Submitted by Mike Ianiro, North Bay
I recently had a discussion with the president of the North Bay Youth Soccer Club.
The purpose of our meeting was to try and sway her to allow two talented 18-year-old soccer players to play in the adult club on a team which they were invited to join.
The adult league does make provisions in their Rules and Regulations to accommodate underage players. Having noted this as an option you would assume that the youth league would also provide an avenue for players to move to the adult league.
However, this is not the case at all.
The North Bay Youth Soccer Club wants to force these players in a division with 15-year-old players should they want to play soccer this summer in North Bay.
The president herself suggested that a player which may be skilled enough at the age of 18 should be taking on a role to teach the younger kids about the game. I agree and will point out that these boys do exactly that.
This was suggested as an alternative to being able to play at a more competitive level and gaining self-improvement.
I have watched my son and the other boys involved in the situation grow up through the game.
Not once did these boys ever give the game, coaches, team or our district reason to be embarrassed or ashamed.
They have always been gentlemen on the field in winning and losing.
These are the examples you need to have your younger kids look up to in the game of soccer. And allow these boys to be an inspiration to always play to achieve a higher level.
The local Soccer Association organization at this point seems to self-sustain by not allowing development past your level.
Shame on the North Bay Youth Soccer board for intentionally withholding the opportunity for these players to move up and out of your league.
By not allowing them to play at a higher level you and your board are taking away the opportunity for your younger kids to be inspired.
What purpose is it to want to achieve higher if you will only be left to sit on the sidelines and not allowed to participate?
Is this the message you want to relay to the younger children?