On Feb. 3, 2001 at the California Youth Soccer Association’s –Annual General Meeting in Oakland, Ca, an overwhelming vote was cast to eliminate results oriented events (tournaments) and replace them with participation events (jamborees).
CYSA teams (Under-10 and younger) are not permitted to participate in tournaments. This restriction includes all tournaments within the jurisdiction of the CYSA as well as those outside of CYSA’s jurisdiction.
Jamborees may not keep standings, distribute awards, nor charge an entry fee, although teams may be asked to contribute a nominal amount to defray field costs only.”
The State Coaching Director of the California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA-N) Karl Dewazien was at the forefront of replacing 1st, 2nd and 3rd place result oriented trophy events - tournaments. With ‘Everyone Gets a Trophy’ participation events such as -- Jamborees, Play Days, Soccer Festivals, Fun Weekends, etc…! Here are some excerpts from Karl’s presentation to the Annual General Meeting. We hope you will glean some ideas that can help you to change the young children’s playing environment in your community, state or region:
“This project began in 1996 when the CYSA Board of Directors asked me to justify the position of holding ‘Everyone Receives a Trophy’ Tournaments. I realized that using a ‘logical and common sense’ approach would not work! I tried using that approach in 1979 when I introduced the ‘Modified Laws of the Game’ to CYSA and some ten years later these ‘Modified Laws’ became state policy. What hindered the ‘70/80’s project was the lack of information available on young children’s organized soccer. Other countries around the world had no need to organize soccer in the U-10 age groups in those days. Without proof/support that ‘Modified Games’ are best for younger children it became an up hill battle!
No such dilemma existed in the Tournament (Result oriented) vs. Jamborees
(Participation) events issue. Worldwide sources were found to support the use of Participation events. I will give you quotes from these sources in a few minutes.
After this request was distributed to the membership the following accusation began circulating throughout CYSA , ‘Dewazien, is trying to eliminate competitive soccer opportunities for U-10 players in Northern California.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. If one were to look up the definition of the word ‘game’ in any dictionary. They will find the following, ‘game = competition according to rules’. Therefore, it is impossible to play any soccer game without having competition.
Furthermore, you will find that the CYSA Coaching School curriculum is focused around the ‘Practice Session Flow Chart’. Where you will find the word ‘competition’ three times:
First, we expect the coaches to teach the players how to play the 1 vs. 1 (competitive) game and to play 1 vs. 1 in each and every practice session. Plus, we encourage the players to play competitive 1 vs. 1 games at home with friends and relatives!
Second, after the ‘Half-time routine’ we expect the coaches to play (competitive) small-sided games –right after the (cooperative) small-sided games are finished. This, of course, is followed by the third mention of competitive play when (cooperative) is followed by the (competitive) scrimmage.
Third, coaches and players are taught that during cooperative games there will be stoppages for coaching. But, that during any (competitive) games the players will be left alone –while the coach practices his/her ‘observation’ and note taking skills!
As for the research …Here are some noteworthy statements that you need to be aware of before casting your vote:
1. FIFA, states in the Under-10 age group –
‘This stage now needs the presence of two goals
2. The Victorian Institute of Sports, Melbourne, Australia. In it’s paper titled, ‘The Effects of Tournament –Play on Elite Youth Soccer Players’. The Tournament- four matches were played in nine days. ‘Sprint capacity does not come back until 3-4 days after the first match.’
3. USA Volleyball research paper until the title, ‘National Championship competition for 10-Year old and under – Player support research and reference document’. Received research help from the American Academy of Pediatrics; World Health Organization; International Federation of Sports Medicine and supported by Junior Olympics made the following ‘frank’ statement:
“The higher the level of competition, the greater the emphasis is on winning. Winning at top levels is assessed by going to tournaments, championships, travel and attainment of external rewards. For some adults, this becomes paramount in their quest for success. They set new objectives of training and competition that may not reflect the interest of children (play for fun, improve skills, be with friends).
4. United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Coaching Committee 1985.
“The USSF discourages the awarding of trophies, medals, etc. to championship winning teams for 6-10 year old players throughout the country, and discourages the selection of Select Teams in these age groups.
5. United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Coaching Report 1999.
“It makes sense that coaches should be attempting to keep the pool of talent as wide as possible during adolescence and not engage in the elimination of individuals by emphasizing ego oriented criteria for success.
6. “Position Statement” by professional coaches developed at NSCAA convention in Indianapolis January 2001. It is expected that these statements, once formulated, will serve to bind the professional coaching community together and serve to support the justification for political change.
The following position statements, regarding the development of youth soccer players in the United States are endorsed by the following groups:
-USYSA State Directors of Coaching and Player Development
-USSF National Staff
-USSF National Instructional Staff
-USSF National Team Coaches
-NSCAA National Coaching Staff
-MLS Head Coaches
-WUSA Head Coaches
“Under 10 Festival:
�We believe that Soccer Festivals should replace soccer tournaments for players under the age of ten. Festivals feature a set number of minutes per event (e.g., 10 games x 10 minutes) with no elimination and no ultimate winner. We also endorse and support the movement to prohibit U-10 teams traveling to events that promote winning and losing and the awarding of trophies. …”
You asked for the research and I have provided the results, which is overwhelmingly in favor of participation events. I have FAITH that CYSA can organize events that are Fun because children are given the opportunity to play soccer. Events that give an Award for the players time and effort. Events that have Intense competition since we teach coaches to approach each game as if it was a World Cup and this attitude must be past on to the players. Events that provide reasonable Travel to allow the players to grow their world as they themselves grow. And events which can Guarantee a Happy ending which is what participation events are all about!
I would like for CYSA to become an organization that truly shows concern for the development of its younger players. An organization that functions under the motto that, ‘The outcome of our children is infinitely more important, than the outcome of any event CYSA will ever organize!’
If you are in the process of trying to change the U-10 soccer environment in your community, Karl Dewazien is offering you two more resources:
1. ‘U-10 Research Project’. Karl will gathered his research materials for your use and will make it available on his this web page
2. Should you have specific question on this subject write to: Karl Dewazien, CYSA State Coaching Director, 828 E. Portland Ave. Fresno, Ca. 93720.