NCSL Board Meeting
March 9, 2020
Westin Tysons Corner
The meeting was called to order at 7:32 p.m.
The following clubs were in attendance at the meeting: A3, Alexandria Soccer Association, Alliance Soccer Club, Arlington Youth Soccer Club, Bethesda Soccer Club, Blue Ridge United, Braddock Road Youth Club, Broadneck SC, Burke Athletic Club, Calvert Soccer Association, Calverton Soccer Club, Chantilly Youth Association, Culpepper Soccer Club, D.C. Stoddert, DORADUS, Epic Soccer Club, Fairfax Police Youth Club, FC Dulles, FC Frederick, FCV Ashburn, Fort Washington, 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, Loudoun Soccer Club, Maryland Rush Montgomery, McLean Youth, OBGC, Old Dominion Football Club, Potomac Soccer Association, Prince William Soccer, Severna Park Athletic Club, Shenandoah FC Elite, Soccer Association of Columbia, Southwestern Youth 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, VISTA, Waldorf Soccer Club, Washington Capital United Woodbridge Soccer Club
Roll call indicated that the following clubs were not in attendance: Annandale Boys & Girls Club, Antietam United Soccer Club, Arundel Soccer Association, Damascus Soccer Club, Fredericksburg FC, Future Soccer Club, Leesburg Football Club, Montgomery Soccer, Premier Athletic Club, Real World Futbal Club, South County Athletic Association, Team America Football Club, Warrenton Youth Soccer Club, West Virginia Futbal Club
Approval of Minutes
A motion was made and seconded to approve the January 14, 2020 Board Meeting minutes. A voice vote was taken; all were in favor and the motion passed.
II. DC United Representative: NCSL Night in Mid-May
NCSL Night at DC United will be May 16. There are play on the pitch opportunities for U6-U12 teams. The priority window for NCSL teams to register to play on the pitch will close next Monday. The team is planning a chalk talk for coaches prior to the game and is planning a post-match meet and greet for three NCSL teams. Tickets will be about $35 each. They can be purchased online or through the clubs’ DC United rep.
Ryan Rich – Executive Director: Ryan has been talking with referee assignors, who all report a referee shortage. There are a number of classes scheduled for both Maryland and Virginia, both new and re-certification. The schedules were done with referee coverage in mind. Ryan asked reps to keep that in mind when requesting to reschedule games.
Super Group games have begun. Ryan has developed a presentation explaining Super Group. He has sent it to some clubs for feedback. The final presentation will be circulated soon, so clubs have it in hand prior to tryouts. Ryan can attend club meetings to discuss Super Group.
The league recognizes that high school soccer affects the ability of U16-U19 teams to compete at the Super Group level. There are Fall and Spring Super Group options for these age groups. Teams can select whether they want to play just Super Group games or a full schedule of division games. In cases where there are Fall and Winter Super Group winners, they will play each other to determine who advances to the next level of championship play.
Doug Walls – NCSL Commissioner: No report (not present).
Maureen Dalbec – NCSL Commissioner: No report (not present).
Carol Coulter – Virginia Registrar: No report.
Mike Basileo – Maryland Registrar: No report.
Alan Paez – NCSL Rules & Discipline: Alan asked reps to remind their teams to check the sit outs owed list for the spring. The list is posted on the website. Failure to complete a sit out leads to fines and additional sit outs. Richard noted that sit outs follow players and coaches, even if they change clubs.
New Team Admin meetings are scheduled for March 16 and 23. Each new team needs to be represented at one of the meetings. “New” teams are those who have not played in NCSL for the last two seasons. ESS teams are exempt from the requirement. Anyone can attend the meetings, including new managers for returning teams.
Alan asked the reps to remind their teams about the codes of conduct (coach, team, and parent). He suggested reviewing them before a game or practice and having the players and parents sign off of them.
Alison Smith – NCSL Administrator: Field loading went well. Alison thanked reps for their help in prioritizing field space. A lot of rescheduling requests are coming through, especially for the first weekend of spring break. The deadline for March and April game requests is March 20. Club reps will be notified once both teams have agreed to the new schedule. Alison asked reps to remind their teams to watch the video for a how-to on the rescheduling process.
The new team list will be circulated tomorrow. Super Group and ESS teams are exempt.
Blue game cards will be distributed tonight. There are enough cards to give everyone 8 game cards, meaning there are a few extra per team. ESS teams do not use blue game cards.
May 30, June 6 and June 7 are rain dates and games can not be rescheduled for those days. It’s possible that May 30 may be released if we have good weather.
Richard noted that the game schedule is well thought out and planned, taking into account field availability and how many referees are needed for the games. To best accommodate a three-referee crew, three games are scheduled in a block. When rescheduling games, club reps should take into consideration whether they are creating gaps on the field.
Carol Montoya – NCSL Secretary: No report.
Anne Maynes – Treasurer: No report (not present).
Eric Popiel – NCSL Vice President: No report (not present).
Richard Smith – NCSL President: Richard said the budget is being drafted and will be presented at the May meeting. There is no expectation of an increase in team fees.
A statement on coronavirus was circulated. It states that the league is monitoring the recommendations by health organizations and looking out for the best interests of our teams, players, families, etc. The statement notes that there is currently no intention to cancel all or part of the season. This position follows the guidance of USYS and state associations. Richard reviewed some of the points included in the statement, including recommendations for getting a flu shot and not shaking hands following a game, as well as listing the symptoms and encouraging anyone who is experiencing symptoms to stay home.
The statement will be emailed to club reps and posted to the website.
In response to a question, Richard said that a team may need to forfeit if they can not field a team due to a collective illness. Understanding that there are extenuating circumstances, teams won’t be fined for the forfeit. Forced forfeits will be taken into account when division structure for the fall season.
There was discussion about the responsibility for teams to communicate with the league and opponents if they believe their players have had significant exposure.
There was a suggestion that referees offer water breaks if teams are playing short due to player absences.
Referees will not be expected to enforce a no handshake policy.
Last year’s referee recertification process has impacted the number of referees available. The grouping of referees into “grassroots” level rather than by grade, caused many senior referees to quit. The online recertification was not online in a timely manner. Poor behavior by players and fans is also frustrating to referees, making it easier for them to leave the pool. Virginia has about 1,200 referees, with 500 of those being brand new. The goal is 6,000 referees.
Richard asked reps to encourage their clubs to recruit referees and control sideline behavior.
III. New Business
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 8:23 p.m.