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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old February 14th, 2003, 06:21 Thread Starter
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Amateur soccer registrations continue to rise

From a CSA report on soccer registrations in Canada:

Total player registration for 2002 increased by 4.2% over the previous year to 789,289 soccer participants. Female registration rose by 13% in 2002 as 37,726 more women enrolled in organized soccer. Both the junior and senior levels achieved growth as registration for players under the age of 18 grew by 3.1%, and senior registration increased by 7.7%.

Historically, the years following the World Cup have seen an increase in player registrations as witnessed following the ’94 and ’98 FIFA World Cups. The CSA anticipates a growth in registration in 2003 due to the exposure of the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship in Edmonton as well as the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan held last summer.

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This compares with 533,000 amateur hockey registrations in 2001-02

Last edited by Jeff; February 14th, 2003 at 06:41.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old February 15th, 2003, 20:48
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Jeff you're a good guy and agreat mod and I don't mean to rain on your parade at all.

But having more girls play soccer won't do much for the game here. Quite frankly it might hurt it. It will increase the influence women have and take funds away from the program that matters.

We have too many boys quit the game around 12-13 years of age and this more than anything is hurting us.

Not to mention many people don't care for Canadian soccer in general.

I'm just worried that the girls will start trying to ask for "equal" money and time from the CSA. This cannot be allowed because the growth of the game depends on the success of the NT at the WC and Gold Cup and our boys who play overseas.

This may offend some but it's the simple truth. Many see the game as a 'soft' game or girls game-at best, and splashing money around when there isn't much to begin with will mean the men's programs will suffer.

There is a disparity of resources given to soccer programs in European countries and we have to model them in order to get at the level we can be at.

Again Jeff just an observation, nothing more.

Cheers

Reprezentaciju ste ukrali, istinu ne možete

"Football is an extension of the war by other means"

Franjo Tudman

PS. Iako si najavio ne moraš dolaziti u Hercegovinu, ovamo nisi dobodošao. Sasvim sigurno su ti otvorena vrata onih koji su skupa sa tobom radili na zabrani utakmice, i otvorena su ti vrata njihovog grada gdje se pale i brane hrvatske zastave.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old February 16th, 2003, 04:30 Thread Starter
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At last, a great debating topic!

I don't think it's fair for you to say the women's or girls' programs don't matter. They matter an awful lot to the girls and women who are playing them, and girls are people, too!

As for the women taking all the money, I don't see evidence of that. In fact, it was the success of the FIFA U-19 women's world cup last summer that started FIFA looking seriously at Canada as a venue for a near-future women's world cup. And that led to the CSA's putting the construction of a national soccer stadium high on the agenda - to be paid for in part with money from FIFA for a Women's world cup. If we see that stadium, it will be in large part thanks to the success of the women's program, which, by the way, has made Canada a world power in the women's game.

Furthermore, I don't accept the premise that funding men's soccer has to be at the expense of women's soccer. The entire sport is underfunded, and that must change; both the men's and women's (& boys' & girls' ) programs must be funded adequately. To suggest that we can't afford to do that in one of the richest per capita nations of the world is absurd. It just requires the will to do it, as many countries far poorer than we have done for many years. I refuse to accept it's an either/or proposition.

In any event, the vast majority of registered amateur players receive no subsidy at all, and their parents pay for the whole cost of the program. Girls' parents pay for girls; boys' parents pay for boys. I don't think this hurts our national men's team one bit.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old February 18th, 2003, 23:12
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If I may disagree once more.

Even if the womens program doesn't take money away from the men the continued increase of female players will warrant more money or resources if you will towards them.

I do not think or believe that is in the best interest of the game here. The mens NT is the more important of the two. Judging by how much bigger the WC is when the men play it is irrefutable. Now if one believes in all this 'equality' going around then that's fine. Political ideaology has done a fine job clouding reality over the last few hundred years.

I do not have a problem with girls playing the sport. However I fear greatly, that the soft image the sport has here will continue if it is given equal status as men. I may be wrong in saying the girls program doesn't matter but it certainly pales in comparison to the importance of the mens game.

I sense a possibility that the girls with the added numbers may start using those statistics as leverage, against the boys in any tug of war over $$$. It is entirely true that both are underfunded but I strongly believe that the game overall will benefit with a competitive Mens NT that can compete with our two great rivals, Mexico and the US.

I'm embarassed that we can't compete with them on a regular basis but I sense an upturn in our fortunes. I was glowing with joy when we won the Gold Cup but the fact we couldn't qualify for Japan is a shame. I'm not directly blaming the girls' (highly successful) program but I do think that they will divert resources away from the more important and potentially more profitable front.

Cheers-

Anxiously awaiting reply. ...LOL...this has only just begun.

Reprezentaciju ste ukrali, istinu ne možete

"Football is an extension of the war by other means"

Franjo Tudman

PS. Iako si najavio ne moraš dolaziti u Hercegovinu, ovamo nisi dobodošao. Sasvim sigurno su ti otvorena vrata onih koji su skupa sa tobom radili na zabrani utakmice, i otvorena su ti vrata njihovog grada gdje se pale i brane hrvatske zastave.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old February 19th, 2003, 01:52 Thread Starter
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Well, you're starting to repeat yourself.

Let me summarize your points:

1. More female players means more resources going to them and less to the males.

2. The men's NT is more important than the women's NT.

3. Building a strong men's NT should be a priority.

Now let me respond to each:

1. I don't accept that having tens of thousands more girls and women playing soccer is bad for the sport. Nor does it threaten the funding and resources of the men's NT in any way. And I don't believe anybody connected with the men's NT would disagree with me. They don't feel threatened by the growth of women's soccer at all.

2 & 3. The men's world cup is a much bigger event than the women's world cup, because the skill level is higher, the players are better known, there's tons more money in it, and it's more popular. It's only in that sense that it can be said the men's team is "more important".

The sad fact is that the WC is but a distant dream for Canada's men's team, whereas the women's team qualifies for their WC every four years. That's not something to lament - it has tangible benefits for the sport as a whole in Canada (I've already mentioned the stadium thing). I don't think it's helpful or very meaningful to say one team is more important than the other. They are both vital.
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I don't know if you are aware of just how little money is paid to the top Canadian women players. Each woman NT player receives $1,200 a month from Sport Canada. Each player received $7,500 for qualifying for the WC via the Gold Cup Tournament. The money for this came mostly from the prize money the team won from CONCACAF as runners-up.

The vast majority of the 789,289 people in registered soccer programs receive no subsidy at all: in fact, their membership fees contribute to the funding of the sport at the highest levels. The higher that number goes, whether it's boys or girls, the more money there is to develop the national teams.

Convinced?

If not, give me one concrete example where the development of the men's NT has been hampered by the increased participation of girls and women in the sport.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old February 19th, 2003, 02:01 Thread Starter
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Even advanced soccer nations like England recognize the importance of developing women's soccer, and they don't fear for the men's game as a result:

" In 2002 The Football Association announced that football had become the No.1 female participatory sport, which was a landmark achievement in women’s sport. With several sports seeing a downturn in playing figures, it was encouraging to see that football now has 61,000 registered girls and women playing 11-a-side football – a sixfold increase in ten years.

"Currently The English FA is conducting its annual audit into playing figures for the 2002-03 season and there is again expected to be a rise. One of the main contributory factors behind the expected increase over the coming years is the Active Sports programme.

"Alongside its partner Sport England, The FA is investing millions of pounds into the five-year schemes with the two key aims of supporting the progression of players from school-based opportunities into club football and selecting talented players to progress into the girls excellence programme.

"There have been two key recent developments in the Active Sports programme that will see:

· More funding coming into the scheme from the Football Foundation meaning the investment reaches Ł11 over a five-year period

· The go-ahead to place 46 full-time women’s football development officers across each of the Active Sport partnerships to develop opportunities for young girls to play

"FA Head of National Football Development, Kelly Simmons MBE, said: “The Active Sports programme is going to have a massive impact of the number of girls playing and it’s extremely rewarding to see that this investment will create the opportunities to satisfy the increasing demand from girls wanting to play. With the added investment from our partners, The FA is looking forward to seeing girls football grow even further after last season reaching our initial objective to be the top female sport.”

"Last season the Active Sports programme saw nine Talent Camps established, with girls from Centres of Excellence across England coming together to showcase their skills. This enabled the National Coach Hope Powell OBE to identify talented players to bring into the international set-up and the majority of the Under-15 talent pool consists of girls spotted through this system."
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old February 23rd, 2003, 02:22
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I said that "it may" take resource away from the men's program.

A program that is more important because it's better. So the sense that I use isn't valid. I'm sure that wanting the better brand of football on tv and having the best players play in front of me is a pre-requisite for the better type of football. No matter what their sex is. It just so happens that the brand played by men is the largest sporting event in the world and I think THIS IS VITAL to make the game grow here. No sport in the world can say that they need to make their women's program stronger in order to advance the progress of the game.

I'm not going to splash quotes around. But I never said that it does take money away, only that it may...I"m speculating as to what may happen...how can I offer concrete evidence (stats, quotes) to something that it hasn't happened yet?

Another thing-we never will have the money to dish out like the FA. Why would you throw that in my face?

Use another country who has a similar problem that Canada has when it comes to the game.

Lets say Australia, they're setting up shop in London or trying to. Using it as a base for their European based players to hold more games in Europe. Makes complete sense and we could learn from it. But if our moneys are split evenly by two the we can't compete at the men's program.

And you say that the me the men's team has no chance of qualification for the WC. It wasn't too long ago that we won the Gold Cup and were the champions of CONCACAF or the Football Confederation (don't know the proper name now) and how can we be written off so easily?

We had some hard luck the last campaign. And with some good luck this upcoming campaign we'll advance. I honestly believe we can do it.

Having more girls play the sport may or may not hurt the game but the fact that very many boys 12-14 do quit soccer at that crucial age definitely hinders the men's program.

Having a successful men's national team something they can aspire to will do much to keep them playing and maybe create a great footballer.

If there's increased women's participation and more money flowing from them there will be voices from elements within the CSA to re-invest that money back into the women's team. Which they deservingly should get.

But the lack of boys in comparison will not get the money that's needed here to get the NT to level of sustained growth. The CSA gets more money from other sources and the money from them should be place first in the men's team because once they start to do well the whole game will benefit from it, girls and boys.

We're in a battle to get the game popular up here and the best most 'concrete' way of doing so would be to have the 'Maple Leaf' one day be able challege the 'Three Lions'. The girls may be able to do it, quite easily but we'll always be a laughing stock if the men can't.

By the way who's the footballing nation England or Canada?

England of course because they can play at the supreme level, we can't and we should remedy that problem by funding the men's program more than the women's.

Reprezentaciju ste ukrali, istinu ne možete

"Football is an extension of the war by other means"

Franjo Tudman

PS. Iako si najavio ne moraš dolaziti u Hercegovinu, ovamo nisi dobodošao. Sasvim sigurno su ti otvorena vrata onih koji su skupa sa tobom radili na zabrani utakmice, i otvorena su ti vrata njihovog grada gdje se pale i brane hrvatske zastave.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old February 24th, 2003, 00:13 Thread Starter
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I agree we need more money for men's soccer.

I agree it's a shame the participation of boys in amateur soccer is declining.

As for whether the growth of women's soccer harms men's soccer in Canada, I'm prepared to wait and see, but I can't imagine it would.

Apart from that, I can't think of anything more to say.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old February 24th, 2003, 05:35
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Same here. Only way to tell is time.

Cheers

Reprezentaciju ste ukrali, istinu ne možete

"Football is an extension of the war by other means"

Franjo Tudman

PS. Iako si najavio ne moraš dolaziti u Hercegovinu, ovamo nisi dobodošao. Sasvim sigurno su ti otvorena vrata onih koji su skupa sa tobom radili na zabrani utakmice, i otvorena su ti vrata njihovog grada gdje se pale i brane hrvatske zastave.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old March 3rd, 2003, 04:40
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You guys make such good arguements.

In my oppinion as a young soccer player myself i believe that we, as a soccer developing country should focus more on our mens team. it sounds very biased and it probably is, but when you look at it you see that almost in every sport and every country men came first. It's just become a natural thing.

I believe that it would take much more dedication, money, and time investments in order to set up youth programs and get our mens team into shape. Canada is so behind in the soccer race for the men, that it should be the first priority to catch up. I mean if we'll spread our money out equally then we'll simply get equal crap (sorry for the language).

We really must face the facts that in order to be a contender for mens soccer we need to do everything we can, it is already very hard to catch up. All the things you guys said were true, us teens loose interest very fast, the main reason is that we know that there won't be anything right after we reach 18. We don't have any major leagues and our soccer isn't treated as seariously as in other countries, this is why we stop playing at such an early age.
I know that i'm going a little off topic, but I must say that if Canada doesnt show any enthusiasm towards the game then we won't either.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old March 4th, 2003, 21:40 Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting, Ilya.

I don't think you guys have anything to worry about - men's soccer still gets far more money and attention at the highest levels than the women's, though it needs and deserves more.

Also, I think there are more opportunities than you realize for young men 18 and up, if they are really competitive and really talented.

What I find most lamentable is the lack of opportunity for enthusiastic but unexceptional amateurs to continue with recreational "house league" type games simply for the fun and fitness of the sport after age 18. Apart from the university and college teams, there's nothing much for any but the most talented players.

And it's not so much a matter of (government or CSA) funding, because amateur players basically pay their own way, with the help of uniform sponsors, etc. and amateur leagues are run by volunteers.
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