Today’s post concludes our series on the WA Youth Soccer structural overview. We’ve covered the history of the Constitutional Convention and the goals of Seamless Soccer; how our membership is represented through our Board of Directors and Soccer Operations Committee; and the background on our move from the Administrative Handbook to the new Operating Documents. Perhaps the most exciting change to our organization’s structure was the creation of the subcommittees of the Soccer Operations Committee that address specific levels of play. The ability of each level of play to address their needs while still working together with the other subcommittees to achieve the goals of the entire organization is the key to making WA Youth Soccer capable of providing the best player development to all children in our state. We’ll cover how the subcommittees were established and give an update on what each subcommittee is
Once the Soccer Operations Committee was up and running in the months after the 2009 Annual General Meeting, WA Youth Soccer staff, the Board of Directors, and the SOC began working on the formation of subcommittees of the SOC. Three subcommittees were established over the year following the 2009 AGM: Recreation, to address issues of recreational play; Select, to address the issues of select clubs that are not part of the Regional Club League; and Regional Club, which governs the Regional Clubs and the Regional Club League.
When the Player Development League worked with WA Youth Soccer to reincorporate as a state-administered league, the Player Development League transitioned into the Regional Club League in June 2010. Part of this process included establishing and populating the Regional Club Subcommittee with Regional Club Presidents and Directors of Coaching, as well as key WA Youth Soccer staff members and a Board of Directors member, in preparation for the reincorporation. The subcommittee has been extremely successful in facilitating the transition from an Intra-District League to a state-administered league, primarily by working as a team to accomplish the development objectives of the top level of play in WA Youth Soccer. The subcommittee format allows the Regional Clubs to work
together to identify what their needs are and then communicate that to WA Youth Soccer to help shape the direction of soccer programs and resources. A big thank you from WA Youth Soccer goes out to each person who has served on the committee over the past year!
The Recreation and Select Subcommittees were established in fall 2010 and are working on identifying the goals of both levels of play. The Select Subcommittee has been working on issues such as tryout dates, select level structure of our State Cup Tournaments, establishing player development models that align with the WA Youth Soccer Long Term Player Development plan, and exploring how best to work with the Regional Club Subcommittee on breaking down the administrative barriers to player movement between these levels of play. The committee members are passionate about the select level of play and each meeting I’ve attended has included great conversation and debate. The next
Select Subcommittee meeting is this morning and will be focusing goals for the upcoming 2011-2012 season.
The Recreation Subcommittee has experienced the most challenging start, possibly because of the nature of the recreational level of play. Recreational play typically occurs for one short season per year and is more heavily coached and administrated by volunteers on a seasonal basis. As this is our largest level of play, it is a priority for our organization to
support this membership through the dissemination of best practices for player development as passed down from FIFA and US Soccer, as well as providing new coaches and volunteers with education and training on all areas needed to run a healthy, happy recreational program. WA Youth Soccer staff is devoted to reinvigorating this subcommittee and is continuously looking for more ways to address the needs of our recreational players and coaches through the subcommittee’s work.
WA Youth Soccer is currently looking for more members that would like to participate in both the Select and Recreation subcommittees, members who want to be a part of setting the direction of recreational and select play. Subcommittee meetings are usually monthly or quarterly, with the flexibility of in-person and conference call options. The subcommittees are a great environment for sharing experiences and best practices of other
Clubs/Associations around the state and it gives your Club/Association a direct connection to the resources that WA Youth Soccer offers. If you’re interested in joining the Select or Recreation Subcommittees, feel free to contact me at Hillary@WashingtonYouthSoccer.org and I’ll link you up with the subcommittee chairs to learn more.
This wraps up the structural overview of WA Youth Soccer and hopefully has provided you with more background on how we operate. As you can see, the participation of the volunteers and administrators from Clubs and Associations across the state is vital to the success of WA Youth Soccer in fulfilling our mission: to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of the State of Washington’s youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition.
What questions do you have about WA Youth Soccer’s structure? Are there any areas you’d like us to cover in a future post? Share your ideas in the comments and maybe we’ll dedicate a future post to you!