First half of Boundary youth soccer season exceeds expectations

At mid-season, officials are happy with the way the way things have gone in the Boundary Youth Soccer Association.

The Tiny Titans and the Green Ninja play a U7 game at a recent Boundary Youth Soccer Association tournament in Midway. Officials are pleased with the progress of the association

The Boundary Youth Soccer Association (BYSA) is currently at the midseason summer break and officials are happy with what has transpired in the first half.

Jeff Olsen, BYSA president, said that the association recently held its midseason tournament in Midway and based on what officials were envisioning a year ago, when they were establishing the BYSA, it has more than they had hoped.

All 31 teams were in attendance, with each team playing four games apiece and six games were being played at a time all day and Olsen said it was good to see.

“It was great. It was a lot of fun and you rate the success on how much fun the kids are having, how many people showed up, so we had pretty much everyone there and everyone stayed all day and there were tonnes of positive comments,” explained Olsen.

“I think we’ve exceeded our expectations of where we were going to get to by this point when we were sitting around a year ago in June, starting to design this whole thing, so we’re extremely happy with where we are.”

There are some things that Olsen and officials would like to tinker with and fix though, including the make-up of teams and scheduling.

“We found it a bit of a challenge there with the four, five and six-year-olds. There’re some six-year-olds that are pretty big and some four-year-olds that are pretty small and maybe look at the travel times on those kids too,” said Olsen.

“Does a team from Rock Creek really at that age need the cerebral experience of playing a team out at Christina Lake? Probably not.”

He also said that officials would like to go from an Under-13 division to Under-15.

While there were concerns about enrolment numbers back in February, the number of players now has also exceeded expectations.

“We were shooting for 250 and we got pretty close to 300 kids and without a doubt, that gave us enough kids per team to have the variety of competition and representation from every community across the Boundary,” Olsen explained.

He said that some teams had smaller rosters than others while other areas have such large rosters where it’s to a point where two teams could be formed.

Olsen said one of the challenges going forward will be to keep the number of players at or above current levels.

“Everyone uses the recruitment retention phrase. We can get people interested, we can get them to come (but) can we get them to stay? We have to look critically at what we need to do as a league to maintain our registration numbers and obviously to make them grow,” the BYSA president went on to say.

While games will resume Sept. 11, there will be a good opportunity for kids to hone and learn new skills at an upcoming camp put on by Soccer Quest in partnership with the Vancouver Whitecaps that runs from July 18 to 22. More details at soccerquest.ca.