BBDFL

Summer Season U7s to U11s

Summer Season U7s to U11s

On Saturday 4th March the pilot BBDFL summer programme for U7s through to U11s commences and this is another defining moment in the game both locally and nationally as we seek to bring a change to the game for all.

We provide the below to help you gain an understanding of the Summer Football move and answer any questions you may have

Firstly please note this is for our U7s through to U11s only

Q: Why only these age groups?

A: Its a huge feat pulling this together for just these age groups in year 1 for a voluntary committee and as such we had to draw the line somewhere. The U7s to U11s are development football age groups and as such we only provide fixture programmes to allow for the best environment possible for this to occur, with no league tables or results posted. This also provides us with the flexibility to adapt these fixtures more readily than a competitive age group. In addition when we consulted with our member clubs, who were very supportive, the vast majority asked that the older age groups stay with a Sept to May programme. This will obviously be under review during the pilot period

Q: Where are we up to with the summer league?

A: The league consulted with clubs and 87 out of 89 clubs that responded from 108 member clubs outlined they wanted us to do this. We then held a meeting with the Lancashire FA and the FA who supported it and we then held a Managers meeting at Bolton Arena and held an open discussion on it. We then formally submitted a 3 year pilot request to the FA. The rules and sanction committee then formally authorised our pilot and we commenced plans to implement it for March to October 2017.

Q: What about the local authorities?

A: Meetings have been held with the local authorities who are extremley supportive although individual teams need to establish what their current position is with their facilities if these are council, private property or school owned

ALL TEAMS AFFECTED NEED TO ESTABLISH IF THEIR CURRENT PROVIDER IS ABLE TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FACILITIES THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER PERIOD. ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS WILL BE COVERED BY THE CLUB, BUT ANY TEAMS NOT ABLE TO SECURE A FACILITY IS ASKED TO CONTACT THE LEAGUE AS WE SEEK TO PROVIDE OTHER SUITABLE FACILITIES

Q: What about the Club facilites?

A: The summer programme provides opportunities for member clubs to generate income by allowing use of their faciltities during the summer period, at a cost which can include pitches, cafe`s, toilets and meeting rooms. Clubs could offer one or more facilities depending on their current stock of faciltities and this can be for the whole or part of the summer league. On that note we would like to offer our thanks to Steve Ford at CMB who has already offered to create 4 x 30  x 40 pitches at CMB for the U7s and 8s age groups. This will provide pitches for 24 teams in 2 time slots each Saturday at CMB. Other clubs are asked to contact the league with similar offers in order to generate funds at a period of time when costs can be high, but income is generally very low. We beleive that the summer programme can have added financial benefi for our member clubs. This offer is also available to none member clubs (i.e. LOCAL ADULT CLUBS) who may wish to offer part or whole faciltities to be used by BBDFL teams.

Q: What does the 2016/17 season look like?

A: Teams affiliated as usual with a cut off date on the 1st August 2016. All teams commenced playing 2nd Saturday in September 2016 with U7s to U11s having fixtures allocated and U12s to U21s in their normal league programme which will continue as usual until their end of season in May. U7s to U11s had a mix of fixtures, which dependant on age group included 3G round robin at central venues, fustal and grass games. These games ran up until the Christmas break (weather permitting) and then they stopped for the U7s and 8s, with the U9s to 11s continuing to play matches as they deemed appropriate until 1st week in March when the season commences and will continue until the half term break in October 2017, with usual FREE WEEKS added in for holiday periods. 

NOTE: AGE GROUPS REMAIN THE SAME THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER PROGRAMME, AS SUCH AN U7 TO U11 IN SEPTEMBER 2016, WILL REMAIN AND U7 TO U11 THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER UNTIL OTOBER 2017 WHEN THEY WILL REVERT TO THE 2017/18 AGE GROUP. THIS WILL BE THE SAME FOR ANY PLAYER JOINING THE LEAGUE AS THE YEAR START IS SEPTEMER 2016. ANY PLAYER PLAYING FOR SCHOOL OR OTHER LEAGUE (I.E. SUNDAYS) OR COUNTY CUP WILL PLAY IN THAT COMPETITIONS AGE BANDING.

Q: What about summer holidays during the summer league?

A: There will be no difference than what has been occuring in the BBDFL for the last 20 years, in that no games or FREE WEEKS are put into the schedule for holidays, although this has not prevented teams bringing forward a fixture and playing it. For example the September to May season usually starts around 10th Sept and then breaks for half term in October, again for Christmas and Easter, but some teams elect to play. That will be the same for the summer league with the league putting in FREE WEEKS but it will be personal choice whether teams want to bring fixtures forward, play friendlies or join tournaments etc. In addition all teams, as they do now have the option to provide 5 days notice to cancel a fixture or multiple fixtures in order to factor in their own break or holiday period. One thing the BBDFL always has been is flexible and supportive to teams, clubs and individual needs

Q: What about referees?

A: Every year we lose referees in summer as many end up getting Saturday jobs or move away from the game, because their is no football. This will allow the officials to continue to referee, earn a fee and some can play in winter and referee in summer and vice versa, opening the door to many more officials who want to referee in the BBDFL and retaining those that currently do.

Q: What about U11s going to U12s as the season overlaps?

A: The U11s season will be the one age group which will be planned to conclude prior to the summer holiday break, which is usually the 2nd week in July, providing them with their summer holiday 7 week break, in order that they can switch seamlessley to the winter calendar

Q: What about U7s to U11s from October till March?

A: The BBDFL is committed to building a sustainable Futsal league which runs both Saturdays and Sundays from October 2017. In the first instance this will be offered to the youngest age groups with a view to growing this provision year on year. In addition the BBDFL will be looking at winter tournaments and events at the central venues for many of our age groups. None of these are compulsary, so if you wish to just put your feet up and relax over the winter programme or try another activity, then please do so. This change is being done for the benefit of all and as such you do what you feel is best for you, your team and your club

Q: What about pitch maintenance?

A: The BBDFL currently has 188 teams at U9s, 10s and 11s which play on our pitches in the worst winter conditions in a concentrated area on a larger pitch. In addition we have over 120 U7s and 8s, many of which play at their club faciltities week in and week out or on an adhoc basis when they are not at central venues. As such we are moving over 300 teams which can cause the most concentrated damage to our facilities in the winter months off those pitches which we believe will mean less wear and tear in winter months. Add to that appropriate breaks in the summer holiday periods and pitch rotation, we believe will ensure that pitches are in a better condition than we currently find, due to a collective fewer teams playing in the worst conditions as the season will now be split. This also provides opportunities to rest facilities for maintenance to take place. The BBDFL is also in talks with the local authorities with a view to self managing the allocation of games at council owned facilities

Q: What if it doesnt work?

A: This is a pilot and we can come away from the pilot at any time, although all the evidence points to the fact that this will be a huge success and a defining moment for all grassroots leagues in the country. over 50 additional teams have contacted the league to date asking to join should we go to a summer programme in 2017. Any new teams joining will have to pass our tests, pay their full fee and provide their pitch details

Q: What does the committee want from the members?

A: The BBDFL committee needs feedback, feedback and more feedback. This is a huge undertaking by a dedicated committee that constantly asks why, when told no, constantly seeks greater and better, constantly seeks to improve and constantly challenges the status quo. We do make many mistakes and we have been wrong on many occasions, but we want the very best for our members and the game. Please provide feedback on how it went, what are your challenges, what are your concerns, what went well, what didnt go so well. How did it affect your facilities, how did it affect your recruitment, how did it affect the development of your players. How did it affect your coaches. How did it affect the referees and referee retention. These questions and many more we seek your feedback. Why? Because we just want the very best we possibly can for our members, the community and the game.

YOUR VIEWS MATTER

If you have any questions you want to add to this list please use the contact us form on the website and we will try to answer it for you

BELOW ARE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS RECIEVED TO DATE:

Q: Thanks very much for all the info regarding summer football, I'm sure it will be a great success! Just a quick question. My team are currently under 10. Am I right in thinking we will not move up to 9 a side until March 2018? 

A: If your team remains in the BBDFL, that is correct. U10s will remain an U10 from September 2016 all the way through till October 2017 and as such will remain playing 7 aside. They will then revert to being an U11 team from October 2017 for the BBDFL and as such will start 9 aside in March 2018. If they play in any competitions, like futsal, tournaments, the County Cups, School teams or join a league which plays Sundays or join another Saturday league they will stop as an U10 and 7 aside in May 2017 or when that season ends following the 31st August age bandings.

Q: Please could you advise what we have to do to register our under 8 & 9 teams for the March - October 2017 season. Also we already have an under 10 team playing in Bolton & Bury league, will they continue playing in the under 10 league or will they be automatically go into the March - October season as an under 11 team. 
With the league starting in 2 weeks a quick response would be appreciated.

A: All new teams have to apply to join in mid season by contacting the relevant age group secretary to establish if they are able to accomodate your request and completing an online application form and sending it via your club secretary to the league General Secretary, Chris Rees (The online application forms are here : CLICK HERE) The relevant age for 2016/17 still remains and as such a team which is an U10s on 1st September 2016 will remain an U10 until season end in October 2017 for purposes of the summer league and any teams entering will be as per that age banding.

Q: When does the new U7s start their football for 2017 as they would normally start in September, but do they start in March 2018? 

A: The U7s will, as will all the age groups, be offered 3G and futsal from September if they wish to partake, but their main playing season will commence in March 2018 when the weather and pitches are in better condition for them to play their football in a comfortable and enjoyable environment for their development

Q: I welcome a move to the summer league as its a new initiative and needs our support. I hope it's going to be a great success. I have very little free time on Saturday mornings since i became involved with the club. Perhaps the summer league lasting 8 months will allow coaches to take a break for family time post October and spend some much needed time to RE-energise and reflect.  I would be very reluctant having coached from March to October to enter a winter league as I need to spend some time with family in the run up to Xmas once the summer league concludes. Can you confirm the summer league is the only competition I will be expected to honour and that coaches will have the time to recharge between Oct and March and enter into friendlies/winter leagues independently. 

A: Most definitely 100% guarantee that moving forward the league will be March to October with lots of breaks in-between and nobody will be compelled to join any other competitions. Other competitions will be at a cost and completely voluntary. Only this year because of the transition have we had such a long commitment.

Below is a list of facilities offered to support the BBDFL summer programme

CMB: 4 x 30 x 40 pitches in 2 timeslots catering for 24 teams at U7 and U8, parking, toilets and clubhouse

Oxford Grove: 3 x 30x40 pitches to support U9/U10 league games or round robin with 3 teams and a 9v9 pitch at the same base which could be easily converted into 2 extra x 7v7 pitches which would total 5 pitches (30x40) for use every Saturday. We also have a clubhouse with cafe, toilet facilities and large car park to support a weekly programme of games.

Thank you to CMB and Oxford Grove for your continued support