NCSL BOD Meeting Minutes | 3/21/22

NCSL Board Meeting

March 21, 2022

Via Zoom

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m.

I.          Roll Call

The following clubs were in attendance at the meeting: A3, Alexandria Soccer Association, Alliance Soccer Club, Annandale Boys & Girls Club, Arlington Youth Soccer Club, Blue Ridge United, Braddock Road Youth Club, Brookland FC, Burke Athletic Club, Calvert Soccer Association, Calverton Soccer Club, DC Soccer Club, DORADUS, Epic Soccer Club, Fairfax Police Youth Club, FC Charles, FC Dulles, FC Frederick, FCVA Ashburn, Fredericksburg FC, Fredericksburg Soccer Club, Front Royal Soccer Association, Great Falls – Reston, Gunston Soccer Club, Hagerstown Soccer Club, Herndon Youth Soccer Association, La Plata Soccer Academy, Laurel Soccer Club, Lee-Mt. Vernon Sports Club, Leesburg Football Club, Loudoun Soccer Club, Maryland Rush, Maryland Rush Montgomery, McLean Youth, Montgomery Soccer, Northern Virginia Soccer Club, OBGC (Olney), Old Dominion Football Club, Player Progression Academy, Potomac Soccer Association, Premier Athletic Club, Prince William Soccer, Inc., Real World Futbal Club, South County Athletic Association, Springfield South County Youth Club, St. Mary's Soccer, Stafford Soccer Club, Sterling Youth Soccer Association, Takoma Park Soccer Club, Thunder Soccer Club, Vienna Youth Soccer, Villarreal Virginia Academy, Virginia Revolution, Virginia Soccer Association, Virginia Valor, VISTA, West Virginia Futbal Club, Woodbridge Soccer Club

Roll call indicated that the following clubs were not in attendance: Bethesda Soccer Club, Front Royal Soccer Association, Northern Piedmont SC, Severna Park Athletic Club, Shenandoah FC Elite, Team America Football Club

Executive Committee in Attendance: Maureen Dalbec, Carol Montoya, Alan Paez, Dave Shannon, Doug Wall

Staff in attendance: Ryan Rich, Alison Smith

Approval of Minutes

Olney made a motion to approve the January 11, 2022 Board Meeting minutes. VISTA seconded. There were no objections, and the motion was approved by acclamation.

Ryan Rich – NCSL Executive Director: VYSA has transitioned to a new President and Executive Director. Richard and Ryan have been working closely with both of them to get them up to speed on some of the dynamics within the northern VA region and regionally. They are also connected with Skip Gilbert (USYS CEO) so that he understands our league needs and how USYS can best support us.

Ryan said the league is looking into what possibilities and benefits there may be to sanction with U.S. Club. Talks are still in the initial stages with U.S. Club.

Ryan said our team count is about 20-25% above pre-pandemic numbers. The league continues to grow.

Ryan said the US Club transition is in its initial stages. He is maintaining communications with the parties involved.

Richard Smith is on a national-level 6-person committee to address the referee shortage. The number of referees registering for the spring season is less. Referee assignors have indicated help is needed to recruit and retain referees. If standards of behavior are enforced at the club level, that can help the effort to make it a positive referee experience.

The spring season is underway: Supergroup games have begun. Ryan said he is available to have conversations with clubs about the appropriate placement of teams and opportunities that may be available for them.

Maureen Dalbec – NCSL Commissioner: No report.

Doug Walls – NCSL Commissioner: No report.

Carol Coulter – Virginia Registrar: No report.

Maryland Registrar - Jessica Hafer: No report (not present).

Alison Smith – NCSL Administrator: Alison thanked everyone for their help is scheduling, especially for checking field loading.

The deadline for FLEX rescheduling for April games is Friday, March 25. Alison said spring break posed a significant problem in scheduling; the schedules of almost two dozen school systems were reviewed and there was no way to avoid conflicts and still finish the season by the second weekend of June. 

Alison said if the email to confirm FLEX requests aren’t received to let her know. There have been some email glitches.

Alison thanked club reps for trying to avoid single games. She is trying to close gaps on fields with as much notice as possible.

Alison reminded that the rain dates are not available for reschedule requests yet.

Alison reminded club reps to ask teams to report any forfeits to the club reps, so the office can be notified and referees can be informed. Also, any field closures due to rain should be communicated as soon as possible.

Carol Montoya – Secretary: No report.

Eric Popiel – Vice President & Treasurer: No report (not present).

Alan Paez – NCSL R&D: Alan reminded the club reps that there are sit outs owed from the prior season. If your club name is listed, please contact the coach/team to make sure they know about the sit out and provide the proper documentation.

There are three codes of conduct: players, coaches, and parents. Alan encouraged teams to have their players sign so they understand the importance of it,.

Richard Smith – President: No report (not present).

Other Business

Virginia Revolution asked if there was a plan to reallocate or refund the portion of the team fees that ends up not being used for referees when referees are not be available to be assigned to games. Ryan noted that the NCSL budget assumes a loss, anticipating that fees won’t cover all of the costs. There was a request to provide information that could be communicated to parents to explain the situation.

Premier Athletic Club suggested tracking any overage that is realized from not paying referee fees and using it to offer to pay for referee course fees for players interested in becoming certified. Ryan noted that NCSL has evaluated its pay rates and bonus structure to incentivize referees to cover NCSL games. Olney noted that they have been encouraging older players to get certified and are working with other area clubs to schedule courses. There was further discussion about how to incentivize people to become referees.

Dan Giffin said NCSL night at DC United’s is May 7. DC United is bringing back all field experiences (watching warm-ups, player escorts, fan tunnel, etc.). June 25 will be Play on the Pitch, under the lights, after a DC United game.

A motion was made by Olney and seconded by Premier Athletic Club to adjourn. There were no objections, and the motion was approved by acclamation.

The meeting adjourned at 8:16 p.m.