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Jake Anson
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Women's tournaments in 2009

The Calgary board wish to start a discussion on setting a North American tournament schedule for 2009 in place.

Considerations for setting a schedule include:
a) the distance clubs need to travel to play matches;
b) weather conditions for northern clubs preventing training early in the year; and
c) the USA tour of Australia in 2009.

As it stands, we would like to put forward two ideas for tournaments outside Nationals for 2009:
1) an Eastern and a Western Regionals tournament. Could be one or two legs, and rotate tournaments around clubs in each half of the continent. An example tournament for 2009 could be Arizona in February (first-leg) and Calgary in July (second) with Denver and Vancouver attending. The following year Denver and Vancouver would host the legs.

2) a national 9's carnival, somewhere central like Milwaukee in July. Encourage established clubs to send two teams, and new clubs to send one team. Can be split into two divisions, where new clubs play established clubs' seconds. Would encourage smaller groups of girls to field teams and would develop newer players at established clubs by allowing them greater opportunity in the seconds. Might be more feasible in years when the USA squad is travelling for those who don't make the squad.

Please add comments and criticisms. We're crying out for some competition up here!

Jake

Wayne Kraska
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Most might know Im not a great advocate for tournaments. Its been clearly evident in the mens game here in the US travel to more games than you play at home is a real issue for players and for maintaining interest in developing teams.

I know travel cant be avoided if we want competition and tournaments give the chance (on occasions) for more game time but playing games at home is just as important I believe to the games development.

Added to that many of the players are playing more than one travel sport. Having three more games away and only one at home each year just doesnt work.

So sorry for not giving a more positive spin on your ideas. As I suggested sometimes there are no options and tournaments can be ok...and I can be swayed sometimes with beer.!..

Cheers

Jake Anson
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Yeah, I realize that Wayne. We're just in a situation now where we're growing so large that we need an outlet to provide a next level of competition for our girls during the season... one weekend a year at Nationals won't cut it. Our intra-club women's league has grown to 15 matches this year, and next year we'll be forced to add two more 9-a-side teams to cope with our numbers. A good situation to be in, no doubt, but our best girls are complaining that they don't get to play together against outside opposition, which is a fair gripe. Hopefully we can arrange something with Arizona and Denver to provide some regular competition.

Jake Anson Calgary Kookaburras http://calgary-kookaburras.blogspot.com/

Lisa
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Joined: 04/10/2009 - 06:55
Maybe play with bigger teams..

Have you considered fielding more than 9-a-side? I know it may mean losing some teams, but would create a stronger club, be better for your skills (providing your fields are big enough), and become more closer to how it's played in Oz.
I play in Sydney, and they started 10 years ago with a couple of clubs playing 10-a-side. Those clubs are still here, and for the last few years we now play 18-a-side. It was 15-a-side when I started, and its been great to see our league and clubs grow over the years.
Whatever you end up doing, it sounds like you have a good thing going over there. Fantastic work to get so many people involved in a foreign game, and continue to grow. Well done.

Kiwi
www.bondishamrocks.com

Kathryn Hogg
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We vary the number of players per team according to circumstances at hand. We don't play strictly 9 a side but that's just what Wayne and company in Atlanta decided for this tournament.

Field space is a big issue in the US. There are no footy or cricket fields to speak of and it so happens that a soccer sized field works for 9 a side footy.

Kathryn

Andrea Casillas
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Ideally, I think tournaments are necessary to introduce newcomers to the game and keep a healthy level of competition for returning players. However, I am a little concerned with the level of travel, or lack of rotation in hosting tournaments. If these tournaments are going to be implemented in our schedules, they must be done with the consideration that teams with mostly new players are not going to be able to travel as much as those who have become accustomed to traveling.

Since most of the teams are heavily recruiting, I think there should be more of a push for the "free agents" to create their own teams. So that there are prevalent regional divisions. For the East Coast, there should be a push to create a Boston, Baltimore... on down to Florida teams so that traveling is not as drastic of an expense for playing.

Kathryn Hogg
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Last year Arizona hosted a tournament and this year Atlanta and Milwaukee are. It would only make sense to put NY and Denver in the mix for next year as well as the Canadian Nationals since 2009 will be the third year that Calgary has come to the US.

Clubs can and should schedule intersquad matches as well although no one is really within driving distance of each other.

Kathryn

Jake Anson
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Joined: 10/09/2007 - 18:11

To update you all on the Calgary situation, we solved our 'problem' by expanding our local league and by starting a reserves division. So where we last year had Hillhurst and Kensington local teams playing 9-a-side, those teams now have benches and also have reserves teams in a separate division where new players can develop. Our fields limit team sizes to about 10-a-side max. Edmonton has joined the firsts league, and we're splitting games between Calgary and Edmonton.

Our focus is developing a competitive local league within 3 hours' drive of Calgary, as travel is becoming more of an obstacle as we grow and also because we we need to play matches more regularly for our girls to improve. We're sending 47 players to Vancouver this weekend for Canadian Nationals, which will strain the club coffers as we pay accommodation and travel subsidies to our players. No idea yet on how many want to go to Mason, but numbers could potentially be 30% on top Canadian Nationals. How we move forward from here is a challenge, but we'd always love to have US teams travel north for a solid hit out. We'd happily reciprocate by sending a team south for a follow-up.

Jake Anson Calgary Kookaburras http://calgary-kookaburras.blogspot.com/