While much of the discussion happened during Saturday’s working meetings, the Annual General Meeting had a full agenda. In addition, based on the previous days discussion, the NCYSA had promised to bring a new proposal for amending the bylaws to allow for a To Be Determined Academy program.

Disclaimer: Much of what I write here is based on notes I took as well as what I recall happening at the AGM. It should not be viewed as a definitive account, though I’m doing my best to be accurate and true to the discussion during the meeting. If you were there and notice any mistakes, or remember something different, by all means post a comment. Minutes are usually posted within a few weeks on the NCYSA Board of Directors Page.

The meeting started off with reports from each VP for Recreation, Challenge, Classic, Tournaments/Travel, and Player/Coaching Development. Most had a ‘recap’ handout including a summary of recent actions by the appropriate council. These were very handy and I hope the NCYSA makes them available online. Here are some highlights from the Challenge and Classic handouts.

For 2006-07, Classic had 58 sanctioned classic leagues/associations with 10,381 players, a 5.6% increase over 2005-06. The handout showed 683 teams for 05/06 while there were 523 for Fall 06 and 561 for Spring 07. Not sure why the numbers changed so much, though it may have been teams that played in Fall but not Spring and vice versa. Dates for upcoming Classic Council Mtgs: February 10, June 9, August 11, December 1.

For Challenge, 77 associations had sanctioned challenge divisions. 851 teams participated with 10,535 boys and girls registered. Upcoming Challenge Council meetings are the same as the Classic Council: February 10, June 9, August 11, December 1.

Next up was bylaw amendments with the only one being the proposal for Academy programs. The new version was very similar to the old proposal, with some key changes:

  • "A new level of play" was removed so it reads NCYSA will provide an Academy Program.
  • U10 was replaced throughout the proposal with ‘designated age group’
  • Section 3.8 was replaced with "Appropriate guidelines will be set by the NCYSA" taking the standing committee out of it.
  • The bylaw change is a temporary change and only takes effect of the Board of Directors approve program guidelines by May 15th, 2007. The changes apply only for the 2007-2008 season.

This was an excellent compromise since it provides flexibility to the committee charged with drafting the proposal. Since bylaws can only be changed at the AGM, it was critical get something added to allow for an Academy program without limiting the options available to the committee tasked with coming up with a proposal. This change also ensures that deadlines are adhered to. The committee deadline is March 15th with a special Board of Directors meeting slated for mid April to consider the proposal for possible approval. The bylaw change was adopted unanimously.

One other proposed bylaw change was handed out but not brought up for a vote. The proposed new bylaw would limit the use of USYS/NCYSA player passes to USYS/NCYSA sanctioned events only. The rest of the bylaw noted that the State Office could revoke the passes or fine a team or association that used their passes as identification for non USYS sanctioned events. This is sort of a double edged sword. It can help an event ensure that players are of proper age and the coaches have passed risk management, but the downside is it can lead coaches to think they are covered by their NCYSA insurance when they aren’t (it is only in effect for NCYSA sanctioned activities). But it was never brought up or discussed at the President’s meeting or the AGM.

Up next were four associations applying for NCYSA affiliation. What was different this year was the membership committee’s new direction set by the new chair, Keith Price. Instead of making recommendations on applications, the committee simply ensures that each application and association has met the guidelines for membership, leaving the decision up to the board. Having been through a heated membership debate when our league applied for membership, this was a welcome change. The four leagues applying for new or higher level membership were:

  • Greater Cleveland Athletic Association (GCAA) – New Level 2 (Rec/Challenge)
  • Caswell Youth Soccer Association (CYSA) – New Level 2 (Rec/Challenge) – Our nearby neighbors north of us.
  • Iredell County Rec Dept – Add Level 3 Classic
  • Southport/Oak Island – Add Level 2 and 3 (Challenge/Classic)

All these applications generated little debate and all were approved unanimously.

The selection process for Region III Premiere was updated. The new criteria can be found at the NC Soccer Forum

One tidbit from the NCYSA president is that North Carolina is one of the five fastest growing states for youth soccer and we lead the south.

Our Risk Mgmt program is well being well received and many recreation departments who have used it for their soccer programs have asked if they could also use it for their other sports. The NCYSA believes this is possible and hopes to make this happen. One benefit is it would make NCYSA membership for many recreation departments more appealing if they knew they could track ALL their volunteer background checks in one place and often save money processing them (some pay 2-3 times per check that we do). The same idea is being pursued for the liability insurance we have – if we can obtain a policy that can be extended to other sports programs in a rec department, NCYSA membership becomes more desirable for multi sport organizations. This is still being looked into.

The budget for next year (in excess of $2 million) was approved and kudos to the NCYSA for providing a VERY detailed budget overview to the board (compared to last year when it was a 1-2 page summary)

The officer positions being elected all had one candidate running and they were approved unanimously.

The VP of Tournaments and Travel noted again his desire to do away with the State Cup for U10-U12 and replace it with a form of festival. He felt strongly that this type of competition was inappropriate for this age level and noted how successful the U11/U12 festival was for Classic. I’ve got some opinions about this which I’ll include in a separate post soon.

At this point some announcements were made from the floor.

The Southern Regional Championships are coming back to NC in June 2008. CASL needs all the help they can get and have asked neighboring associations to help out if they can. This is the first time the regionals have been in NC for a long time The regionals were last in NC in 2003.

The Triad Challenge League is hosting a free coaches clinic in early February and is open to coaches of TCL Challenge teams and any Rec coaches hoping to coach challenge someday. More information is available in their brochure.

All in all, a very short and productive Annual General Meeting.