Winter Break Notice

LOWER ISLAND SOCCER ASSOCIATION

Outstanding Games at the Winter Break

This coming weekend, December 14/15, is the final weekend of scheduled league games prior to the winter break. While LISA has not scheduled any league games during the three-week winter break this does not mean games can not be played. The reason LISA does not continue to schedule league games as usual each weekend is because permits for the use of most grass fields are not issued during this period. However there are some fields – mainly those with artificial grass surfaces — that remain available.

Teams are encouraged to make up outstanding league games during the winter break. When we resume regular weekly play in mid-January there will be limited time available for league play. For some teams very few league games get played after the winter break prior to the start of their Lower Island District Cup play-downs.

Right now, with one more weekend of U14-U18 league games still scheduled, there are 62 outstanding league games. However, there are 46 league games scheduled for this coming weekend so, depending upon the weather, the number of outstanding games could increase.

In the U13 schedules – where the teams are playing 8v8 in a “non-competitive” program for the second year (although scores and unofficial standings are posted on the website no league champions will be declared) – there could be as many as 31 outstanding games. Some U13 teams have not been sending in their scores on a regular basis so LISA does not know if those scheduled games took place. Another 21 U13 games are scheduled for this Saturday.

In the competitive schedules (i.e. U14-U18) the number of outstanding games range from zero (Boys U18/17 Gold, Girls U15/14 Gold, Girls U16 Gold) to 13 (Boys U18/17 Silver). There are 39 outstanding Boys games (U14-U18) and 23 outstanding Girls games (U14-U18).

In the non-competitive schedules (i.e. U13) the number of outstanding games range from one (Boys U13 Blue) to as many as 24 (Boys U13 White) if all the un-reported games were not played.

Last year there were 65 outstanding games at the winter break in the U14-U18 divisions. The most in any one schedule was eight.

During the 10 years prior to this season the lowest number of outstanding games at the winter break was 53 (December 2011) and the highest was 160 (December 2010). In five of the past 10 years the number of outstanding games ranged from 53 to 87 while in the other five years they ranged from 109 to 160. Note: except for last year, when the 8v8 non-competitive U13 program was introduced, all these totals include the U13 division.

When league schedules resume following the winter break they will be interrupted by the Provincial/Coastal B Cup play-downs and the Tim Satterford Cup semi-finals and finals (for Silver and Bronze teams). So, if your team is involved in the Provincial/Coastal B Cup competition or still alive in the Satterford Cup or you have games scheduled against teams playing in the B Cup or Satterford Cup, your team will not be able to play your league games as originally scheduled on those dates.

In addition it is unlikely that every field will remain open each weekend in the new year. In recent years there have been field closures not only in January and early February but also in late February and into March. There have even been games cancelled because the artificial grass fields were closed.

So teams hoping to make up outstanding league games in the new year might find it quite difficult, if not impossible, to do so. Plus it is possible that more league games will become outstanding in the new year.

Please note if a league game is outstanding because the two teams agreed not to play (e.g. missing players), it is the responsibility of the teams involved to play that game. To do so, though, both teams must agree upon the re-scheduling – one team can not re-schedule the game and “force” the other team into playing it then. It is possible that no points will be awarded to either team if a league game that the two teams agreed not to play as scheduled remains outstanding at a LISA-imposed deadline. This does not apply to games that could not be played as scheduled (e.g. closed fields, Malahat closed, Salt Spring ferry cancelled, etc.).

In order to make up an outstanding league game during the winter break the same procedure is in place as in any other time during league play – both teams must agree upon the re-scheduling and arrange for a field and referee through one or both of their clubs, or make their own arrangements for a field and referee. During the winter break, when you make up an outstanding game, both teams are responsible for reporting that result to their score recorder as soon as possible afterwards. When reporting a score for an outstanding game please include the date for which the game was originally scheduled.

Please check the standings and scores section on the LISA website to make sure all your league results are posted. (Cup scores are not listed in the standings and scores section; it is for league games only.)

When looking for scores please note that all games are identified by the date they are assigned on your league schedule. For instance, if you could not play your league game that was originally scheduled for November 17 and your team made up that outstanding game the evening of December 3, the score for the game will be posted on the LISA website alongside the November 17 date not December 3.

The reason for that is to help determine the official standings on a round-by-round basis.

When you check the LISA website if there is a score missing inform your score recorder as soon as possible. When reporting your missing score to your score recorder you need to identify the original date of your game.

If you make arrangements to make up an outstanding league game during the winter break both teams should inform their score recorder (and/or the district scheduler) as far in advance as possible.

If neither team or just one team informs LISA in advance that is not a problem as long as both teams show up at the field to play the game. Obviously there was an agreement as both teams are there. Remember to report your score afterwards otherwise LISA will not know it was played.

However, if one of the teams does not show up for the game LISA might not be able to award a forfeit if LISA has no record that team had agreed to the re-scheduling.

NOTE: A team sending LISA an email that says “both teams have agreed,” only means the team that sent in that email has agreed. There have been times in the past where one team claims that both teams are in agreement but the other team says they did not agree.

On the other hand, if both teams have informed LISA then that outstanding game is considered officially re-scheduled. If one of the teams does not show up at the field or finds out they are going to be short players they would probably lose that game via a forfeit – unless their opponent is willing to postpone and re-schedule.

WEEKLY RE-SCHEDULING NOTICES

Shortly after regular weekly play resumes following the winter break there will be teams involved in the Satterford Cup and Provincial/Coastal B Cup competitions. Those teams will be playing their cup matches instead of their league games originally scheduled for those days. As those teams will not be available for league play that weekend their league schedules will have to be revised to accommodate their absence.

LISA will re-schedule games for those weekends – plus other weekends in the new year on a week-by-week basis as U14-U18 league schedules and the determining of league champions could be affected by these cup competitions.

Please be aware that once weekly re-scheduling begins in the new year your game, opponent and home/away designation might change from what is already listed on your league schedule. It also means that teams that were originally scheduled for a bye could end up with a game and teams that originally had a game scheduled might end up with a bye.

Depending upon the placement of teams in cup draws and the outcome of those cup matches some teams might end up playing the same opponent two weeks in a row because of the limited number of opponents in their league.

So please inform your players and their families that their game schedules are likely to change week-by-week shortly after the winter break ends.

When re-scheduling is needed LISA will distribute a master re-scheduling list as early as possible during the week leading up to those weekend games. Those notices usually go out on the Tuesday but, if there are delays, not until the Wednesday. The re-scheduling can not be done until results from the previous weekend are known so it is very important to report your scores on time each week. If your game was not played then you must also report that to your score recorder and provide the reason why.

Make sure you check the standings and scores section of the LISA website to confirm all the league games you have played have been posted. If there is no score posted for a game that game is considered outstanding and therefore could be re-scheduled by LISA even though you have already played it.

As noted earlier in this notice, games are identified by the date for which they are listed on your schedule. So if you are checking for scores for outstanding games they will be posted alongside their original date not the date on which they were actually played.

DETERMINING LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

The rules for determining league champions are posted in the Rules and Regulations on the Lower Island website (see Chapter 3).

The team that is declared the league champion is not always the team with the most points at the end of the league season. Because of field closures and league play being interrupted by cup competitions (Provincial/Coastal B Cup, Satterford Cup) teams do not always play the same number of games against the same opponents. In addition the reason for outstanding games can vary, as mentioned above. So when it comes to determining the league champions LISA follows the rules in Chapter 3.

As noted in those rules, league winners are determined by “completed rounds.” That is why the schedules are drawn up on a round-by-round basis – teams are scheduled to play all their opponents once (which constitutes a “round”) before they are scheduled to play any opponent a second time.

The first definition of a “completed round” is as expected:  all the games scheduled for that round have been played. LISA’s rules also define a “completed round” as one in which a team has mathematically clinched first place. In other words, no team could catch the first-place team even if they won all their un-played games in that round.

Another part of the rule that sometimes has to be taken into consideration:  a team can be eliminated from winning the league title during a round that does not meet the definition of “complete.”

For instance, after two complete rounds the Maroon Team is in first place but during Round 3 the Maroon Team starts losing games. At the end of league play Round 3 can not be classified as “complete” as no team has mathematically clinched first place. However after losing Round 3 games the Maroons can no longer mathematically end up in first place. So even though the Maroons were in first place at the end of the last completed round they can not be declared the league champion as they had played themselves out of contention.

If in applying LISA’s rules for determining league champions two (or more) teams end up tied for first place they will play a tiebreaker match in cup format (i.e. extra time and a FIFA penalty-kick shootout, if needed) with the winning team capturing the league title. No other tiebreakers (e.g. head-to-head, goal differential, winning percentage etc.)  are used to determine a league champion.