Coach's Corner

Challenge Cup Policy Changes

Southern Gazette June 19. 2007

By Gord Dunphy

Challenge Cup Policy Changes

There are several key developments in policies, which have occurred at boardroom meetings or by conference calls, which may be of interest and have an influence on Provincial Soccer before season's end.

Here's a look at some of these policies that the NLSA have adopted in the 2007 season.

Challenge Cup teams must register 12 players:

Coach's Corner Comments: Challenge Cup teams generally have 15 players, who see regular duty so, I can't undertsand why only 12 players have to be registered for Challenge Cup play. This rule allows a player who is deemed #13, #14, or #15 to play intermediate soccer thus taking time away from genuine intermediate players.

To be eligible for final weekend, a player must have dressed for 20% of his team's games:

Coach's Corner Comments: Why do we make rules that makes it so hard on ourselves? For the NLSA to instill such rubbish rules, which would stop a player who has returned home just prior to the Labour Day Weekend from participating in the provincial final is ridiculous. What happens if a player can't play 20 per cent of the games during the season due to injury? Last season I attended the quarter-finals in Ontario and all teams that were involved in this tournament had added strengthening players for this championship series.

Players must sign a credential form indicating their willingness to travel to Nationals should the team win:

Coach's Corner Comments: We're talking amateur sports here! Players who are performing all season long and are fortunate enough to be on the championship squad playing want to go to the National Tournament. But should something of significant importance occur to a player after the provincial tournament is completed, who's going to tell him that they have got to go to the Nationals?

Players, who play more than one-half of the regular schedule, will not be permitted to participate in the Senior Mega Tournament:

Coach's Corner Comments: The regular Challenge Cup season is comprised of a 20-game schedule. So basically, this rule allows a player to play in 10 Challenge Cup matches and also participate in the Senior Mega Tournament. It is my understanding the Senior Mega Tournament originated for intermediate soccer players, not Challenge Cup players.

The Challenge Cup Final is scheduled for Labour Day Weekend and again will join with the ladies playing for the Jubilee Trophy:

Coach's Corner Comments: In 2007, the Challenge Cup Final is slated to be played on the Burin Peninsula. The Burin Peninsula doesn't even have a ladies team participating for the Jubilee Trophy. It's quite obvious all of these participating clubs will be from the Avalon Peninsula. These Avalon ladies teams will have to travel to the Burin Peninsula, have the expense of traveling plus the expense of staying at hotels. Does this make financial sense to you? It's too foolish to talk about!

The All-Star Team will be chosen in the same manner as last year, with team reps, coaches, and fans invited to vote:

Coach's Corner Comments: Let the public know who the teams reps and fans are who are actually voting for the All-Star Team.

Site or sites for the Final Four Weekend will be determined by the BPSA in June:

Coach's Corner Comments: In 2004, when the BPSA played host to the Final Four Weekend, the scheduling of this tournament turned out to be a catastrophe. The BPSA didn't get their act together and name a site/sites until mid-August. Hopefully this won't happen this time around and we will see better leadership displayed by the current BPSA executive.

Dunphy's Details: My hat goes off to Hubert Beck and all of the St. Lawrence Soccer Association, who hosted a reception, acknowledging the fact St. Lawrence native Gus Etchegary was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame. On behalf of all Laurentians and fellow Newfoundlanders, I would like to add my congratulations to a very classy individual upon his induction into this Hall of Fame.