Warning and apologies: this is a long post with lots of last minute details. It’s been a long week since last week’s captains meeting!
At long last we are able to share the 29 team schedule.
Due to the unexpected major drop in the number of teams this year, some major changes had to be made. The executive members have worked very hard to crunch numbers to make the league function as smoothly as possible, but changes had to be made nonetheless:
The 29 team schedule is different than what we’re used to, and is quite complex as well, so please familiarize yourselves and your teammates with it. We ended up recruiting some outside help (big thanks to Carlene Tamke of SAVA scheduling fame) to pull this schedule together. If/when you see Carlene, please give her a big high five. Remarkably, the end result is a schedule that is as effective and efficient as humanly possible.
Positives of the schedule:
-there will be no teams with byes ANY weeks
-some teams will not have to minor officiate at all on a given week
Negatives to the schedule:
-some teams will be required to minor officiate on two or three courts at once
-some teams will have to switch courts for their games
-some teams will have to switch fields for their games
Be aware that all of these negative points are on a rotating basis and not consistently every week. While we would have loved to have no relative negatives with the schedule, this is the ONLY way the schedule was able to work so that teams did not have byes or play the same teams over and over again. I hope and trust that all teams will appreciate this.
Also, we will now be running the upper/lower divisions for 7 weeks rather than 9. We will break out into 3 separate divisions (not 4) starting on week 8 (Nov 21st). We’ll do our best to make that schedule as fair as possible as well.
As a cost savings measure, we have cut a week. Happily, it was an awkward week to begin with anyway: Halloween. We figured many teams might struggle to field their full teams on Oct 31 anyways, so it was a relatively easy choice of which night to cut. The end result is the league will have 18 weeks of regular play now. The year end tournament is still scheduled for March 2-3, 2019 at the Warman Legend’s Centre.
Another unfortunate, but unavoidable, consequence of losing so many teams is that we need to further increase the team fees. Fees are being raised from $1600 to $1750 per team. We went through a number of permutations of how to limit this fee increase and explored many different cost savings measures. Unfortunately the Soccer Centre cannot reduce our rental price at all, so this meant cutting a week and increasing fees.
As it turns out, we may have a 30th team entering the league in the next week or two. If so, then we could be in a position where we could either issue some refunds to teams this year, OR keep that extra money in our account to help bring fees back down again for next year. A 30th team would also result in a modified schedule (already created as a contingency). We’ll cross these bridges if/when we come up to them.
We recognize that gathering this extra $150 per team places an extra burden on team captains, so we will be reasonable with timelines to pay it. We will not be enforcing the “pay-in-full-to-play” expectation for this increased amount. That being said, the full $1750 needs to be collected. Certainly the sooner you can pay the full $1750 the better. Remember that the e-transfer option is now available for your convenience. E-transfers can be sent to either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Cash and cheque are still options too.
We are still on for starting league play tomorrow night, Wed, Sept 19th. Make sure you follow the schedule to know when/where your team plays/minors. Some executive members (myself and Garret in particular) will be at the soccer centre starting around 6:00 if you’d like to come ask questions. If anyone needs to still pay their fees (at least to have the original $1600 paid), we’ll gladly take your money as well.
We very well might have growing pains when it comes to our new schedule, but I’ll ask for everyone to give it a fair shot. A lot of hard work went into making all of these necessary changes. We apologize for any inconveniences that teams may face, but I’m confident we’ll all get through this just fine. Just remember…we’re all here for the fun of the sport.