April 1, 2009
The meeting was called to order by Bob Stall at 7:40 pm.
Attendees included: Quinn Canfield, Mike Morey, Tom Carlson, Marc O’Meara, Mark Rambacher, Bob Stall, Dale Cotnam, Nancy Benullo, and Mark Hollinger (recording minutes).
Minutes for the March meeting were accepted with one modification from Tom Carlson (an attendee’s name that was missed in the original version).
Tom Carlson reports that the travel program is ready for the season to start. Our fields in Littleton are still closed, despite the clamor of coaches itching to practice.
NVYSL has a new Boys Travel Director. Tom is not completely satisfied with the team placements in the new flights, which are now numbered rather than lettered. Also, there are a lot of TBA’s, more than in previous seasons (9 TBA games total across all Littleton teams).
One complaint has come in from the family of a player who was moved to a lower team than where he played in the fall. They were dissatisfied with the team placement, withdrew their son, and requested a refund. The board discussed this and agreed that refunds would only be given for medical reasons or when a family moves out of town. Two other issues involving assistant coach placement were briefly discussed.
Dale Cotnam, girls travel director, had no outstanding issues to report.
When a TBA game happens at Koerper Field, it may bump a practice – or two practices, in the case of a U14 or higher game that needs the entire field.
Marc O’Meara reports that the Pee Wee teams are formed. He was short two coaches but was able to recruit exactly two using an e-mail blast to the parents.
Some U8’s are practicing at St. Anne’s and Koerper, but most have been allocated practice field space at Russell Street.
We discussed access to the football field. The gate at the Russell Street School end of the field is normally closed and sometimes locked, but our teams will be practicing there on a daily basis. We believe it will now be unlocked most of the time. If not, teams should avoid walking through the outfield during a baseball game at the Middle School end of the football field in order to gain access.
Mark Rambacher mentioned a need to move several sets of goals – U8 goals onto the football field and U12 goals from Shaker Lane to St. Anne’s.
The baseball outfield / field hockey area at Russell Street will be lined for lacrosse this season, not soccer.
T-Ball is being pushed back this season to end at 9:45. We will leave our U6 soccer program starting at 10:00, rather than pushing it to 10:15 as previously discussed, in order to reduce the amount of “standing around” time for referees and families with children in both U6 and U8.
World Cup Day
World Cup Day is June 13th. High school graduation is the previous day. The graduation committee says they will have all the platforms and equipment cleared and ready for soccer use by 9 am on the 13th. Marc O’Meara will stay in touch with the graduation coordinator, and we will be prepared to move equipment ourselves at the last minute to clear the fields if necessary.
Treasure Nancy Benullo presented a report. Her current numbers don’t exactly match the balance reported by Park & Rec. Park & Rec thinks we have more money than Nancy does. Part of the difference may be the uniform fund, which is no longer being accounted for separately by the town’s new financial software. It’s important that the balance seen by town officials not suggest we have more money than we actually do, or they may react to the high balance with a decision to reallocate the “surplus” to general town accounts. Nancy and Bob Stall will review the numbers together sometime this month, before Nancy meets with Park & Rec director Kate Hodges to reconcile her accounting with theirs.
Assessments and Clinics
The MLS skills clinics we discussed last month will not happen this season due to the field space crunch.
Bob Stall spoke with the MLS representatives about potentially running assessments. If they provide us a complete turnkey service, handling all the organization and supplying 4 or 5 coaches each night for 3 nights, the cost will be $2,200. Alternatively, for $700, they will train us and provide one coach to attend and oversee the assessments.
There was a discussion about the importance, or lack thereof, of having outside evaluators. Some board members felt we should be able to handle the assessments in-house, using our own coaches, as other sports (baseball, hockey, etc.) do. Others felt we needed the outside opinions to help match up the scales used by different coaches, and as a second opinion to compensate for possible coach bias.
On team photos, we discussed whether the photos should be scheduled on a weeknight or weekend. The general consensus was to shoot for a Saturday, early enough in the season that the finished pictures can be distributed to in-town teams at World Cup Day. Teams at and above the U14 level will probably not want to get individual photo packages and can work out team photos on their own using parent volunteer photographers.
Coach License Expectation
It was moved and voted unanimously that: By the start of the Fall 2009 season, anyone who wants to serve as head coach for a team at the U6 level or above is expected to have at least a G license.
It was further moved and voted unanimously that: By the start of the Spring 2010 season, all head coaches at U12 and above will be expected to have an F license.
Exceptions can be made by the board. In the future, coaches at U12 and above will be strongly encouraged to have an E license (F for U10). Also, assistant coaches and Pee Wee coaches are encouraged to become licensed, at least at the G level.
Mass Youth Soccer’s Executive Director, John Burrill, died on March 29. He was a great friend to youth soccer in our state and will be missed. The most immediate effect on us in Littleton is that our CORI checks and reports may be delayed as the MYSA office works to continue his routine activities.
Mark Rambacher says that Ian Kersley will coordinate the adult pick-up games again this season, at a time to be determined once the lacrosse and baseball schedules are out.
The Boys U18 team wants to go with the new uniforms, but the largest uniforms we have at this point in the new style are Adult Medium. The board decided to recommend the old-style uniform, and since we have a large stock of Adult L and XL leftovers, we can simply give them to the U18 team free of charge.
The next board meeting will be at 7:30 pm on May 6.