North Tangi Soccer Association: Division 1

Thursday, February 4
Developement of North Tangi's Division 1 Program

The board has been asked many times about our new travel team, and how they can get their kid on the team.  North Tangi Soccer will be working towards offering more D1 (travel) teams at future times, both boys and girls. 

 To explain a little further:

Louisiana Soccer Association currently has 4 levels of competition.

(1) Recreational level is usually played "in house" at each recreation's facilities.  As kids get older, they grow interested in other sports and participation tends to fall off in numbers.  This will require older recreational level players to travel to other leagues to play recreational level games.  Some teams that are at the recreational level may travel to near tournaments, but usually not till kids get older and more experienced.

 (2) Division 1 is a higher competition level than recreation and usually requires a year round commitment from players.  This is a level where most teams are picked on a try-out basis or selected by a coaching staff.  Division 1 teams are a traveling squad that will play both games at home or away.  They may play games locally or travel to near towns out of state.  They also play in tournaments designated for Division 1 or Premier.  They are not allowed to play in recreational level tournaments.  They can only play "friendlies" with recreational teams on a scrimmage basis when both coaches consent.  (Usually on a practice basis)  Division one players that are multi-sport athletes  usually can handle playing multiple sports, but it's a challenge because of the demand of practice times and year round games.

(3) Premier is a very high level of competition.  This is level of competition above Division 1.  Premier teams are very selective of their players.  It is completely a try-out basis and a staff will select the players for these teams.  They will play in tournaments locally and nationally.  Premier level players are usually players that have commited to only playing soccer because they're commited to taking their skills to the best of their abilities.  (I'm not saying players won't play other sports, just not likely at this level due to the demand)

(4) ODP (Olympic Developement Program) is the elite level of competition for youth soccer.  This level requires being selected among players from all over the state.  It requires complete commitment from players and their parents.  Players may be required to drive 2-3 hours, just to make a weekend practice.  It is usually a team that is selected of players throughout the state to represent their areas in national competition.  Some players in ODP will continue to represent the USA in worldwide competition.

 Now that I've explained the levels of competition; here's a brief explanation of North Tangi's commitment to developing a solid league.  In the Spring of 09, a team was selected for the boys to compete in a local tournament.  They played at the recreational level throughout the season and came together at the end of the season to play in the tournament.  From there, the core of that team stayed together to branch off from our recreational teams.  This team was named the Crew and will represent North Tangi Soccer at the Division 1 level.

In the future, North Tangi wants to make multiple teams to compete at the D1 level.  We want there to be both boys and girls teams to go out and represent our league.  Unfortunately, like our league, we currently are going to have to nurse this program to life.  We do not want to start building a D1 program before we are ready, for multiple reasons.  One, many of our kids that are old enough (U10 or older) for D1 have only played 1 or 2 years.  Other D1 teams are made from players that have played since 5 yrs old.  This gives the other teams a distinct advantage.  As our younger kids get older, they will be ready to compete at this level.  If we send them out before they are ready, they will go out and lose, only to get discouraged.  Secondly, if we pull too many kids before the league is able, we sacrifice the good of our entire league.  This does not leave us with enough kids to make up enough teams "in house" for our league to prosper.

 We apoligize for those players who are above the rest at their levels,  and hope to be able to offer them the opportunity to play at the D1 level soon.  We will continue to keep you updated on the Crew's success, which hopefully will pave the way for our future D1 teams.