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BC Soccer aiming to launch "Regional Tier 3 League"

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@Gopherbashi your points are well taken. The critical mass between Regina, Saskatoon, & Winnipeg is a little short (plus any rural regions or small cities that want to join in). Also, they were definitely discussing creative ideas to get around the travel issues. Thunder Bay was mentioned as a possibility and the Alberta issue always was - yes they could go it alone as they have enough population concentration. But without AB, SK and MB don't have enough. It is a bit of a catch 22. 

We have a couple interviews with Dave Nutt on the podcast if you go back through the RNO archives if your interested. They are old podcasts, but many of the details likely still hold (if you're interested of course).

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29 minutes ago, rob.notenboom said:

@Gopherbashi your points are well taken. The critical mass between Regina, Saskatoon, & Winnipeg is a little short (plus any rural regions or small cities that want to join in). Also, they were definitely discussing creative ideas to get around the travel issues. Thunder Bay was mentioned as a possibility and the Alberta issue always was - yes they could go it alone as they have enough population concentration. But without AB, SK and MB don't have enough. It is a bit of a catch 22. 

We have a couple interviews with Dave Nutt on the podcast if you go back through the RNO archives if your interested. They are old podcasts, but many of the details likely still hold (if you're interested of course).

Just brainstorming the below:

Let's assume 4 AB teams (Cal, Edm, RD, MH) and 4 SK/MB/TB teams (Sask, Reg, Win, TB) for the sake of argument.

Aim for a 12-game season; two less than PDL's.  Once a month (pick a weekend in May, June, July, and August) have one city in each conference host your typical four-team, six-game round-robin (three games for each team) - consisting of three teams from their own conference and one "crossover" team from the other conference.  The crossover gives you more variety of teams while the festival-like schedule cuts down on travel costs.

If there's more than 4 teams in AB, they can either rotate through the round robin setup or play their extra matches during the "bye" weekends against other AB teams.  SK/MB teams could do the same thing during the off-weeks if they want more games than 12.

If they want to do a full set of playoffs, pick a weekend in September and a central site somewhere in SK (for travel) and have a three-game minimum classification tournament (like the knockout of the Challenge Trophy) so you're not wasting people's time with a one-and-done knockout.

(Or just take your top side from each conference and have them face off like your L1O final).

Definitely interested in the old podcasts if I find time to listen to them.

Edited by Gopherbashi

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13 minutes ago, Gopherbashi said:

Just brainstorming the below:

Let's assume 4 AB teams (Cal, Edm, RD, MH) and 4 SK/MB/TB teams (Sask, Reg, Win, TB) for the sake of argument.

Aim for a 12-game season; two less than PDL's.  Once a month (pick a weekend in May, June, July, and August) have one city in each conference host your typical four-team, six-game round-robin (three games for each team) - consisting of three teams from their own conference and one "crossover" team from the other conference.  The crossover gives you more variety of teams while the festival-like schedule cuts down on travel costs.

If there's more than 4 teams in AB, they can either rotate through the round robin setup or play their extra matches during the "bye" weekends against other AB teams.  SK/MB teams could do the same thing during the off-weeks if they want more games than 12.

If they want to do a full set of playoffs, pick a weekend in September and a central site somewhere in SK (for travel) and have a three-game minimum classification tournament (like the knockout of the Challenge Trophy) so you're not wasting people's time with a one-and-done knockout.

(Or just take your top side from each conference and have them face off like your L1O final).

Definitely interested in the old podcasts if I find time to listen to them.

I can't right away, but if I get a chance later in the day I'll go dig them up and post the link. 

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Outstanding news. I can't wait for this league to become a reality, even though I've never been to BC so it's not like I'll be going to games.

So a new league in BC aiming for 2018, and if I'm not mistaken, this year L1O will have a team in Ottawa, and PLSQ will have a team in Quebec City. I realize the Fury had an Ottawa team in PLSQ last year, but still, it feels like the geographical footprint is getting bigger at the D3 level.

For consistency sake, I hope they call this league L1BC, or L1W. Let's use this branding across the nation. PLSQ can have their QMJHL-esque pass on this naming issue.

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3 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

Was there ever any talk of making the the L10 into two divisions, one higher, with promotion and relegation?

I am just curious if the formula was ever thought of, like 8 and 8.  It would sure give a bit more competitive bite to the leagues and make for a few more competitive games late in each season.

With the interest they are attracting, I hope they move in this direction eventually, once they are a bigger league. It would be nice to see L1O require teams fill the "pro" requirements, with L2O allowing the choice between pro and am to remain

Probably down the line though. 

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Not sure if a three month season will do anything but be a re-brand of the PCSL... It's good to see movement in BC towards D3 -don't get me wrong- yet. perhaps this announcement is more reactionary to the recent PDL moves and BC soccer scrambling to get a hold of the situation. Hope my gut is wrong and this is something for the common good.

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8 minutes ago, Pqhbv said:

Not sure if a three month season will do anything but be a re-brand of the PCSL... It's good to see movement in BC towards D3 -don't get me wrong- yet. perhaps this announcement is more reactionary to the recent PDL moves and BC soccer scrambling to get a hold of the situation. Hope my gut is wrong and this is something for the common good.

It looks pretty polished for a reactionary decision. It looks like they've been working on this for a while

That said, I agree, a fully amateur league with a 3 month season isn't a radical change, probably more of a gradual shift to a framework that allows them to enforce standards a bit more

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I was a little disappointed when I finished reading through the documents. For one thing, I was hoping it would be semi-pro instead of an "amateur league run professionally." I suppose running it professionally does immediately improve it over PLSQ, but the short season really makes me wonder why Highlanders and Rovers would even consider moving from PDL.

I'm pretty sure the Highlanders FO & game-day is still all volunteer (or mostly volunteer anyways), so even taking the step over would cost them annually. They would definitely need an investor to make it happen, despite the nice cost-containment policies that it looks like BCRT3 want to help with.

One thing I did find interesting in the document was that there was no talk of conferences or playoffs. I wonder if this means they'll be going the PLSQ route of winning by the season's point total. Also wondering how out of practice players will be for the D3-Interprovincial Cup, or if they're writing themselves out of it.

Lots of questions, but it does look like a fairly well polished info packet  & ops manual.

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When is BC's normal soccer season? I know in rugby they play at totally different times of the year which is is real barrier to any sort of national club competition. 

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21 minutes ago, Tigers said:

When is BC's normal soccer season? I know in rugby they play at totally different times of the year which is is real barrier to any sort of national club competition. 

Depends on the level you're talking. PDL & PCSL are summer leagues. Here is Victoria, most of our leagues run right through the winter. Here's a link to Vancouver Island Soccer League's schedule: http://www.visl.org/organizations/278/events?league_events=1 . I believe much of the lower mainland has a similar schedule, but someone over there would need to confirm.

Edited by Rintaran
accidentally wrote Association when I meant League

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1 hour ago, Rintaran said:

I was a little disappointed when I finished reading through the documents. For one thing, I was hoping it would be semi-pro instead of an "amateur league run professionally." I suppose running it professionally does immediately improve it over PLSQ, but the short season really makes me wonder why Highlanders and Rovers would even consider moving from PDL.

We hope the same thing for L1O as well but it's what we've got.

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6 hours ago, rob.notenboom said:

Hey @Gopherbashi here is the link to that podcast interview. Keep in mind it is 14 months old, but some of that info is still relevant in terms of a prairie high performance league. 

http://www.rednationonline.ca/Podcasts2015/FromtheBlackHoleEpisode60DaveNutt.aspx

Sounds like a lot more talk about youth HPL than anything adult.

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34 minutes ago, rob.notenboom said:

Yes I think they were looking at U20. But it's been awhile. 

Youth predictions near the end were:

Test events - 2016
League-like structure - 2017
Fully-implemented competition framework - 2018 (including some American states - wow!)

Any idea if they're on track for this still?

Edited by Gopherbashi

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21 minutes ago, Gopherbashi said:

Youth predictions near the end were:

Test events - 2016
League-like structure - 2017
Fully-implemented competition framework - 2018 (including some American states - wow!)

Any idea if they're on track for this still?

They might have had a test event but I'm not sure much else has transpired. On the other hand, I've been out of touch with the SSA guys for a while, so I should really ask them how things are going. 

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23 hours ago, Rintaran said:

I was a little disappointed when I finished reading through the documents.

Yeah there seems to be some good and some bad now that I have had a chance to look them over once I have some notes/thoughts.

The Good (emphases are mine):

''... a schedule that balances competition while maximizing the opportunity for home team revenue generation." (Info Pkg p4)

"A key factor to ensuring the success of the franchises and league will rely on a commitment to creating an entertaining, fan friendly, environment at each of the franchise venues." (IP p. 5)

"...minimum training sessions: 4 times per week" (Operations Manual and Technical Standards p. 12)

Coaching staff will have to meet minimum standards that include "B National" certification for head coaches right away rising to "A License" in 2020. (OMTS p. 12)

 

The Bad:

"c) Match Day Hosting requirements

  1. Enclosed game day facility for 400+ spectators" (OMPS p. 4)

Under "PROFIT v LOSS ESTIMATE" (IP p. 7) it shows annual losses of $24,000 based on a "LOW END" estimate of 750 tickets sold per game (50 season tickets and 700 walk-ups) and still losing money at "MODERATE" attendances of 1,500 (100/1,400).

The league will not be any better than PDL in terms of quality as it will draw from basically the same player pool and yet they are estimating no real "profit" until around the 2,000 attendance mark while only requiring 400 capacity?!?!!?

And BTW the above numbers include no paid staff outside of coaching.  So much for the, "professional environment required" (IP p. 6).

 

"League Schedule ... Games must not be scheduled prior to 12:00pm for teams traveling to or from the Island and Okanagan and 9:00am between Lower Mainland teams, unless agreed upon in advance by both teams." (OMTS p.5)

Can anyone explain to me how a "professional" or "fan-friendly" league kicks of ANY game before noon? Since when do paying spectators want to watch a game before lunch? 

 

Perhaps the worst news is that the owners of the teams will form a committee that can advise the league GM who will report to the BSCA HIgh Perfomance Committee and the BCSA Board of Directors. Organized as a not-for-profit society they are being described, "as an amateur league run professionally."

So what is the difference between this proposed league and the Pacific Coast Soccer League which already operates at this time of year, using the same pool of players and also runs on well-meaning volunteers? Well, at least this league will try and attract spectators instead of actively chasing them away I suppose.

 

Overall I am a little disappointed but it may be a workable start. I worry that the unrealistic budgets may scare off potential investors. I also wonder why nothing about linking to the other D3's and/or the Voyageur's Cup was included. These would provide some credibility and opportunity for additional meaningful games in front of paying spectators.

 

Gonna be interesting how this pans out.

 

 

 

Edited by ted
grammar correction

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18 minutes ago, ted said:

Yeah there seems to be some good and some bad now that I have had a chance to look them over once I have some notes/thoughts.

The Good (emphases are mine):

''... a schedule that balances competition while maximizing the opportunity for home team revenue generation." (Info Pkg p4)

"A key factor to ensuring the success of the franchises and league will rely on a commitment to creating an entertaining, fan friendly, environment at each of the franchise venues." (IP p. 5)

"...minimum training sessions: 4 times per week" (Operations Manual and Technical Standards p. 12)

 

Coaching staff will have to meet minimum standards that include "B National" certification for head coaches right away rising to "A License" in 2020. (OMTS p. 12)

 

The Bad:

"c) Match Day Hosting requirements

  1. Enclosed game day facility for 400+ spectators" (OMPS p. 4)

Under "PROFIT v LOSS ESTIMATE" (IP p. 7) it shows annual losses of $24,000 based on a "LOW END" estimate of 750 tickets sold per game (50 season tickets and 700 walk-ups) and still losing money at "MODERATE" attendances of 1,500 (100/1,400).

The league will not be any better than PDL in terms of quality as it will draw from basically the same player pool and yet they are estimating no real "profit" until around the 2,000 attendance mark while only requiring 400 capacity?!?!!?

And BTW the above numbers include paid staff outside of coaching.  So much for the, "professional environment required" (IP p. 6).

 

"League Schedule ... Games must not be scheduled prior to 12:00pm for teams traveling to or from the Island and Okanagan and 9:00am between Lower Mainland teams, unless agreed upon in advance by both teams." (OMTS p.5)

Can anyone explain to me how a "professional" or "fan-friendly" league kicks of ANY game before noon? Since when do paying spectators want to watch a game before lunch? 

 

Perhaps the worst news is that the owners of the teams will form a committee that can advise the league GM who will report to the BSCA HIgh Perfomance Committee and the BCSA Board of Directors. Organized as a not-for-profit society they are being described, "as an amateur league run professionally."

So what is the difference between this proposed league and the Pacific Coast Soccer League which already operates at this time of year, using the same pool of players and also runs on well-meaning volunteers? Well, at least this league will try and attract spectators instead of actively chasing them away I suppose.

 

Overall I am a little disappointed but it may be a workable start. I worry that the unrealistic budgets may scare off potential investors. I also wonder why nothing about linking to the other D3's and/or the Voyageur's Cup was included. These would provide some credibility and opportunity for additional meaningful games in front of paying spectators.

 

Gonna be interesting how this pans out.

 

 

 

It's going to be very difficult to link up with the D3 Cup in November when their season ends in July.  I wouldn't count on them taking part (at least not with the same players).

As for the attendance and profit/loss calculation, remember that clubs have other sources of revenue besides ticket sales (ie. registration fees not only for BCRT3 players, but also other youth & adult players within their organization) and that teams may transition some existing staff from programs they're already operating (or possibly just move everything over from existing leagues).  Besides, it's not as if those teams are making buckets of money from ticket sales now - it will become an issue of how much more those net game-day losses are with the added staff, and whether teams think that's worth it.

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As for the pitch requirements; I don't think they expect to see 1500 fans per game (even if that is the game-day break-even point).  Based on the other D3s, they're probably hoping for an attendance in the low triple digits and want to make sure that teams have a spot to put those fans.

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18 minutes ago, Gopherbashi said:

It's going to be very difficult to link up with the D3 Cup in November when their season ends in July.  I wouldn't count on them taking part (at least not with the same players).

As for the attendance and profit/loss calculation, remember that clubs have other sources of revenue besides ticket sales (ie. registration fees not only for BCRT3 players, but also other youth & adult players within their organization) and that teams may transition some existing staff from programs they're already operating (or possibly just move everything over from existing leagues).  Besides, it's not as if those teams are making buckets of money from ticket sales now - it will become an issue of how much more those net game-day losses are with the added staff, and whether teams think that's worth it.

Exactly, just like in L1O, I'm sure it will mostly be league fees within a local association supporting the BCT3 team, not the other way around. I wouldn't expect many independent clubs 

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3 hours ago, ted said:

The Bad:

"c) Match Day Hosting requirements

  1. Enclosed game day facility for 400+ spectators" (OMPS p. 4)

Under "PROFIT v LOSS ESTIMATE" (IP p. 7) it shows annual losses of $24,000 based on a "LOW END" estimate of 750 tickets sold per game (50 season tickets and 700 walk-ups) and still losing money at "MODERATE" attendances of 1,500 (100/1,400).

The league will not be any better than PDL in terms of quality as it will draw from basically the same player pool and yet they are estimating no real "profit" until around the 2,000 attendance mark while only requiring 400 capacity?!?!!?

In BC Soccer's defense, you're making the exact math mistake I made when I looked at this yesterday: dividing $8,400 per year walk-up ticket revenue by $12 a ticket = 700 tickets, but then not dividing 700 tickets by 7 home games = 100 walk-ups per game.

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5 minutes ago, Benjamin Massey said:

In BC Soccer's defense, you're making the exact math mistake I made when I looked at this yesterday: dividing $8,400 per year walk-up ticket revenue by $12 a ticket = 700 tickets, but then not dividing 700 tickets by 7 home games = 100 walk-ups per game.

^ This is more relevant than anything I posted.

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3 hours ago, ted said:

Overall I am a little disappointed but it may be a workable start. I worry that the unrealistic budgets may scare off potential investors. I also wonder why nothing about linking to the other D3's and/or the Voyageur's Cup was included. These would provide some credibility and opportunity for additional meaningful games in front of paying spectators.

 

Gonna be interesting how this pans out.

 

 

 

Good points. To nitpick, not sure why they're using the term "Tier" instead of "Division" either which seems more the official way to classify a league and IMO clarify's better their level. Branding is important and that along with a name such as "League1 BC" (since they mention it when referring to BC having its equivalent to them with this league) would help.

 

They should also have included professional requirements in their documents as well like L1 Ontario has to give more of a sense of the possibilities of the league in the future for investors looking to start a club.

Edited by CDNFootballer

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