Scheduler's Notes on the Spring 2014 Season
Preliminary Schedule
Players, organizers, coaches, and WYSL Teams,

Falling back into soccer mode, 

Available for download is a revised PRELIMINARY Schedule for the Westchester Youth Soccer League Fall 2013 season as of August 29th.  It is stilll NOT final!!  Do NOT make solid plans on this schedule and make sure your teams know that. They will want to plan. We don’t want complaints. 

This schedule will continue to change before THE final and often there are changes next week because of errors or field issues. It was hard to honor all the requests.  In many instances, I did not succeed.  On November 3 and 10, you’ll find quite a number of impossible commutes. I’m sorry.

I am also sorry this is such a long email. It’s a simple game but organizing it well is not.

This schedule will be posted on the WYSL website today or tomorrow morning and I may post updates as they occur.

Below is the usual request. Please read it again. There are always new notes. For newcomers, you need to read all of this very carefully. It will answer many questions you and your teams will have. You can imagine my reaction when I’m asked a question I’ve already answered. There are 2000 of you.

But, if there’s really a confusion, ask!  I make mistakes. I am not always as clear as I think I am. We need to get this right and it’s a lot of work. But the work will make our life as organizers manageable and will let the kids have fun on the field.   Read first. See if you can figure things out before asking.

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Your job is to check the schedule and -  within a week - by Saturday August 31st  - email me any mistakes you find. There are mistakes! There are always mistakes. I can’t avoid them and it gives you a reason to look.  ;-)     
There will be changes to adjust field usage and correct for last minute problems. If you have suggestions for better field use or to deal with a local problem, tell me. I like suggestions. Recruit anyone in your club who will help.

Do NOT send any new schedule requests no matter how important. (Coach coordination, wedding day, problem with early games, etc.) You had extra days to get me requests. Remember earlier next year. Refer to the league booklet for exceptions.

If you made a request about particular days and I missed it or messed it up, *please tell me!!*   Emails vanish and fixing one problem can cause another. Don’t assume the mistake is unavoidable. (I’ll tell you if it is.)  Ask me!!

ALL single day requests should be ok. Tell me if one is not. I know they can be quite important. I spend almost as much time on requests as on setting the time and field for the games; and I want them to work as well as possible. Don’t suffer in silence if you think I made a mistake or didn’t get an email you sent.

On the general requests (prefer early, prefer late, avoid mornings, etc.) if I manage 80%, please be content. It was hard to even do that. If I missed 80%, tell me. Older teams wanting to play late will not be happy. To use the morning field time, U14, U13 and older teams often have to play before noon. If you have a coach coordination AND a general time request, don’t be surprised if the time request is missed. The coach coords are tough enough.

The coach coordinations are now over 43% of the teams. 

I hope I handled the requests which are truly important for getting the teams on the field. Clubs getting extra fields and fields "until dark" helped. But plan for coverage for your professional coaches. Managers will often need to warm up the team and the game may have to start with the coach driving into the parking lot. (And please tell them to drive carefully.)

For clubs with little field space (you know who you are), get me more so I can adjust game times to fit the coach needs.

Coaches and club admins often dislike our limits and want the flexibility to change games to suit particular problems and to play on other days and outside the time limits we use. Other leagues play both Saturday and Sunday, play at any time on either day, and allow late changes.  The regular WYSL league is a Sunday league, we work to make ref coverage more efficient and consistent and we are very protective of the schedule. We think that’s better for the families and the kids. But it does impose a tough discipline. Since we have to live with this schedule, we have to get it as good as we can.

For teams with coach coordinations, I had to ignore many "pref late" "prefer early" requests. It’s hard enough to get your coach to the game while also trying to adjust for when your team and your coach’s other team would like to play. Teams have to be ready to play during the full Sunday time for their age group. We have very little field space and too many requests to be so particular.

Often your coach will have to leave a game immediately and will have barely enough time to arrive just before the start of the next game (only half an hour or 45 minutes - within a town sometimes just 15). S/he will often not have time for a post game or pre-game talk. This is the best I can do. There are a handful of times when I just couldn’t manage the coordination.

I use Google Maps and what I know about the geography.  If I haven’t allowed enough time to get from whistle to whistle, let me know. But be sure to check your googleMaps distance first. If you ask, I may still say  "I’m sorry".

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Please check for you team, see if all the games are there, check the fields, make sure all the teams are there too. (It has happened.) Note any gaps or overlaps in the schedule. See if there are any singletons. Check your requests!

PREMIER Teams and clubs. Please be especially careful checking your Sunday schedule including any coach coordinations. The erratic nature of your schedule makes it tough for me to keep track. If I left out a premier Sunday game, TELL ME so I can get it on the schedule.

Everyone, send your responses to me by email *as you see things*. Don’t wait. It’s a rolling correction process.

The final schedule will be done before the league meeting on Tuesday September 2nd.  

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NOTE:  Some divisions have 10 game schedules. Some have only 9. The last week of the season has half the number of games. If you don’t have a game on November 17, it’s because you are playing a shorter, 9 game schedule.  Don’t drop that date!!  Keep your families ready to play!!! You are likely to need it for makeup games.

I count 618 teams (not including those playing some form of premier league). The schedule includes 3159 games including "byes" and premier games. There are 61 "TBS" games for teams in divisions with an odd number of teams to make up for the byes or to finish the round robin in 11 team divisions.

The TBS games MUST be played during the season.  They are not optional. Schedule them with your opponent like a make up game. Play them early in the season.

There are a couple of TBA games when neither team had enough field space for the game. If you can find a field, tell me. Get them scheduled and played sometime.

The number of home and away games is pretty balanced. But some clubs with tight field space have fewer home games. In a 9 game schedule you’ll have either 4 or 5 home games. I’m sorry that a few teams are short a home game or two.

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I may post updates to this Preliminary Schedule.  When finalized this schedule will be uploaded to the league website and will be available division by division or club by club.  (It will not then be available as an excel spread sheet because it is outdated almost immediately.)

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NOTE: Only you can properly check this schedule. Mistakes will cost you in lost time, disappointed kids, and annoyed parents. We need dozens of motivated eyes looking for mistakes. It takes a soccer community to create and run a good season. 
Thanks for reading all the way to here and thanks for your help!

Terry Benson
WYSL Scheduler