Message for parents who will have rising 2nd graders playing 2018 fall soccer
Written by: League Administrator
Monday, April 30, 2018
U8 Developmental League
The Cape Elizabeth Soccer Club (CESC) is pleased to announce the formation of a U8 development league for the 2018 Fall Season. This league will be open to any and all players whose birth dates fall between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011. It will provide these young players with a great opportunity to more gradually transition into the travel soccer program, which we believe will result in a better experience for this age group than was available in previous years.
Why is CESC creating a separate league for U8 players?
CESC teams participate in the Fall Classic League administered by Soccer Maine. Soccer Maine is the governing body for youth Soccer in Maine. Soccer Maine does not offer a U8 league. Historically, CESC has combined U8 and U9 ages to play in the U9 league. This allowed U8 players to participate in travel soccer by playing in a U9 league.
The club experienced an exceptional number of U8 player registrations this season. As a result, we are unable to comply with the current bylaws that Soccer Maine has instituted that require more true U9 players on teams than U8 players on teams that are competing in their league as U9 teams. We have exhausted all avenues that exist with Soccer Maine for the coming fall season in an effort to comply with their bylaws or be granted waivers for our exceptional enrollment. CESC does not believe in cutting players who wish to play in order to comply with the bylaw.
Our mission is to grow and develop skills, understanding, sportsmanship and a passion for soccer for any and all kids U8-U14 who wish to play soccer in Cape Elizabeth. Therefore, the Board has formed what we believe will be an exceptional experience for these first year U8 players and their families. We recognize that this is not what may have been anticipated with your registration, but reviewing input from previous years' U9 coaches meetings, season feedback from parents and our own observations, we believe this will be an even better experience that will ease the transition from town rec to CESC travel and the “soccer load" on first year players and families, and help foster and develop a love of the game for the kids.
What will my kid's team look like?
U8 players will be in a “pool" of U8 girls and a “pool" of U8 boys. There will not be separate teams per se. Instead, all the U8 girls will practice together as one group, and all the U8 boys will practice together as another group. Each weekend we will break the kids up into teams so that they will have opportunities to play with and against each other and to provide a competitive balance in matches.
What will practices be like and who will coach them?
Practices will begin the week of August 20th. Each pool of players will receive 2 GPS led practices a week. These practices will be led by GPS coaches and attended by the parent coaches assigned to each “pool" of players and thus will aid in the development of coaching as well. This will give the kids 6 quality practices before their first match. By comparison, our U9 teams only receive 1 GPS led practice per week. We believe that by having an additional practice with GPS each week for U8 that the kids' growth and understanding of the game will be greatly aided and prepare them better for match play in future years. GPS is the Global Premier Soccer group who works with youth soccer in the surrounding area and runs club teams that play in out-of-state leagues. It is an organization with professional coaches who have chosen soccer for a living. In short it is what they do all the time with an excellent development curriculum.
What will we do for games and how is that different from Soccer Maine?
Each pool of U8 kids will play 8-10 games throughout the course of the season. Game play will begin after Labor Day and conclude around mid-October. We expect games will include co-ed, U8 vs. U9, and an out of town team. We anticipate a primarily if not completely home schedule.
Soccer Maine at the U9 age has 6 Sundays of Soccer and a one Day Year End Jamboree. Coaches typically get 2-4 extra games called “friendlies". Our teams also participate in a two-day Columbus Day tournament. Most parent feedback that we receive says this is a lot of soccer for the U8 and U9 group and that they wished Columbus Day were just one day and the end of the season. Our development U8 league addresses some of these concerns.
Will the games be any different than Soccer Maine games?
No. The kids will be in uniform on the same size fields with officials refereeing the games. The parents who have signed up to coach at this level will be the ones coaching the kids during the games. There will be nothing different about how games are conducted.
Does my kid still need a uniform?
Yes. The kids will still need to order the CESC uniform kit. They are reusable the next season. They will want to wear them when everyone else does to school, on game days, and as a ball boy/girl at a HS game during the season. We recognize that one team will have to wear pinnies when they play Cape vs Cape games but having different uniforms for that would not allow families to continue to use the same kit the following season.
Can my kid still do the Pre-Season HS camp August 13-16th?
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to all sign up. It is a great kickoff to the season. It connects the kids to the HS program. They will start to recognize their future referees. They will have fun and learn some soccer with the current HS players, many of whom came through CESC.
Can I opt out of this and what are my options?
You may opt out of the U8 development league and receive a refund. There are no other options with CESC to play this season. Your other in-town option would be to enroll in the Saturday only Community Services program.
I have questions; who should I contact to get more information?
Michael Moore (email@example.com) is the U8 and U9 travel director and will be able to help you determine if this is a good fit for your child. Our guess without knowing your situation is yes, as you signed up with CESC most likely looking for more soccer. Yes, this is new and yes there will likely be a bump in the road or two but the idea of two GPS practices a week accompanied by more local matches from Labor Day to Columbus Day makes this league an excellent transition for the U8 player into CESC's travel program.
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