With regard to the parent-coach whose team got left out when his club
switched to a model using professional coaches, a couple of things come
First of all, placing limits on who you are going to play or associate
with is often a good thing. If rec. teams were forced to play against
select teams, neither the rec. team or the select team would benefit.
However, there are instances when excluding someone helps your goals
only vaguely but has a great negative impact on certain specific
players. For example, suppose that an organization has a rule that it
will take players only from a certain geographical area. This may be an
innocuous rule that doesn't really hurt anyone, as other players can
play in their own geographical area. However, as the players get older
and there are fewer players in an age group, it becomes difficult or
impossible to maintain teams that all come from the same area. Players
from this organization then cannot play because of limits that work
adequately in younger age groups.
In those instances, it would be far better for everyone to have rules
that have some flexibility. There is nothing wrong with saying that our
team, club or league wants to do things a certain way. This allows the
organization to be focused. But if the limits the organization places on
itself exclude others from playing soccer altogether, for instance, when
the organization is the only game in town, then the limits are probably
unduly restrictive. There needs to be some flexibility. Diversity does
not detract, it enhances.
If a team is fundamentally inconsistent with your organization's
objectives, you may have no choice but to exclude them. But this happens
less often than it may appear. If a team wants to play by rules that
11-a-side soccer doesn't start until U-14, and your league begins
11-a-side at U-11, then this is a fundamental inconsistency. The two
approaches cannot coexist.
But if a team wants to use a parent-coach while your organization calls
for professional coaches, this is an inconsistency but not a fundamental
inconsistency. The parent-coached team could play perfectly well with or
against the professionally coached teams. If there are other options for
the parent-coached team, then the professionally-coached organization
should be able to say that the parent-coached team would be better
suited for these other alternatives. But if there are no other options,
then an accommodation should be made to allow the parent-coached team a
place to play.
Here in District II, which includes San Jose and surrounding
communities, leagues boundaries are literally across the street from one
another and PAL and AYSO also compete for players. Organizations have
learned that placing limits often means that their best teams leave for
an organization that is more accommodating.
There is nothing bad about having a focused approach, so long as your
focus does not prohibit kids from playing soccer altogether. If someone
wants to play soccer, and there is no where else for them to play, and
their objectives are not fundamentally inconsistent with your
objectives, then be flexible and let them play.
FUNdamental Reader give us your opinions on this subject...!