After today’s explanation of the upcoming Guide to Youth Soccer (3:00) and a rant about promotion/relegation (4:15), my guest (12:30) is Doug Wood, executive director of SAY (Soccer Association for Youth). He starts by explaining what SAY does — mostly recreational soccer through several different entry points, including schools.
SAY isn’t the most top-down organization out there. Its leagues and clubs sometimes have diverse approaches. Sounds a little different than the U.S. Soccer mandates, doesn’t it?
Along with U.S. Youth Soccer, U.S. Club Soccer, AYSO and USSSA, SAY is part of the Youth Council Technical Working Group, which sprung up in response to those mandates. We talk about whether that’s making a difference (26:00). And yes, we talk about the ill-fated birth-year age mandate (28:50).
What happens when SAY discovers a potential elite player? See 39:30.
How do SAY players play with other organizations as well? See 44:45.
Then get an impassioned plea on behalf of recreational sports at 53:15.