Special to The Standard
SCUGOG: The NDUFC U12 boys team will be kicking off their campaign during the Darlington Festival this Saturday. The team, coached by Tom Mueller and Andrew Parratt, will be playing a couple of tough games, against North Mississauga and local rival Kawartha Lakes.
I've been asked by a few people about what the differences between a tournament and a festival are.
Basically, a youth soccer tournament is for teams at the U13 age level and up, with scores & standings. A festival is run for the kids playing at the U12 age group and younger, games being played without official scores being kept.
This is is known as the the LTPD (Long Term Player Development) level, and was brought in by the soccer bosses in Canada, a few years ago. The idea is, that if younger kids are able to play without scores and standings, it will aid in keeping more kids playing the sport in their later youth years. This LTPD program has been in place in various countries throughout the world, with a variety of results.
I am not a fan of "non-competitive" rep soccer, but the goal of keeping kids interested in playing the sport, past their younger years, is good enough to give it a go.
This concept is already being looked at in other youth sports throughout Canada, so soccer will be a good template to judge the success or failure of a LTPD program.
This year's TFC club seems to be running in circles, as they have only one win and yet only one loss, after six games this season. The Reds have kept almost the same roster as lost in the league finals last season, but some of the jump and urgency seems to have been left behind during the winter break.
I'm sure they will turn things around, but I wouldn't wait for too long, as teams are already well ahead of them in the standings. Go Leafs Go!