By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 14, 2012-While Democrats and Republicans continue sparring over the fiscal cliff and there’s no resolution in sight for the NHL lock-out, there is much more cooperation in Eastern New York youth soccer. On Saturday, December 8, landmark agreements were reached by the presidents of nearly all of the 11 member leagues of Eastern New York. The meeting at the Ronkonkoma offices of the Long Island Junior Soccer League was called by Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) President Richard Christiano to develop programs to enhance the experience of the 125,000 players in Eastern New York through broader competitive offerings with fewer restrictions.
In an unprecedented show of unity, those present agreed to allow teams to cross traditional geographic boundaries in search of more competition that may not be available in their home league without the necessity of transferring their registration. This builds on the strategies already employed by Long Island and the Cosmopolitan leagues in the south plus East Hudson and Westchester leagues upstate which had already begun the practice in the recent past.
Additionally, the leagues with established Select or Academy programs agreed in principal to open their programs to neighboring leagues that have none without requiring players from those leagues to play with the host league’s clubs. For example, Long Island in the south will partner with Cosmopolitan, Metrokids, Staten Island and Big Apple while East Hudson will do the same with the Capitol District, Mid State and Central New York plus Westchester will do the same with Hudson Valley.
"The cooperation during the meeting was outstanding," said Christiano. "Everyone there was focused on making the soccer experience of all our children, regardless of where they reside, as rich as possible. We all came away feeling that we’re at the beginning of a new era in youth soccer in our state."
"The parents and players were paying double registration fees so that they can play the teams from the different leagues," responded Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League President Burt Wilkes. "The CJSL believes there was no reason for this expense when, working together, the leagues can give the players the same opportunities without double the financial burden. This will expose them to different levels of play and create better soccer players."
"With the success of the Metro League last spring, we at East Hudson along with Westchester look forward to our neighboring leagues to the north joining us in 2013," added East Hudson President Jim Purdy. "There’s already a buzz among our top level teams who look forward to a highly competitive schedule this spring. It is hoped this league will find its niche and offer the top level of play teams are looking for. Our leagues working together shows soccer families our commitment to do all we can for our kids."
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.