Warwick Fire Fighters Soccer Club: Select/Competitive Program
WFFSC Competitive/Select Program Overview
Mission Statement: To provide the opportunity for players to participate in a more intense, focused, and competitive soccer program that will better prepare them for an opportunity for success in the interscholastic venue or further advancement. They will do so conducting themselves in a manner consistent with the rules, regulations, and guidelines set forth by the WFFSC BOD.
The Select program, otherwise known as Competitive, Travel, or SuperLiga, at WFFSC is meant to form teams with players of comparable talent level and play against other teams at about that same level. In the Recreational Program, the teams are balanced with each team having some strong players team up with some not so strong players. This provides the developmental/instructional background that is the intent of the Rec Program. In Select, teams are based on the talent level of the individual players, such that the 'first' team is comprised of the top level players. This balance in talent on the Select team provides the team and coaches the opportunity to function more as a team unit with the ability to learn and teach team tactics, which are essential for future athletic endeavors by the players, be it in high school or elsewhere.
The Select Program is just that, a selection process, and this is always a cause of concern for players and parents. At WFFSC, we strive to provide as fair of an assessment of each player trying out for a Select team and base formation of teams on these assessments. Is it perfect? No, it is not. But the Board of Directors is committed to making improvements when needed. We are mandating that tryouts include independent assessors when possible. Within a soccer club, independence is very difficult to obtain since everyone typically knows everyone else. We try to get some of the boys coaches to assess the girl tryouts and vice-versa. When possible, we get outside assessors (typically coaches from other clubs) to help with the tryouts.
Players in Select should play in their own age group. In Rec, there may be more 'moving up' due to more significant talent differentials in the age group. However, in Select, there should not be as significant talent differentials, especially if the club has a 'first' team in that division, so the players should play in their age group, unless the Select Coordinator gives approval for the play-up.
Coaches for Select teams undergo an application process whereby they petition the Board for a team. The Board selects the coaches that provide the best opportunity for the players. Select coaches must obtain the proper coaching licenses as prescribed by Soccer Rhode Island, the governing state soccer association to which WFFSC belongs.
Due to the different number of players on field between indoor and outdoor, the team formations are different for each. For example, there may be 3 teams indoor, but only two outdoor teams. See the document under Select Guidelines for Coaches concerning how teams are formed based on the number of available players. The tryouts in June are to form the teams that will play fall outdoor, then winter indoor, and then spring outdoor.
In January/February the outdoor teams are finalized by the Division Coordinatores/coaches and approved by the Board with practicing starting as weather permits. The teams typically play in SuperLiga, a league sanctioned by Soccer Rhode Island. Some teams may choose to play in other leagues such as MAPL in Massachusetts. Teams typically play against other RI clubs and participate in the State Cup tournaments to decide RI State Champions and who will represent RI in the national tournaments. Many teams play in other tournaments during this season and into the summer.
The fees for Indoor Select are generally quite a bit higher than typical outdoor fees due to the additional cost of the indoor facilities. Typical cost for both sessions of indoor is $200-$300 depending on the venue. A competitive uniform is required and this is in the range of $80. Indoor is not a money-maker for WFFSC with the club basically trying to charge fees that cover the costs of the various venues including team fees as well as player and coaches passes.
The teams play in a competitive environment; however the emphasis is primarily on player development rather than winning at all costs. There are some general policies to try and accomplish this goal within the competitive program at WFFSC. One policy is that players at all age levels get reasonable play-time which typically is at least 50% of the gametime over the season. No player should sit on the bench. Another goal is to have players play in many different positions on the field, at least until they are in the older age groups (U14 and above) where specialization (such as keeper) may be warranted for playing a particular position in high school. Coaches should gently encourage players, even when some are reluctant, to try different positions so that the players get exposed to as many as possible. Also up through U12 the same player should not play keeper for the entire game since the intent is to have as many players try other positions with keeper being one of them that all players should try once in a while. While winning the game is a reasonable goal, the primary goal of the coach should be to elevate the team's ability to play the game which entails the enhancement of each player's ability during the season.
Friday, June 13
Competitive Program Timeline
April – Board appoints the Select Coordinator(s) for the upcoming Competitive Program. It may be one coordinator for both boys and girls or separate coordinators for boys and girls. The Select Coordinators are responsible for nominating individual Division Coordinators and for the overall success of the program.
May/June – Board reviews/approves nominations for Division Coordinators. First order of business for Select/Division Coordinators is to schedule tryouts and then execute the tryouts in order to form teams for the Fall Season. Two tryouts in each age division are coordinated and run by the Division Coordinators in order to gather information to provide a fair and equitable evaluation of each player. Teams will be formed based on the evaluations. Teams should be comprised of players with similar talent levels as to provide the best opportunity for the team to develop and be competitive. All players deserve the opportunity for fair, unbiased evaluations and team placements and not rely solely on individual coach relationships.
Sept/Oct – Competitive teams play in fall season. All games are initially on Sunday and coaches may then change games as needed.
October – Indoor teams defined and finalized with venues selected.
November through March – Indoor sessions. Teams may play at various venues such as Teamworks Warwick, Wide World North Kingstown, or Sherwood Seekonk MA.
January – Select Coordinators will work with Division Coordinators and coaches to form outdoor teams for Spring Season.
April through June – Spring Season
May – New Hampshire Memorial Day Tournament. Typically there are 20+ teams from WFFSC in this tournament. It is a great time for everyone involved.
June – End of this year's Competitive Season. Start on next one.