By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
May 11, 2016-No standings, no goalkeepers and the boys play with the girls. That’s the concept of the innovative Capital District Youth Soccer League (CDYSL), which was founded and joined the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) in 1978. The CDYSL is a unique league as it has a Coed Division for travel teams with 31 squads competing this spring in the Coed Under-8 Division. When the players graduate to Under-9, they are then split up by gender.
The CDYSL does not have any quota on how many boys or girls players must be on the field in the Coed Division.
“We’ve had all boys teams playing against all girls teams,“ commented CDYSL Operations Director Italo Carcich. “However, most of the coed teams have a mixture of both boys and girls.“
The CDYSL utilizes two small fields next to each other, approximately 30 x 20 yards, and the two coaches split the teams and play two 4 v 4 games with 12 minutes per quarter. The coaches and substitutes stand between the fields. The maximum of 14 players on the roster can be substituted between fields by the same team. So a player could be playing on one field for the first quarter and play on the next field for the second quarter, and so on.
The concept is to have eight players from the roster of 14 playing at the same time, providing them with many touches of the ball.
With no goalkeepers, the CDYSL asks the coaches to move any player in their defensive area away from the goal by about six yards, especially if he/she appears to acting as a goalkeeper. Also, the offside rule is not used.
“When I watch games at this level, all the kids really have a most enjoyable time,” Carcich explained. “They do not care about winning or losing but simply playing the game.“
The games are not results-oriented and participation awards are given to all players at the end of the season. Only two of the 10 other leagues in Eastern New York, the Central New York State Soccer League and the Mid State New York Soccer League, also have a Coed Division.
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and 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 11 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 Children With Special Needs. 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.