Elite Clubs National League “Changing Elite Girls Youth Soccer in the United States” Elite Clubs National League The History of the Red Bull Girl’s National League & The Transition to the Elite Clubs National League The Transition: Red Bull Girl’s National League to ECNL • December 2006 – Formation of Red Bull Girls National League • Formed with 18 clubs at the U15 & U16 age group • August 2007 – Inaugural event in San Francisco • May 2008 – U16 Surf and U15 Slammers crowned champions • June 2008 – Red Bull Girls National League expands to 32 clubs • December 2008 – 24 clubs participate in Raleigh, NC • Red Bull withdraws as sponsor of the league • Meeting conducted regarding the vision of the future of the league and the future of girl’s youth soccer • February 2009 –Proposal for new Elite Clubs National League created The Transition: What is needed… • A new identity • A clear vision of the future changes to the league • A controlled growth process allowing clubs to phase into the ECNL as the primary source of competition • A solid long-term structure • A schedule that works around the high school soccer schedule • Consistent, meaningful and competitive games • A national championship event • An identification process for elite players • A league that is organized for and operated by the top clubs throughout the country, designed to improve elite player development in the United States Elite Clubs National League U15-U17 ECNL Structure: Year 1 & 2 Elite Clubs National League U15-U17 ECNL – League Structure • 40 Participating Clubs • 2 Flights of 20 Teams Each: Challenge A & Challenge B • Initial flight placement based on team strength, not club strength • Within each flight, sub-divisions created to provide (1) games with teams outside your region and (2) schedules based on competitive availability • 9-10 game regular season scheduled to accommodate high school seasons • Standalone National Championship event • No USYS National League Elite Clubs National League U15-U17 ECNL – Regular Season Events • ECNL will attempt to align with existing National Showcase events, selecting 5 events throughout the calendar year • ECNL Board of Directors will develop criteria for selecting events, for example, a discounted entry fee, field quality, hotel preference, etc • ECNL Board of Directors will negotiate with each National Showcase event • Clubs must chose at least 3 of the 5 available regular season events Potential 2009-2010 regular season events August: Surf Cup December: Final Four December: Disney Showcase March: Las Vegas May: PDA Elite Clubs National League U15-U17 ECNL – Team Rosters • All teams must be registered through US Club Soccer pending agreement • All teams must submit a roster at registration for each event • All players must be properly rostered with an ECNL club • No guest players will be permitted from outside the ECNL member club • No player may play for more than one team on a given competition weekend • The roster used by each team in their final regular season event will be their final roster and the roster used for ECNL National Championship event Elite Clubs National League U15-U17 ECNL Structure – The Future Elite Clubs National League U15-U17 ECNL – Structural Timeline • While the long-term goal is for the ECNL to develop into a 30 game national schedule, the process for reaching this goal must be carefully planned and controlled. • The timelines presented for changing the structure of the league over the next 5 years are approximate and will change based on the success of the ECNL and the desires of the member clubs. • In the end, the ECNL is organized and operated by its member clubs, and all changes must be approved by a majority of the member clubs. Elite Clubs National League U15-U17 ECNL – Year 3 & 4 • Expand number of clubs to 48 • Expand schedule to 21-24 games, including 11 regional games • Regional games will consist of 5-6 home games and 5-6 away games • 9-10 National Showcase games • 2 placement games at ECNL National Championship • No USYS National League • No USYS Regional League Elite Clubs National League U15-U17 ECNL – Year 5 and beyond • ECNL schedule expanded to an annual calendar of 30-35 games • ECNL schedule culminates in expanded National Championship event • 11 Regional Games • 8-10 Cross Regional Games • 9-10 National Showcase Games • Scheduling around high school • Open windows to participate in non-ECNL showcase events • No USYS events • No USYS ODP Elite Clubs National League Crowning National Champions Elite Clubs National League ECNL National Championship Event • July 8-11, 2010 – Tentative Date • 3/4-day Standalone Event • Host determined by bid process based on pre-determined criteria • U15-U17 individual age group National Champions crowned • U15-U17 individual age group Promotion/Relegation playoffs • Overall Club National Champion crowned • Awards for: U15-U17 National Champions, Club National Champion, Season Golden Ball (Top Player), Season Golden Boot (Top Scorer) and Season Golden Gloves (Top Goalkeeper), U15-U17 All-ECNL Team • No entry fee Elite Clubs National League ECNL National Championship Seeding • Teams placed in 4-team groups based on season standings • Challenge A: 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20 • Challenge B: 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20 • Each 4-team group plays 2 semi-finals, a consolation, and a final to determine final league placement • Challenge A: 1-4 advance to National Championship Semi-finals • Challenge A: 17-20 advance to Relegation Semi-finals • Challenge B: 1-4 advance to Promotion Semi-finals • All other Challenge A & Challenge B teams play for final placement Elite Clubs National League ECNL National Championship Event Schedule THURSDAY EVENING GAMES • ECNL National Championship Semi-finals (Challenge A 1-4), ECNL Relegation Semi-finals (Challenge A 17-20), ECNL Promotion Semi-finals (Challenge B 1-4) FRIDAY GAMES • ECNL placement Semi-finals for all other groups SATURDAY DAY GAMES • ECNL National 3rd Place Game, ECNL Promotion Consolation Game, ECNL Promotion Consolation Game SATURDAY EVENING GAMES • ECNL National Championship Game, ECNL Promotion Championship Game, ECNL Promotion Championship Game SUNDAY MORNING GAMES • ECNL placement Finals and Consolation games in all other groups Elite Clubs National League ECNL Club National Champion • Club National Champion based on total season points (including National Championship event) from U15-U17 teams • 100% of points earned in Challenge A will count toward ECNL Club National Champion • If a Challenge A team earns 30 pts. during the season 30 pts. will count toward ECNL Club National Championship • 80% of points earned in Challenge B will count toward ECNL Club National Champion • If a Challenge B team earns 30 pts. during the season 24 pts. will count toward ECNL Club National Championship Elite Clubs National League Promotion/Relegation Elite Clubs National League Relegation • At the end of each season, 3 teams in Challenge A will be relegated to Challenge B • The teams finishing in the bottom 4 of Challenge A at the end of the regular season will qualify for relegation playoffs at ECNL National Championship event • The 2 teams winning the relegation semi-finals at the ECNL National Championship event will advance to the relegation final with the winner remaining in Challenge A for the next season and the loser being relegated to Challenge B for the next season • The 2 teams losing the relegation semi-finals at the ECNL National Championship event will play the relegation consolation and will be relegated to Challenge B for the next season Elite Clubs National League Promotion • At the end of each season, 3 teams in Challenge B will be promoted to Challenge A • The teams finishing in the top 4 of Challenge B at the end of the regular season will qualify for promotion playoffs at ECNL National Championship event • The 2 teams winning the promotion semi-finals at the ECNL National Championship event will advance to Challenge B final and each will win promotion to Challenge A for the next season • The 2 teams losing the promotion semi-finals at the ECNL National Championship event will advance to promotion consolation with the winner winning promotion to Challenge A for the next season and the losing team remaining in Challenge B for the next season Elite Clubs National League Club Review • Any club that finishes in the bottom 5 of the overall club standings in 3 consecutive seasons will be placed on probation and brought up for review by the ECNL Board of Directors • For every club on review, the ECNL Board of Directors shall make a recommendation to the member clubs on whether to rescind the club’s membership • In order to rescind membership 75% of member clubs must vote to rescind membership Elite Clubs National League New U15 Team Flight Assignment • New U15 teams entering the league will be placed in a Challenge flight based on overall club standings from the previous season • The top 20 clubs per the overall club standings will be placed in Challenge A • The second 20 clubs per the overall club standings will be placed in Challenge B • Any U15 team that is a U14 USYS Regional Champion will automatically be placed in Challenge A regardless of club standing (an “Automatic Qualifier”) • In the event that the club of an “Automatic Qualifier is in the second 20 clubs per overall club standings, the team from the #20 club in the overall club standings will be placed in Challenge B Elite Clubs National League Player Identification Elite Clubs National League Event Scouting • Several ECNL events will be targeted as id2 scouting events • ECNL id2 scouts will be assigned to specific games at each scouted event • Every ECNL team will be scouted at least once at each scouted event • An “All-ECNL” team will be selected and announced within 5 days of each scouted event • Players from the All-ECNL team will be eligible for invitation to a National Identification Camp • ECNL id2 scouts will contact ECNL coaches to solicit recommendations of players prior to each scouted event Elite Clubs National League National Camp • ECNL will sponsor and subsidize a U15/U16 National Identification Camp to be held in conjunction with the US Club Soccer id2 Program • Tentative Date: December – Home Depot Center • Invited players will only be required to cover their travel to camp. All other expenses will be covered by US Club Soccer and ECNL • US Soccer National Team staff coaches will be in attendance at the National Identification Camp • Reports of the performance of ECNL players will be prepared and distributed to all member ECNL clubs Elite Clubs National League U18 Super League Elite Clubs National League U18 Super League • The 2009-2010 the ECNL U18 Super League will include 12 selected teams for an 11 game regular season plus placement games • U18 Super League teams will not participate in any USYS events • Local leagues, friendly games and additional showcases permitted Potential 2009-2010 regular season events August: Eclipse Invitational December: Final Four March: Las Vegas May: PDA Showcase Elite Clubs National League U18 Super League • ECNL U18 Super League teams registered through US Club Soccer • Maximum of 22 players on regular roster • Regular rostered player may not roster on any other team • 10 developmental players from within club will be allowed on the Super League teams, and must be named prior to the first regular season game • In the event that U15-U17 ECNL and U18 Super League game take place at the same venue developmental players may only play for one team • In year 2 and beyond, the U18 Super League will consider expansion based on recommendations from the ECNL Board of Directors Elite Clubs National League Operation/Governance Elite Clubs National League Formalizing ECNL • The ECNL will be a non-profit corporation organized to promote elite girls youth soccer through: • Organizing competitions between elite girls youth soccer clubs • Developing a scouting and identification network for collegiate recruiting and US National Teams • Increasing awareness of elite youth soccer for girls • An annual league fee will be assessed to all member clubs. In 2009- 2010, the fee is $2,250.00 per club ($750.00 per team) • Formalized league budget Elite Clubs National League Board of Directors • 7-member Board of Directors – 1 member from each region (4) + 3 at- large members • At Large Seats will have 3 year terms, and Regional Seats will have 2 year terms. Elections for seats will be staggered • BOD members must be employee, officer or director of an ECNL club • BOD members must be a Director of Coaching for Girls or hold an equivalent position in an ECNL member club 2009-2010 proposed ECNL Board of Directors Region 1: Mike O’Neill, PDA At-large 1: Doug Bracken, Ohio Elite Region 2: Rory Dames, Eclipse At-large 2: Christian Lavers, FC Milwaukee Region 3: Jay Howell, CASL At-large 3: Kenny Medina, Sting Region 4: Whalid Khoury, Slammers Elite Clubs National League Governance Board of Director Decisions 1. Recommendation of rules, policies and procedures to membership 2. Enforcement of rules, policies and procedures 3. Identification of competitive events 4. Negotiation of contracts with third parties for league operation and administration 5. Management and operation of the ECNL Member Clubs Decisions 1. Admission of any new club into the ECNL 2. Change in league competition format 3. Approval of the ECNL annual fee 4. Rescinding the membership of any ECNL club Elite Clubs National League Administration • ECNL will negotiate an agreement with US Club Soccer to provide: 1. Player/Team Registration 2. Event Support 3. Website Development and Maintenance 4. Day-to-day Operational Support 5. Assistance with Player Identification Program 6. Assistance with Strategic Marketing Plan 7. Communication and Promotion 8. Assistance with Season Schedule Elite Clubs National League Where we go from here… Elite Clubs National League ECNL Keys to Success • Commitment to the Process: This will not be easy! • Unity among member clubs • Having a long-term plan for growth and change • Making the ECNL a competitive priority for each member club • Each club working for the betterment of the league • ECNL must do what we say we are going to do • Developing a comprehensive marketing plan • Learning from the mistakes of the past • Improving the developmental environment for elite players must be the driver behind all decisions! Elite Clubs National League ECNL Timeline • March 12, 2009 - Las Vegas Presentation • April 1, 2009 - Written Commitment from Clubs to ECNL Board of Directors • May 1, 2009 - ECNL League Fee Due ($2,250.00 per club) • May 22, 2009 - ECNL Member Progress Meeting/PDA Showcase • June 1, 2009 - ECNL Event Schedule Released • June 15, 2009 - ECNL Member Club Event Availability Due • July 10, 2009 - ECNL Schedule and Playing Rules Released • August 1, 2009 - ECNL 2009 Season Opens Our goal is to change the face of elite girl’s youth soccer in this country and we want your club to be part of it!