SF Soccer Families,

Now that the season is underway, we’d like to connect with you all, as there’s so much going on the Fall!

This email contains information about:

  1. Match Day Referee Coverage

  2. Guest Play in Rec & CCSL Prep

  3. Rec Teams: Clarification of Grade-based Play  |  2nd Grade 2nd Half Season  |  Silent Saturday

  4. Upcoming: 9/21 Francisco Park Mtg  |  9/23 USF v Stanford  |  9/28 PCA Workshop #2  |  10/13 AGM

  5. SFYS Website Shortcuts


1.  First things first … let’s address Referees

  • Fact: There are more matches than there are Referees.

  • To Cap or Not To Cap?

Our organization has not been asked to cap the number of teams that want to play. By condensing game time slots and allowing practices on nearly every plot of grass in the city it seems, SF Rec & Park has supported the growth of the sport and our players’ participation in it. But the increase in the number of players does not parallel an increase in the number of referees. Despite facilitating training for more than 800 referees in the last year, we are still short (note that training one to be a ref does not necessarily result in that person actually signing up to ref). Now, we have to consider - while referees are integral to a game, and we make every effort to provide one on every match - it is simply not always possible. If we want the expectation of “a ref on every match” met, then we must also consider limiting the number of teams that can play. We have not made that hard call and don’t want to. But if the frustration level is so high, at this point there are only two ways to address this: (1) source more refs (shall we make it a requirement for each team like AYSO does??) or (2) limit the number of teams that can participate. Let’s work on option (1) for the moment: If you or someone you know would like to become a Referee, please contact our Referee Assignor Rich Fern at richref2@gmail.com!!!


2. Guest Play in Rec & CCSL Prep

Guest Play is a new, free option for teams who will be short on match day. This is the first season we’ve been authorized to allow it (as well as have the technology to support and track it). SFYS made a decision for this fall not to put stringent restrictions on Guest Play, apart from liability and technological limitations. Based on usage, we’ll determine whether we need to require more formal rules.

  • The important thing for parents to understand is that Guest Play requires coordination between both teams and the player guardian. It works like this: Your team admin assigns your player to the team your player would like to guest on. It’s straightforward to do, and your player will for the weekend appear both on his/her own team as well as the guest team roster.


3. Rec Teams:

  • Clarification of Grade-based Play

Had we adopted the  US Soccer mandated registration age changes, the consequence on the rec side would mean that our recreational pool of largely school-based teams would have been forced to split up (or play age up). SFYS decided as an alternative to offer School Grade-based play. Alas, no good deed ever goes unpunished. As ever, when offering something for the first time, there are unforseen ripple effects that must be addressed on the fly. Now, because of the registration age changes - Every Rec flight is mixed age, and spans 3 years. (See Implications of Grade-based play vs. US Soccer Registration Age.)


Since it is not possible for SFYS to know the school grade of the team, apart from within the team name, we confirmed the grade level with the team primary contact at the time of registration. That wasn’t infallible, as it turns out a couple of teams (or players on said teams) confirmed their current grade in Spring instead of their Fall grade level -- and the mistakes weren’t caught until after Fall Schedules were finalized. So ultimately we’ve learned that intermixed in nearly every recreational school grade flight is a team or two that has a one or two older grade kids. There is nothing we can do about this now, without re-bracketing all and re-running entire schedules, which is not going to happen (until Spring). Based on team census responses, we’ve done our utmost to bracket as fairly as possible - so ideally from a competition standpoint, the matches should still work out win some/lose some, as is the goal in Recreational play.

  • Rec 2nd Grade Teams - 2nd Half Season Re-bracket & Schedule

2nd Grade Rec teams have been scheduled 4-5 games to start the season, then will be re-bracketed for the second half of season, which begins on Oct 15th. We wait until after the 3rd week (this weekend, 9/24-25) results to begin re-bracketing and finalize the second half brackets after the 4th week (next week, 10/1-10/2). 2nd Grade teams can expect their second half schedules the week of October 8th.

  • All Grade Levels: Silent Saturday is coming! 10/8-10/9


4. Upcoming Community Events:


Tonight 9/21 - 6pm @ Moscone Rec Center - Francisco Park Public Meeting

The northeast of the city is underserved in terms of athletic field space, but there is opposition to anything but a public garden on the massive footprint of the defunct reservoir. If you want to impact the future of that space - Tonight there is a public meeting being held from 6:00-7:30 at the Moscone Recreation Center in the Marina regarding the future of Francisco Park.


This Friday 9/23 - 7pm @ USF - Men’s Soccer vs. Stanford

Come watch the Dons take on the defending National Champion Cardinals at USF’s Negoesco Field. Youth 12 and under are Free, Adults only $10 and the first 250 fans receive a Coca-Cola float!


Next Wednesday 9/28 - 6:30pm @ SFYS - PCA Workshop #2

Free for SFYS Coaches - Highly interactive, two-hour session with our partner, the Positive Coaching Alliance, for new and veteran coaches alike. Learn effective and dynamic strategies for dealing with varying ability strengths, managing disparate attention spans, balancing player development and winning, ensuring fewer on-field conflicts and better coach-parent relationships. Each workshop is unique, with a different presenter. Coaches are welcome to attend one or all. The workshops are free, but require RSVP so we can provide enough food and drink!


Thursday 10/13 - 6:30pm - SFYS Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Each SFYS team should plan to send one representative to this mandatory meeting. If your coach or team manager cannot make it, s/he may send a parent in their stead. We will be voting in board members. More Details


5. SFYS Resources - relevant links on website for information

Thanks for your incredible support. Hope your season continues to go well and see you on the pitch!

Scotty, Barb & David @ SFYS

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