I am happy to provide an update to our coaches, players and parents in the U8–U12 age groups regarding the Peel Halton Development League (PHDL) festivals for the upcoming 2014 season. As many of you know, our Club has been very vocal about the issues with past PHDL seasons and we have pushed hard for changes to be made in order for us to be able to contemplate being involved.
I am happy to say that many of the changes we have requested have been made and at this point it looks like we are going to enter our teams for the 2014 season. Here is what we know for sure right now (that gives us comfort that the season will be successful):
2014 Festival Dates: May 24, May 31, June 7, June 14, June 21, July 5, July 12, July 19, July 26, August 9, August 16 and August 23.
There are no games on long weekends and no blackout dates. If a festival is rained out it will not be rescheduled. This 12-week schedule will allow us to schedule some exhibition games both pre- and post-season.
Each division will play 1 game per day. Game lengths will be maximized for each age group according to the
Long Term Player Development Matrix.
2 x 20 - U8
2 x 25 - U9
2 x 25 - U10
2 x 30 - U11
2 x 35 - U12
Divisions will be split into Target and Development and our Club Head Coach and Technical Director will work with team coaches to ensure the best playing experience for each team. Small changes to division tiering during the season will be undertaken only in extreme cases where teams are clearly in the wrong divisions so there will be no schedule interruptions. Small realignment changes will be communicated well in advance of weekend play. Each team must have a coach assigned and Target and Development teams will play at different locations so that players can only play for one team per day (they may switch teams in the same age group from one festival to another, if appropriate).
Field inventory has been compiled and the current inventory is more than satisfactory for the league needs. A request is to be sent out shortly to all participating clubs requesting a preliminary list of teams. After the March 31 registration deadline has passed, a draft schedule will be completed within 7 days. Each club will be asked to confirm in writing the dates that they will be required to host including fields and times. Final schedule will be available to all clubs by April 15. No changes will be permitted to the schedule. No one other than the Club representative will be able to talk to the League Scheduler. The League Scheduler is an individual who has much experience in scheduling leagues and I am confident in his abilities to do this right. We have applied to host four festivals spread over the summer months.
March 1 - Finalization of league operations by the committee (90% complete)
March 31 - Team applications
April 15 - Final schedules to be distributed
Each host location will provide a Site Staff for all festival weekends. The Club will hire/supply the staff for the weekend and will be reimbursed for all costs. The Site Staff job descriptions have been completed. Each host location will provide 6 staff who are properly attired and educated. PHDL will provide a Field Convenor for each host location at each festival.
Each host location’s Head Referee will be responsible for assigning and paying officials. Officials will be requested to have at minimum two years’ experience.
Teams should expect to travel to other locations in the District as part of this program but will have the complete schedule for the entire season on April 15. You can expect the same level of professionalism at each host location that we would provide here in Georgetown.
If there are any more questions or concerns that I can answer, please let me know. If you feel that there is a component of this operation that has not been met, I am happy to put it in front of the Committee. The last thing – I know that we all want a 100% guarantee that everything will work out perfectly this season. I can say that I am honestly pleased with the planning that has gone on thus far. The PHSA Board and the PHDL Committee are committed to making this work. If at anytime we feel as a Club that this situation changes, we will consider withdrawing from the league and focus on a summer-long exhibition schedule with like-minded clubs. At this time, we will register our Georgetown teams for the PHDL this season.
Have a great day.