Our Mission – To serve the community by preparing our youth for high school soccer. To promote youth player development by providing fun, instructive athletic activity. To build teamwork and sportsmanship through competitive play in RDYSL and NYSWYSA-
Message from the President
Happy New Soccer Year to everybody in the Eclipse family!
In an effort to increase communication between the Eclipse board and our parents, coaches, and players, I am writing a monthly letter on this website, discussing issues of importance to the club. If there are topics you’d like to see addressed, please contact me or any other board member.
A common question for board members is why the Eclipse no longer holds a tournament. As recently as five years ago, we were able to attract well over 100 teams to Greece to play soccer over Memorial Day weekend. Teams would come from as far away as Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, and Canada to play five games over the course of three days. For many years, our tournament provided a consistent, high level of competition for our own teams and for visiting teams. A core group of volunteers from the club did all the planning and execution of the tournament.
Much has changed the world of soccer tournaments over the last five years. There are many more tournaments for teams to attend (in Monroe County, at least one tournament exists for every weekend from May through July). With so many tournaments to choose from, the Eclipse tournament is no longer a “must” for competitive teams, as they have many competitive choices. Also, many families have become reluctant to devote a holiday weekend (like Memorial Day) to a soccer tournament. Most teams are reluctant to play tournaments two weekends in a row, so teams choose their tournament schedules carefully. As a result, in the last few years, we were only able to count on having only 70 or 80 teams (including our own 23) register for the tournament.
The cost structure for a youth soccer tournament makes it difficult to make a profit on a tournament. Most significant are the costs to prepare the fields and to staff the tournament with referees. The Town of Greece and Greece Central School District pass along their costs to prepare the fields. These costs have increased over the years. Referee fees increase regularly, as well. Prizes for winners and participation awards for young players add to the tournament cost. We have to charge a registration fee that is competitive with other tournaments, but reliance on registration fees to cover the costs of the tournament leaves little profit. Cooperative arrangements with vendors (food concessions, clothing and gear, photography) bring in some additional revenue. Finding sponsors willing to cover significant portions of the cost has proven difficult in Rochester, although it is successful in some other cities.
Planning and executing a soccer tournament is a year-round job. It requires a tournament director, with overall responsibility for all aspects of the tournament. This person leads the planning process, insures that plans are being carried out, and makes sure that all details of the tournament conform to the requirements of New York West Youth Soccer. This includes filing all appropriate paperwork on schedule. Finding a volunteer with enough free time to take on this responsibility has become more difficult every year. It has also become increasingly difficult to find enough volunteers to do the work of tournament publicity, team registration, game scheduling, concessions, etc. In 2002, the Eclipse board took on all these responsibilities, with help from representatives from the teams. That group of people is not able to devote that much time every year. We have not found anybody interested in taking on the role of tournament director.
For all these reasons, we chose not to hold a tournament in 2003 or 2004. This was a difficult decision for the board, as ours was one of the longest-running tournaments in Monroe County, and we all have fond memories of past tournaments. That decision does not mean there will never be another Eclipse tournament. We would consider holding a tournament again, under the following conditions:
- A committed individual volunteers to serve as tournament director.
- The cost structure can be changed so the tournament can make a profit that is commensurate with the amount of work that goes into it.
- The planning and execution of the tournament are done by volunteers from within the club, with oversight by the board.
I would be happy to talk with anybody who has a serious proposal for a revitalized Eclipse tournament.
Yours in soccer,
Also, Check out…
Roberts Wesleyan College
Soccer Camps in
the Links section.
Parent Handbook (doc)