirl and we’ll see what sticks,” Tazelaar said.
If people register for the summer fall league by July 31 2013 they will receive an early registration fee of $50.00 ($85.00 if player was not registered in the spring season).
The regular registration rate of $75.00 per player is in effect after July 31, ($110.00 if player was not registered in the 2013 spring season).
If you would like to help coach/supervise with this new program, please contact Rob at the WLYSA office by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 250-392-1103.