New Team Classification Measure Approved
In 1996, the CYC initiated the Open/Closed designation for league play. Open teams had players who played on teams in the same sport, at the same time as the CYC season for that sport. Players on the closed team only played CYC for that sport, during that season. The change was brought about due to the changing landscape of youth sports in the St Louis area at the time.
In the last several months, our office has discussed the Open/Closed designation with parents, coaches and volunteers at meetings, forums and at games. The overall response indicated a desire to eliminate the Open/Closed structure. The feeling is this set-up no longer fits the world of youth sports in our area. Once again, it was time to adapt.
The CYC Executive Board discussed possible solutions at our February meeting. We narrowed it down to two options:
Large School/Small School
Much like the set-up with high schools in Missouri, CYC teams would be divided according to the number of teams in the parish program for each sport; soccer, volleyball and basketball, grades 5-8. The parishes would be listed, and the top 20% would be designated Large School, and the rest would be designated Small School. This would apply only to the Archdiocesan playoffs. Each district would continue to set-up their leagues as they do now. One big advantage to this system is it allows more small programs to participate in the CYC Archdiocesan playoffs. Over the last several years, the majority of our Archdiocesan winners have come from the larger parishes.
In this option, coaches would designate their team as “Competitive” or “Recreational”, before the season begins.
In March, a proposal was sent to all Athletic Association presidents outlining these two options. Each Athletic Association was asked to discuss this with their members, and to vote on which option their group favored. The Executive Board members for each district were given the results of the survey for their district. The results of the survey were:
Large School/Small School – 35, Competitive/Recreation – 20, No Change – 8
At the Executive Board meeting, on May 7th, the group voted unanimously to adopt the Large School/Small School system for the Archdiocesan playoffs. This will start with the 2019 soccer/volleyball season. Open/Closed designations will no longer be used in the CYC program.
How Does It Work?
- After the first week of the season, the district will send the CYC office a list of parishes participating in the sport. The list will include each parish/school, and the number of boys and girls teams, in grades 5-8.
- A list will be compiled of boys and girls.
- The top 20% of the parishes/schools listed for boys and for girls will designated a Large School program.
- The rest of the parishes/schools will be designated Small School.
- The list will be posted on the CYC website.
- This will be done for each major sport, soccer, volleyball and basketball, each season.
- It is possible for a parish/school to be Large School in boys and Small School in girls or vice-versa.
Since the Small School division will have more teams, it was decided to have two teams from each district included; in a ten team bracket.
It is important to emphasize this new system is just for the CYC Archdiocesan playoffs. Parishes and districts still need to put together league schedules the way they have in the past. We need to try to organize leagues with appropriate skill level to the best of our ability.
We applaud the work of our Executive Board for discussing this issue and exploring appropriate options. They have led our CYC program forward in adapting to today’s youth sports environment.
We still have work to do. There are other issues we will address in the next few months.
If you have questions, please reach out to me at: DanFitzgerald@archstl.org.