FLEX™ Extended Play Report
2009 AYSO Section Conference Workshop
Extended Play Report to the Membership
Definition of Extended Play
- Extended Play is the name of the Strategic Plan used to encompass programming for players offered concurrently with, or in place of, AYSO's standard primary program.
- "Extended Play" opportunities have been developed by both volunteers and paid staff, are sanctioned or not by the National Board of Directors, and some are known and many unknown.
- The name was also meant to apply to any such programming that AYSO might define and offer in the future.
Definition of Primary Program
- The AYSO primary program is that set of scheduled games in a Region for which open registration is held, balanced teams are formed, all registrants play, the team member registrations have been paid to the national organization and insurance is in effect..
- Most Regions have their primary program only in fall; a small number have a winter or spring or summer; a few have a different time of year for each upper age gender based on the high school play season. Some Regions split their primary program into two sets of games, usually due to weather and field issues.
Overview of the Extended Play Task Force Workshop
- Task Force responsibilities under AYSO'S Strategic Plan
- Task Force Mission Statement
- Research Done
- Data Analysis
- Report of Findings
- Recommendations/Summary of Changes Approved by NBOD
- Obtain more local program information and needs
- Questions and Answers
What Soccer Organization Made These Statements in Memos to All Coaches and Managers?
- "Our program is patterned after the recent successful Olympic swimming team and therefore we hope to place many boys on future Olympic soccer squads." 1964
- "Participation in this program can develop boys into future professional soccer players commanding fabulous bonus fees and salaries." 1966 Answer: American Youth Soccer Organization, Bill Hughes, AYSO National Secretary The memos also said that performance, instilling a keen sense of competition and a greater sense of attention to practice and skill were critical to AYSO's success.
What Year Did It Happen in AYSO?
- The National Board of Directors stated "It is our responsibility to know where we are and where we want to direct this organization" and AYSO began wrestling with the topic of extended play‐type programs. 1980
- The National Board of Directors stated: "…we will not hesitate to take the steps and institute the changes that are necessary to ensure our continued ability to meet the needs of the children and families we are in business to serve." and AYSO began to deal with our future. Strategic Plan 2007
Key Historical Information on Extended Play - Type of Programs
- 1965 All Star Program was created
- 1980 First Extended Play (EP) program piloted in Section 1
- 1983 EP program in Section 1 suspended for more study /li>
- 1989-97 Olympic College Development Program designed
- 1992-1998 AYSO+ Program approved as a pilot
- 1997-2002 Challenge Program piloted, approved as a Special Program in 2002
- 1997 Progressive Play approved as national program to develop players (National Office generated)
- 2000-2002 Pacific Soccer Club pilot approved
- 2000 Alternative Play Program pilot approved (National Office generated)
- 2001 X‐Play approved as national player training program (National Office generated)
- 2002-2004 Youth Development Program approved as a pilot in Section 1C (a close resemblance to AYSO+)
- 200? (year unknown) AYSO Development Program (AYSODP) presented to the NBOD (no author/implementation of concept has been found)
- 2002‐2003 Advanced Play proposal developed (but was not presented to the membership)
- 2004 Supplemental Play proposal from SDs (presented to membership at NAGM - failed to produce any action)
How Extended Play Task Force Came To Be:
- In July 2007, 42 members of AYSO's leadership unanimously approved the 2007 Strategic Plan for AYSO
- The Strategic Plan determined that expanding our player program base was necessary to
- remain relevant in the marketplace
- meet the growing needs of our grassroots
- The president appointed a NBOD liaison and Task Force specifying the objectives, including reaching out to the grassroots for input and support.
Extended Play Task Force Members and Geographic Areas of Responsibility
|Member ||Section ||Yrs. of Service ||Position ||Geographical Responsibility |
|Maurice Miranda || |
|SMA, coach ||Sections 7, 10 |
|Judy Fisher || |
|AD, NTAC || Sections 2, 9 |
|Jordan Becker || |
|RMA, coach ||Section 3, 13 |
|Rob Winters || |
|AD, Sec. Dev. ||Sections 4, 5 |
|Val Oria || |
| SCA ||Sections 6, 8 |
|JR Rosenberg || |
|AD ||Sections 11, 14 |
|Bruce Perkins || |
|SD ||Sections 1, 12 |
|Margie Close || || |
|National Special Programs Administrator |
|John Ouellette || || |
|National Coach |
|Paula Berriz || || |
|NBOD, Chair Extended Play Task Force |
Additional Members Added to Task Force to Help Design Extended Play Programming
|Member ||Section ||Yrs. of Service ||Position |
|Hugh McLeish || |
|National Coaching Adv. Comm. Chair |
|Eileen Tabert || |
|National Management Adv. Comm. Chair |
|Patrick Mullane || |
|National Referee Adv. Comm. Chair |
|Irwin Kavy || |
|National Tournament Adv. Comm. Chair |
|John Hadidian || |
|NTAC member, RCA |
Task Force AYSO Years of Volunteer Service
Fourteen Extended Play Task Force members have 291 years of volunteer service to AYSO
That's an average of 19.4 years of service per task force member!
Strategic Plan Quotes about Extended Play
"During the past decade, many of AYSO's regions have initiated pilot programs designed to provide extended play opportunities. Our examination of those programs leads us to conclude that they respond to the legitimate interests of our members and that they can and should be encouraged so long as they are conducted in a manner that is consistent with AYSO's mission."
AYSO Mission and Vision Statements
AYSO Mission Statement
To develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs, which promote a fun, family environment based on our philosophies:
- Everyone Plays
- Balanced Teams
- Open Registration
- Positive Coaching
- Good Sportsmanship
- Player Development
AYSO Vision Statement
To provide world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.
Extended Play Defined Parameters in Strategic Plan
"AYSO endorses the concept of AYSO Extended Play Programs so long as such programs incorporate the following elements:
- Everyone on a team plays. (Every player plays at least 50% of each game.)
- The teams within an AYSO Extended Play [League] must be constituted with the goal of creating competitive balance."
- Selection to the teams must be based on open and impartial evaluations.
- Administration and coordination of the program must run through the appropriate AYSO region, area or section.
- The program must meet the appropriate standards for coach and referee training and certification as established by AYSO.
- The Extended Play program may only be offered in conjunction with a ‘core' [standard] primary program."
Strategic Plan Addresses Need for Change
- "Status Quo is not a viable option
- AYSO must be open to change in order to respond effectively to the shifting needs of its current and future members and customer base."
Task Force Project Components
- Reviewed all documentation on all known programs (approved or otherwise)
- Reviewed all NBOD minutes and reports from 1964 to date
- Reviewed all program definitions
- Reviewed all Bylaws, Rules & Regs, Policies, written guidelines
- Contacted Sections/Areas/Regions within each task force member's geographic responsibility for program information
- Compiled all task force program data for analysis
- Met in person over one weekend and held fourteen teleconference meetings since January 2008
Questions the Task Force Wrestled With
- Are our philosophies viewed and applied too rigidly? If so, why?
- How is it that we are a "national" organization with a multitude of geographic and cultural differences, but we fail to embrace these differences and their resulting diverse needs?
- Do we believe that we should provide soccer development for all children's needs?
- What are we afraid of losing with program diversity?
- What are we losing with "home grown programs" - many of which don't properly embrace our philosophies?
- Why have we struggled with diverse programs since 1980 - while creating and running numerous pilot/experimental programs? Were we seeking a solution to a need?
- Why did our primary program become identified only as a "rec" program, contrary to its founding principles?
- How did we adopt a misconception of why our organization was founded? The vision for AYSO in 1964 was to create world class soccer players.
- Can we develop needed programs with our philosophies intact?
Report of Findings
- Youth soccer is a mature market place.
- There are altered expectations by parents and players.
- We have more capable competitors today than in 1964.
- Many competitors have adopted OUR philosophies and marketed them more effectively.
- We do not apply our philosophies as broadly as needed.
- We must do a better job in effectively developing, branding and marketing our philosophies and programs.
- Many parents and players want more soccer and a stronger competitive structure.
- Many regions and areas across the country want and need Extended Play opportunities.
- We continue to lose players at all age divisions except U‐5.
- Since 2004 we have lost approximately 70,000 players (and volunteer parents).
- We have lost nearly 30,000 players this membership year alone.
- Since adopting a U‐5 program, we have gained approximately 90,000 U‐5 players.
- By allowing flexible U‐5 registration dates, we have gained 8,500 additional U‐5 players.
- More and more regions and areas are establishing programs that deviate from our primary program to retain players (and volunteer parents) by offering the playing components that are drawing our players to other programs.
- We are losing field space to other programs that are showing growing player numbers - with our players!
To Reasons in Order of Frequency Given by Our Regions and Areas As To Why EP‐Type Programs Have Been Established
- To provide competition beyond tournaments
- To reduce poaching from club
- To retain players at all divisions
- To improve the "rec-only" perception of AYSO
- To retain volunteers
- To retain their skilled, dedicated player base
- To provide more soccer opportunities
Estimated Program Participation Numbers in Non‐Primary Programs and A/B Programs (and in Registration Dollars)
Taken from Numbers of Players Reported by Extended Play Task Force Studies
If these players did not have access to additional play opportunities, would they be participating in our primary programs?
- Secondary Program Participation - 60,850
- Experimental A/B Programs - 4,500
- Grand Total Participants - 65,350
Grand total registration dollars of players participating in programs other than regular primary programs x $12.75 national fee = $833,212.
Why These Types of Programs Exist Today
Region Reported Theories as to Why Variations of AYSO+ Appear in Player Programs across the Country
- This is the type of program that is felt best retains the integrity of the Primary Program.
- It is the most obvious response to competitive programs that offer enhanced or tiered play.
- Our membership is seeking ways in which to remain relevant in their local program delivery.
Can AYSO develop needed programs with our philosophies intact?
Our answer: Yes, we can!
In the broadest terms, how our philosophies can be applied…
Yes, at least one‐half of every game.
Yes, everyone who wants to play can register in a region and can opt to try out for programs hosted by that region.
Yes, and all Task Force recommended programs will require regionally balanced teams.
Yes and all programs will be required to adhere to AYSO training and certification programs.
Yes, of course, for all programs!
A key part of these programs
Introducing: AYSO Flexible Primary Programs - AYSO "FLEX™ "
Summary of Recommendations and Changes Approved by the NBOD ‐‐ To pilot optional new AYSO Primary Programs - Flexible Programs*
- AYSO [Extra]* conducted concurrently with standard primary program
- AYSO [Extra]*conducted side‐by‐side the standard primary program (A/B)
- AYSO [Club]* (umbrella and align all "club" type programs in AYSO)
- *Pilot program names subject to change when final marketing plan is submitted.
AYSO Flexible Programs - Pilot
In addition to every regional program requiring our standard Primary Program, these new pilot programs will be offered to those that qualify:
AYSO [EXTRA]* (two program options):
- AYSO [Extra]* Concurrent - Requires concurrent primary program play, usually plays on different day.
- AYSO [Extra]* Side‐by‐Side - Plays side‐by‐side with the standard primary program and does not require concurrent play in the primary program.
Modeled on the best practices of our approved programs and approved pilot programs.
This component is designed to bring these programs into compliance, uniformity and under one umbrella within the philosophical parameters of AYSO.
Flexible Program Requirements - Key (not all) program requirements:
- NO paid coaches, referees, administrators
- All five AYSO philosophies must be present
- Must fulfill AYSO Mission Statement
- Coaching - minimum AYSO coaching programs
- Refereeing - minimum AYSO referee programs
- Paid Trainers - same as current AYSO policies
- Overall acceptance of program in region or area
- U‐10 through U‐19
- Tryouts open, impartial and with proper player notifications
- Appropriate monitoring, financial oversight, annual reporting to the next higher executive member level (and nationally during pilot stages).
- Player vacancy policy
- Upon approval, non‐compliant programs allowed maximum of 2 years to conform or AYSO will sunset them.
All of the same requirements as the AYSO [Extra]* program but with these variations included:
- No paid components - all volunteer, except in those instances where the league/playing circuit requires otherwise due to affiliation with USYS or the equivalent.
- Formal application, monitoring, financial oversight by the next higher executive member level as well as reporting to a national governing body on at least an annual basis will be required even after the pilot program phase .
- Paid Trainers - national policy preferred; any deviations must have appropriate approval, monitoring and reporting at the next higher executive member level.
- Same sunset requirements as the AYSO [Extra]* programs.
Changes That Have Shaped and Defined AYSO
- Only three philosophies existed in 1964 - Everyone Plays, Open Registration and Balanced Teams.
- Positive Coaching was added in 1988.
- Good Sporsmanship was added in 1991.
- Player Development was added in 2009.
- Girls were included in AYSO in 1971. The first youth soccer program to do so!
- AYSO was the first soccer organization to require shin guards!
- Adding a U‐5 program has increased our registrations by 90,000!
- Adding flexible primary program registration dates for U‐5.
- AYSO Flexible programs are the next positive change.
- The AYSO 2007 Strategic Plan identified that player program change is critical to becoming more relevant and appealing in the youth soccer marketplace.
- AYSO has spent 28 years researching, piloting and debating the need for diverse programs run the "AYSO WAY" to meet the needs of our more skilled and dedicated soccer players without diminishing the AYSO Primary Program.
- We must listen to our R/A/S by acting on their identified needs and providing additional programs for those that need them in order to maintain good player market share (and branding awareness) and adequate field space for their programs.
- By not making the decision to allow diverse programs we have inadvertently encouraged unapproved, unmonitored and unmeasured programs without national definition or oversight.
- This unchecked development is fractionalizing our organization in both player and volunteer program delivery and is prohibiting AYSO from properly defining and branding our products.
- The Task Force identified the types of player programs needed to sustain and grow AYSO in those parts of the country that need them now and in the future.
- The Task Force recommendations were accepted by the NBOD. The new programs will be "road tested" I the form of pilot programs.