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#1 2009-01-13 08:06 pm

weeznation
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Registered: 2006-04-27
Posts: 70

Maximum Number of Youth Games in a Day / League and Tournament Formats

There has been a discussion going on for the past several years concerning what is the appropriate number of games that youth ultimate teams should play in a day. I have put together what I think the guidelines should be in our community. I have floated my guidelines past several folks which led me to agree that four games in two days is okay and that high school teams could play more points than middle school teams (though not many more). Originally I was going to advocate no more than 3 games in two days.

I have discussed with Wynne and Rusty about posting this. Rusty agreed that we should have an online discussion and Wynne pointed out that" Developing youth tournament guidelines is one of the action items for 2009 on our Five-Year Youth Strategic Plan, so this is good timing... I think it would be valuable for the Tournaments sub-committee to get some feedback from the public."

Wynne also suggested posting the link to the current UPA formats that the UPA still uses for youth: http://www.upa.org/files/Format_Manual_ … .17.05.pdf 

In a later post I'll try to state explicitly how each of your format suggestions is different from the current formats, and my rationale for why my plan is better. I'll also  try to explain how my guidelines compare to other youth sports formats. (Both Wynne's suggestions) I strongly encourage people interested in this topic to follow the links I provide at the bottom of my guidelines to see how other sports and associations limit number of games.

Maximum Number of Games for DiscNW Youth (Mike Mullen – January 2009)

Below is a recommendation to bring DiscNW youth ultimate Frisbee more into line with other youth sports when it comes to try to limit overuse injuries (as well as organizational liability).

ES and MS Aged Participant
     League Competition – 1 game per day

Tournaments – Total of 4 games in two days
     Equivalent of 45 total points scored for winners
          Could break into four games equivalent of less than 45 points scored for winners (i.e. four games to 11)
          No more than two games in a day
          Only “A” Divisions should play elimination championship
          “B”, “C”, and “ES” divisions should only play jamboree style round robin
          Any time two games are played in one day there should be a break between the games equivalent to the length of a game

Camps and Clinics– Maximum of 1 game per half day
     Full day camps/clinics could have a morning game and an afternoon game
          Should be a break between the games equivalent to 2 games

HS Aged Participant

     League Competition – 1 game per day
     Tournaments (DiscNW Sponsored/Managed) – Total of 4 games in two days
          Equivalent of 60 total points scored for winners
          No more than two games in a day
          Could break into four games equivalent of less than 45 points scored for winners (i.e. four games to 11)
          Only “A” Divisions should play elimination championship
          “B”, “C”, and “9th grade” divisions should only play jamboree style round robin
          Any time two games are played in one day there should be a break between the games equivalent to the length of a game
          State Tournament would become single elimination tournament similar to HS state soccer tournaments (See WIAA Handbook to see how the geographic issue is dealt with when teams qualify from across the state)

Camps and Clinics– Maximum of 1 game per half day
     Full day camps/clinics could have a morning game and an afternoon game
     Should be a break between the games equivalent to 2 games

Tournaments (DiscNW as qualifier i.e. UPA Westerns & UPA YCC)
     Push for only two games per day with game length break between games
     Westerns most likely limited to two days
          Likely single elimination based on region and seeding
          Still could do a four game guarantee for travel
          YCC would be limited to Westerns format unless changed into more extended 3+ day format

For reference to two other organizations and their policies see below links:

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Handbook:    http://www.wiaa.com/pub/handbook/

US Soccer Federation  – Player Development Guidelines: Best Practices for Coaching Soccer in the United States (Download: http://images.ussoccer.com/Documents/cm … ctices.pdf

Last edited by weeznation (2009-01-13 08:22 pm)

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#2 2009-01-13 08:51 pm

weeznation
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Registered: 2006-04-27
Posts: 70

Re: Maximum Number of Youth Games in a Day / League and Tournament Formats

Here is a version of my suggested guidelines with DiscNW current way of doing things in () and with what I know from other sports in []. My basic argument is that my guidelines are better because they are safer especially when it comes to over use injuries that are indeed a huge problem in youth sports. Keep in mind that whenever talking about playing there is always the assumption that at least one player will be playing every point. The safety factor is the main reason for all of this however there is also the benefit of fewer games meaning easier on parents, less field rental (Spring Reign and other tournies might be able to return to Seattle), cheaper events, and more sustainable job for coaches.

ES and MS Aged Participant
     League Competition – 1 game per day
     (Currently DiscNW plays two games, with no bye in between)
     [Other comparable youth sports -: generally speaking most MS leagues play one game in a day for league)

Tournaments – Total of 4 games in two days
     Equivalent of 45 total points scored for winners
          Could break into four games equivalent of less than 45 points scored for winners (i.e. four games to 11)
          No more than two games in a day
          Only “A” Divisions should play elimination championship
          “B”, “C”, and “ES” divisions should only play jamboree style round robin
          Any time two games are played in one day there should be a break between the games equivalent to the length of a game
          (Currently DiscNW plays three in a day for MS Spring Reign with a variation for league playoffs – last year two in a day no bye for league playoffs)
          [Other comparable youth sports: The ones I deal with usually have one game in a day if they have playoffs at all – Those that do have more than on generally go with the two game equivalency]

Camps and Clinics– Maximum of 1 game per half day
     Full day camps/clinics could have a morning game and an afternoon game
          Should be a break between the games equivalent to 2 games
         (Currently go about 3 games a day though there might be an occasionally four)
         [The other day camps I hear about generally go half days]

HS Aged Participant

     League Competition – 1 game per day
     Tournaments (DiscNW Sponsored/Managed) – Total of 4 games in two days
          Equivalent of 60 total points scored for winners
          No more than two games in a day
          Could break into four games equivalent of less than 45 points scored for winners (i.e. four games to 11)
          Only “A” Divisions should play elimination championship
          “B”, “C”, and “9th grade” divisions should only play jamboree style round robin
          Any time two games are played in one day there should be a break between the games equivalent to the length of a game
          State Tournament would become single elimination tournament similar to HS state soccer tournaments (See WIAA Handbook to see how the geographic issue is dealt with when teams qualify from across the state)
          (Top end last year was UPA State with 5 games in a day for some teams)
         [No comparable HS sports play more than one game in a day]

Camps and Clinics– Maximum of 1 game per half day
     Full day camps/clinics could have a morning game and an afternoon game
     Should be a break between the games equivalent to 2 games
     (Currently go about 3 games a day max though there might be an occasionally four)
         [The other day camps I hear about generally go half days]

Tournaments (DiscNW as qualifier i.e. UPA Westerns & UPA YCC)
     Push for only two games per day with game length break between games
     Westerns most likely limited to two days
          Likely single elimination based on region and seeding
          Still could do a four game guarantee for travel
          YCC would be limited to Westerns format unless changed into more extended 3+ day format
         (Format allows for 4 games in a day for those teams that play in pre-quarters)
         [No comparable HS sports play more than one game in a day. Not sure about AAU basketball championships. I don’t think US Soccer plays more than one game in a day based on their guidelines)

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#3 2009-01-13 11:45 pm

Wizard0965
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Registered: 2006-05-11
Posts: 80

Re: Maximum Number of Youth Games in a Day / League and Tournament Formats

I hope that those who read this thread and are involved in youth ultimate here in the Seattle area post about their thoughts on the guidelines that we currently work under (UPA) and what Mike has proposed. I believe that a change is indeed necessary as I was the one who ran States last year, and I look at the UPA format manual and realize that this cannot hold for kids. I don't necessarily agree with Mike's complete limitations and think that a tournament format incorporating 6 rounds and 3 games maximum per day can work for Youth (This allows 3 bye rounds). This and limiting games on a weekend to 5 maximum, with ample rounds for byes. I am currently working on a smaller format manual using these guidelines to alter the UPA tournament guidelines and I hope to have something to propose to the YSC in February. I have heard from a select group of individuals on this issue and it is a major action item for us this year, so the more feedback we get the better.
-Rusty

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#4 2009-01-14 04:35 pm

wynne.scherf
Layout D
From: Olympia
Registered: 2006-07-07
Posts: 1019

Re: Maximum Number of Youth Games in a Day / League and Tournament Formats

Thank you, Mike and Rusty, for your work on this topic.  I look forward to reading the responses on this thread, for creating youth tournament guidelines is indeed one of the 2009 action items on the DiscNW Five-Year Youth Strategic Plan.

Individuals who prefer to comment privately are encouraged to email me at wynne.scherf@discnw.org.


Wynne Scherf
DiscNW
Director of Youth Operations

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#5 2009-01-17 07:10 pm

wynne.scherf
Layout D
From: Olympia
Registered: 2006-07-07
Posts: 1019

Re: Maximum Number of Youth Games in a Day / League and Tournament Formats

Mike--I've had a couple of people ask me (and I must admit I'm burning to know, too), why do you state that B and C divisions should not play elimination rounds?  Many kids--no matter what division--tend to enjoy this competition and like to know where they stand at the end of a tournament.


Wynne Scherf
DiscNW
Director of Youth Operations

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#6 2009-01-18 10:07 pm

weeznation
Push Pass
Registered: 2006-04-27
Posts: 70

Re: Maximum Number of Youth Games in a Day / League and Tournament Formats

wynnescherf :

Mike--I've had a couple of people ask me (and I must admit I'm burning to know, too), why do you state that B and C divisions should not play elimination rounds?  Many kids--no matter what division--tend to enjoy this competition and like to know where they stand at the end of a tournament.

This issue is secondary to the actual number of games being played in a day issue and ultimately it is up to the organizers of the event to choose whether they want to do an elimination or a modified round robin non-elimination, non-champion being named event. Organizers would still have to abide by DiscNW policies concerning maximum number of games in a day.

That said, it is a pretty simple argument. In B and C divisions it is more important that kids get an opportunity to play without having to care about who wins. If you want to be competitive and play for a trophy, play up in the A division. If the argument is made that there is too much disparity between the age groups DiscNW allows in tournaments and leagues (i.e. sixth graders to 8th graders) then there should instead be grade level divisions with A and B divisions. A divisons play for championships and B divisions do not. Team organizers and coaches can choose which divisions is best for their kids. (Younger kids could play up older kids could not play down).

-Mike

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#7 2009-01-18 11:09 pm

weeznation
Push Pass
Registered: 2006-04-27
Posts: 70

Re: Maximum Number of Youth Games in a Day / League and Tournament Formats

I received an e-mail with the following good question: "...I know that little league has limits on how many innings one kid can pitch but are there limits in other sports?  I don't recall ever coming across any in basketball or soccer.  In football it's generally centered around being at or under a certain weight. If there are limits in other spors, I assume they're applied to periods of heavy activity like playoffs or tournaments."

Here is what I know from my experience coaching and being an athletic administrator in these leagues:

CYO Middle School Soccer and Basketball – 1 game per day. Shorter games for middle school teams.

Cross Town MS League Soccer and Basketball (includes Northwest School, Bush, Seattle Academy, University Prep and others)– 1 game per day league, with leeway for basketball jamborees and basketball culminating events. All league, jamboree, and culminating event games are shorter than HS game times. MS Basketball games are running clock 20 minute halves with stop clock only for timeouts, free throws and stop clock last two minutes of each half making for a game about a third shorter than HS games. MS soccer games are two 30 minute halves instead of the standard two 40 minute halves. (I believe the Cascade MS League – Seattle Country Day, Evergreen, Billings, and others – play by the same rules) And I think both leagues run 1.5 mile (2.5 km) cross country races.

Washington Interscholastic Activity Association (WIAA) – All high schools in Washington State.  Maximum of 1 soccer or basketball game in a day. I believe cross country runs 5km races? There are also state association mandated first and last days of the season. And there are limits on the number of non-playoffs games teams can play during the regular season. Soccer limit is 16 games and basketball limit is 20 games though there is some provision about holiday basketball tourneys though even at those still a limit of one game a day. All the WIAA rules can be checked in the WIAA Handbook:
http://www.wiaa.com/pub/handbook/

In fall 2008 Washington State Youth Soccer Association (WSYSA) moved the U15-U19 girls select soccer programs into the spring due to the concern about HS girls getting overuse injuries when playing concurrently on select and HS teams. This was a huge adjustment but also the absolute right move. (Boys HS soccer is in the spring so boys select soccer is still in the fall for the U15-U19.) Ironically the girls on my HS team with the most overuse injuries were are recreational players who were playing concurrently.

Sam Snow, the Senior Assistant Technical Director for US Youth Soccer writes in his blog: "Both US Youth Soccer and U.S. Soccer concur in our recommendations for no more than one match per day.  Here is the Position Statement from the state Technical Directors on the matter:

LEAGUE PLAY AND MATCHES PER YEAR  No.13
We believe that the optimal playing and learning environment includes participating in no more than two matches per week.  We also believe that players should not compete in more than one full match per day and no more than two full matches per weekend.  There must be a day of rest between full-length matches.  We strongly oppose the practice of scheduling regular season and/or make-up matches in a manner that results in four full matches in the same week.  Modified FIFA rules apply: no reentry per half for the U-14 and younger age groups and no reentry after substitution for the U-15 and older age groups.  In addition, we believe that players should not compete in more than 40 playing dates in a calendar year.  Players must have one full month off from all soccer activity.

Related to this topic is this Position Statement:

TOURNAMENT PLAY  No. 11
We believe that excessive play at competitive tournaments is detrimental to individual growth and development, and can serve to reduce long-term motivation.  Do not multiple matches being played on one day and one weekend have a negative effect on the quality experience and development of the individual player?  Further far too many playing schedules include so many tournaments and matches that there is never an ""off season"".  We believe that players under the age of 12 should not play more than 100 minutes per day, and those players older than 13 should not play more than 120 minutes per day. 


We also recommend to tournament managers and schedulers:
- The players should be allowed ample rest between matches.
- That all tournament matches be of the same length and that no full-length match be introduced during play-off rounds.
- Kick-off times allow players a reasonable opportunity to prepare for competition.  This encompasses rest and recovery, nutrition and adequate time to warm-up and stretch after traveling a long distance in addition to taking into consideration extreme environmental conditions." (http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/Blog.asp?post_id=749)

Obviously select soccer is a little more physically inense with the strict rentry rules but it is similar to someone who plays every point in an ultimate game.

-Mike Mullen

Last edited by weeznation (2009-01-19 12:40 am)

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