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Alberta Soccer Teams travel West to find turf.....

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Aside from the wonderful artificial turf soccer pitches and venues, what a fantastic week of weather for Whitecaps and other college showcase tournaments to happen on the West Coast. Newton Athletic park and Langley events centre are truly "Fields of Dreams" for Calgarians......we have NOTHING like it (where's the problem...anybody??)

The Alberta Soccer Association flies all their teams out to Langley, lodges and feeds them, and tries to cram months of training into a one week format, all because there is no suitable venue for high level training in Alberta. Great news for Westjet, local restaurants and hotels.....not so good news for Alberta players and parents paying most of the Bill.

Why can't Edmonton or Calgary build a full indoor field? Is Mr. Weidle's Victoria soccer building the best we're ever gonna get in the Province?

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Aside from the wonderful artificial turf soccer pitches and venues, what a fantastic week of weather for Whitecaps and other college showcase tournaments to happen on the West Coast. Newton Athletic park and Langley events centre are truly "Fields of Dreams" for Calgarians......we have NOTHING like it (where's the problem...anybody??)

The Alberta Soccer Association flies all their teams out to Langley, lodges and feeds them, and tries to cram months of training into a one week format, all because there is no suitable venue for high level training in Alberta. Great news for Westjet, local restaurants and hotels.....not so good news for Alberta players and parents paying most of the Bill.

Why can't Edmonton or Calgary build a full indoor field? Is Mr. Weidle's Victoria soccer building the best we're ever gonna get in the Province?

There may be one full sized indoor pitch in Alberta by fall of 2014, watch for announcement hopefully this spring or early summer.

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Since it can't possibly be Calgary (unless the new operators of the soccer centre do the quickest and best thing for the sport...remove the boards) you most probably mean somewhere in Edmonton?

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ASA has been in an expensive ($ 1 mil and climbing) legal battle caused by poor governance, tug of war between EMSA(boarded soccer) and EIYSA(boardless 7v7), and a power struggle with Calgary Minor/Calgary Soccer federation because of the provincial voting structure.

In Calgary, the soccer centre was designed to be a full sized pitch, but 25 years ago the Federation ran out of money during construction, had to get the roof DONATED by the Australian company that got the tender, rolled down green carpet and put up boards instead of "Astroturf". That was the genesis of the mess that exists to this day. Boards here are covered with paid advertising, "non fee based revenue" as the Soccer Bosses call it. Advertising and gate admissions (yes we have to pay to enter soccer facilities to watch our kids play) disappear into the Black hole financial statements of the non profit associations. A completely disconnected facility delivery process.

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It blows the mind that Alberta doesn't have proper indoor pitches. Why is this the case? What has the ASA been doing over the last 15 years?

One does not "simply build indoor soccer Pitches in Alberta"

Sorry in a bit of a Bitchy Boromir mood today.

Feel free to meme it by the way.

Edit*

Oh and I forgot: we can play soccer in the Commiebowl. Its the greatest soccer stadium in Canada, bar none. Apparently.

Edited by alberta white

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Well, Calgary City Council is tomorrow hearing funding arguments on a $220 million Fieldhouse near McMahon Stadium. Ironically for soccer, it's the local Track and Field group that's been spearheading this mega-project.........no support from the local Associations for a full sized FIFA indoor pitch. But....at the same time the said same Associations are planning to control 4 new covered "soccer rinks" which taxpayers will be on the hook for to the tune of $12 mil.

None of this is good for the game in Calgary or in Edmonton. And btw, it would seem other provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, NewFoundland) have actually "simply built indoor soccer pitches" instead of sticking their head in the sand and staying with outdated arena soccer. Not so in Alberta.

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Wow, I am beyond disappointed, since I am likely to make the move to Calgary sooner rather than later. Even in St. John's (with a metro of 200,000), only having one full field indoor field turf is not enough.

Are there any outdoor field turfs in Calgary at least?

...It would be interesting to have a discussion about how many indoor complexes each city has.

St. John's has one full sized (although the dimensions are small so it is often 10 v 10). There is also an old hockey rink in Mount Pearl (south western edge of metro) that now has a field turf in it, so that at least provides some alternative.

What about other cities??

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Why can't Edmonton or Calgary build a full indoor field? Is Mr. Weidle's Victoria soccer building the best we're ever gonna get in the Province?

Well they already have several hard top facilities that could house a full sized soccer pitch. Problem is they are stuck in the 1980's and have it broken up into 4 arena fields. When they came up with it in Calgary in the early 1980's arena soccer was pretty big but has since died. I'm not a huge fan of FIFA but they really got the indoor game correct when they chose Futsal IMHO. The ASA have nothing to do with the facilities, that is all up to CMSA/EMSA etc.

1) Get rid of the arena boards

2) Get rid of the awful carpet and put in some good Polytan or Limonta fake turf

3) Use drop down netting to break the full sized pitch into smaller sections for kids games

CMSA seems to want to put fake turf outdoors but it is covered in snow so much of the year so why not leave outdoors grass and focus on indoors? Far past time to get rid of the arenas.

Edited by tmcmurph

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There is one that was built a few years ago atop a parkade at SAIT, the local college.

Dreadful crumb rubber stuff. My son played there once and hated it. On top of a parkade, totally exposed to the elements, hot as hell on a sunny day and the crumbs kept getting in the kids cleats.

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Guest Ed
There is one that was built a few years ago atop a parkade at SAIT, the local college.

There are a number of decent outdoor field turf pitches. My U16 boys quite enjoyed playing at SAIT. The 'grass' outdoor fields in Calgary often turn to concrete in June so I will take the 'crumbs' in cleats over the alternative. There are public fields at Shouldice Park and Rundle College has a decent field turf pitch.

Field Name Address

Encana - Artificial Turf (Shouldice Park)

Ernest Manning - Artificial Turf - 20 Springborough Blvd SW

Hellard - Artificial Turf (Shouldice Park)

Rundle College - Artificial Turf 7375 - 17th Avenue SW

SAIT - Artificial Turf 1301 16 Ave NW 403-284-8027

Stampeder - Artificial Turf (Shouldice Park)

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By comparison Nova Scotia has:

one 11v11 full field indoor turf in Halifax

another smaller turf field at the same facility

one in the South Shore

one in the Valley

one in Stellarton

one in Cape Breton

Hell check out the pics of the facility they have in East Hants http://www.easthantssportsplex.ca/easthants_11306.html

i moved away a number of years ago, I know there are more.

It's baffling that a small province like N.S has so many in comparison to a big rich province like Alberta.

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"seems to want to put fake turf outdoors but it is covered in snow so much of the year so why not leave outdoors grass and focus on indoors? Far past time to get rid of the arenas"

The pitch at SAIT is outdoor and not covered, but the pitch is ON TOP of a parking garage. Very creative way to build an AT field where land costs are high.

CMSA knows and has told anyone that hasn't given up trying to knock some sense into them that THERE IS NO MONEY IN OUTDOOR SOCCER.

They did have, for 2 decades, free reign of Subway Soccer centre which was built told house a full sized pitch. They were evicted in December, and will be out in the next 30 days. Good Riddance. They simply do not care that the boards are clearly a hazard and hamper LTPD.

They have purposely stuck with the boards and used them to hang paid advertising....or "non fee based revenue" as they refer to it. They were well on their way to covering most of the interior of Subway with ads from anyone that would pay: car dealerships to real estate agents to pizza places to golf advertising. Who gets the commissions on these sales and how much is the BIG question.

Anyone that cares about soccer in Calgary should be lobbying their local Club to tell the City that the soccer centre should be a boardless facility. Best time to do it is now!

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hi Ed. the number of decent AT fields you mention are 6. SIX! For a City of 1.2 million. I'd rather have my kid cushioned by crumb rubber than play on the concrete like dirt fields we have in July.

FYI....Lower mainland of BC has over 70...Seventy infill artificial turf fields and more on their way! Calgarians should be (and most are) embarassed by what has happened here.

Three of the fields here are at Shouldice and football has priority there. Rightfully so as they did the fund raising and over 5 years of work to make that badly needed project a reality. Soccer was not interested in fund raising for a field of their own...no money in outdoor soccer, can't control the advertising revenue and no revenue from gate admission like indoors. Soccer was to have 7 fields open for summer 2011...project whiddled down to only 3 fields (fund raising flopped) and now project taken over by the City. Turf sits outside all winter, wrapped in plastic.....waiting.....waiting........waiting. Why the delay? Ask Calgary Minor soccer (if they'll talk to you)

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hi Ed. the number of decent AT fields you mention are 6. SIX! For a City of 1.2 million. I'd rather have my kid cushioned by crumb rubber than play on the concrete like dirt fields we have in July.

FYI....Lower mainland of BC has over 70...Seventy infill artificial turf fields and more on their way! Calgarians should be (and most are) embarassed by what has happened here.

Three of the fields here are at Shouldice and football has priority there. Rightfully so as they did the fund raising and over 5 years of work to make that badly needed project a reality. Soccer was not interested in fund raising for a field of their own...no money in outdoor soccer, can't control the advertising revenue and no revenue from gate admission like indoors. Soccer was to have 7 fields open for summer 2011...project whiddled down to only 3 fields (fund raising flopped) and now project taken over by the City. Turf sits outside all winter, wrapped in plastic.....waiting.....waiting........waiting. Why the delay? Ask Calgary Minor soccer (if they'll talk to you)

In terms of player development, versus recreational play in turfed domes in the winter, Calgary Soccer or the ASA should be developing a futsal league that runs in gyms, teams in every community around high schools as the facility or elementary schools with appropriate gym facilitys.

Then build outdoor turf fields to handle summer 11 v 11 FIFA soccer, dont get caught in the 7 v7 on turf in the winter domes, its does not advance the player skills for youth as does playing futsal.

Cost factors for gyms should be much lower then private owned domes when comparing cost per player.

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In terms of player development, versus recreational play in turfed domes in the winter, Calgary Soccer or the ASA should be developing a futsal league that runs in gyms, teams in every community around high schools as the facility or elementary schools with appropriate gym facilitys.

Then build outdoor turf fields to handle summer 11 v 11 FIFA soccer, dont get caught in the 7 v7 on turf in the winter domes, its does not advance the player skills for youth as does playing futsal.

Cost factors for gyms should be much lower then private owned domes when comparing cost per player.

If you lived in Alberta (I realize that you do not), you would already know that gyms in most of the province are heavily booked already - it's nowhere near as easy as you're implying. I don't totally disagree with your comments on 7v7. Futsal for U12 and younger in the winter is better but having watched U14 to U18 play 7v7 for the last 5 winters, I have to say that for teenagers and older, they do greatly benefit in advancing their skills very much.

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In terms of player development, versus recreational play in turfed domes in the winter, Calgary Soccer or the ASA should be developing a futsal league that runs in gyms, teams in every community around high schools as the facility or elementary schools with appropriate gym facilitys.

Then build outdoor turf fields to handle summer 11 v 11 FIFA soccer, dont get caught in the 7 v7 on turf in the winter domes, its does not advance the player skills for youth as does playing futsal.

Cost factors for gyms should be much lower then private owned domes when comparing cost per player.

I agree whole heartedly on the Futsal angle. Less travel around the city, better development for the kids and more than a dozen triple gyms (>7000 sq ft) last time I checked. $30 an hour on week days and $100 on weekends. Have each region of the city determine their champ and the playoff rounds would be the only cross city travel required.

It would be nice to have at least one indoor full sized 11x11 pitch. Use it as a fall back plan during any championships held late in the fall when the weather gets ugly in a heartbeat (remember Saskatoon a few years back?). Over winter train the higher level 11x11 teams there and you can fit 4 futsal fields on it for the kids when the field isn't being used for 11v11 matches & practices.

PS. The fields get hard as a rock in July because they aren't watered or at least not sufficiently. That is easily solved. SAIT was creative but it also has a lot of drawbacks.

Edited by tmcmurph

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In terms of player development, versus recreational play in turfed domes in the winter, Calgary Soccer or the ASA should be developing a futsal league that runs in gyms, teams in every community around high schools as the facility or elementary schools with appropriate gym facilitys.

Then build outdoor turf fields to handle summer 11 v 11 FIFA soccer, dont get caught in the 7 v7 on turf in the winter domes, its does not advance the player skills for youth as does playing futsal.

Cost factors for gyms should be much lower then private owned domes when comparing cost per player.

As noted in the Futsal thread My Boys start their School Futsal programme on Friday.

They asked me I they could form a school team with their mates. I said petition the Principle and they did. He was impressed enough with their determination he signed off a school programme for Friday nights.

To some extent if "we" want something done. Well have to do it ourselves.

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If you lived in Alberta (I realize that you do not), you would already know that gyms in most of the province are heavily booked already - it's nowhere near as easy as you're implying. I don't totally disagree with your comments on 7v7. Futsal for U12 and younger in the winter is better but having watched U14 to U18 play 7v7 for the last 5 winters, I have to say that for teenagers and older, they do greatly benefit in advancing their skills very much.

Went to the City of Calgary booking site...they handle schools bookings too... did a search on available gyms from April 4 2013 to April 24 and got a return of 1775 gym possible bookings... examples of which can be searched at http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Recreation/Pages/Rentals-and-bookings/Book-a-gymnasium.aspx

Some are small gyms some large, but there seems to be availability. Below is page one of at the search return.

A E Cross School Main Gym

View Details Fri 04-05-2013 6:30PM-to-8:44PM

A E Cross School Main Gym

View Details Mon 04-08-2013 6:30PM-to-10:00PM

A E Cross School Main Gym

View Details Fri 04-12-2013 6:30PM-to-8:44PM

A E Cross School Main Gym

View Details Tue 04-16-2013 6:30PM-to-10:00PM

A E Cross School Main Gym

View Details Tue 04-23-2013 6:30PM-to-10:00PM

A E Cross School Main Gym

View Details Tue 04-30-2013 6:30PM-to-10:00PM

Abbeydale School (FA) Main Gym

View Details Fri 04-05-2013 6:00PM-to-10:00PM

Abbeydale School (FA) Main Gym

View Details Fri 04-12-2013 6:00PM-to-10:00PM

Abbeydale School (FA) Main Gym

View Details Wed 04-17-2013 6:00PM-to-6:44PM

Abbeydale School (FA) Main Gym

View Details Wed 04-24-2013 6:00PM-to-6:44PM

Sometimes we percieve facilitys to be used, when they are not truly fully booked.

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Wow, I am beyond disappointed, since I am likely to make the move to Calgary sooner rather than later. Even in St. John's (with a metro of 200,000), only having one full field indoor field turf is not enough.

Are there any outdoor field turfs in Calgary at least?

Several outdoor turf fields have been built in the past 5 years or so, all spearheaded by non-soccer groups as far as I know. There are 2 or 3 at Shouldice Park, (spearheaded by minor football, I think) the one mentioned at SAIT, one at a private school called Rundle College, one at a public high school, plus I guess you can count McMahon Stadium. All of these fields have been used by the Calgary Soccer Federation and its various members (senior men and women and youth). There is no indoor full-sized turf field.

My guess is that the ASA teams and other Alberta youth clubs travel to the coast more for competition than facilities. If there was an full sized indoor pitch perhaps they would stay home and hold their camps in March but when I was involved in coaching we went west to get outdoor games as well as train outside.

EDIT: Just realized that Ed responded to this already.

Edited by ditty

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If you lived in Alberta (I realize that you do not), you would already know that gyms in most of the province are heavily booked already - it's nowhere near as easy as you're implying. I don't totally disagree with your comments on 7v7. Futsal for U12 and younger in the winter is better but having watched U14 to U18 play 7v7 for the last 5 winters, I have to say that for teenagers and older, they do greatly benefit in advancing their skills very much.

Very good and critical Point.

In spruce grove , about 20 klicks west of Edmonton. all the School facilities become bookable (under a City facilities programme) from 7:00pm Onwards for anyone who has a group which would wish to use them.

The solution we came up with was to use the Gym for Futsal, which is marked with Handball lines (which are the same, for those who were unaware) of the fact. Between the Hours of 4:00pm whilst 6:00pm. As noted earlier Been a school sponsored programme the insurance is covered and the need to set up as a organisation is not needed either.

Its not a rival organistaion to the local Association. Its also no drawing finance away from anybody else. Its just providing an outlets for kids who arn't in any community/ club programmes to play organised " Pick up". And for those who are in club set up; giving them addition resorce to improve on their close skills which futsal engenders.

I'm not saying this would work every where, but I hope it get a few people thinking. Also I does not cost anything but a bit a of time and effort from myself , the Principle and some other volunteers on the organisational part.

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Guest Ed
Several outdoor turf fields have been built in the past 5 years or so, all spearheaded by non-soccer groups as far as I know. There are 2 or 3 at Shouldice Park, (spearheaded by minor football, I think) the one mentioned at SAIT, one at a private school called Rundle College, one at a public high school, plus I guess you can count McMahon Stadium. All of these fields have been used by the Calgary Soccer Federation and its various members (senior men and women and youth). There is no indoor full-sized turf field.

My guess is that the ASA teams and other Alberta youth clubs travel to the coast more for competition than facilities. If there was an full sized indoor pitch perhaps they would stay home and hold their camps in March but when I was involved in coaching we went west to get outdoor games as well as train outside.

EDIT: Just realized that Ed responded to this already.

Sorry to hear you aren't involved in coaching anymore Chris. My run with my son and his friends has come to an end at the U16 level. Have to tone down my salty language now as I will be working with my daughter and her friends.

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