October 18, 2008

For Now, No Island in the Pleasure Island Soccer League

(Thanks to Duke Hagestrom for providing the majority of this information)

History/Current Problem:

The Pleasure Island Soccer Association, PISA, was formed 16 years ago. The soccer league started out relatively small and the games were played on Pleasure Island. But with time, the league grew and it became more difficult for the Island league to keep games at home due to parking and other issues.

In the Spring of '08 soccer was moved off the island to Veterans Park since it conflicted with baseball and there was not enough field space to accommodate all of the games on Pleasure Island. Most parents were of the understanding that soccer would move back to the Island in the fall. But as of now, all Pleasure Island Soccer League games are played at Veterans Park (there are no games played on the Island).

The PISA soccer league had embarked on a significant advertising initiative and attracted more players than can realistically fit on the Island fields. Evidently, the league has a goal to grow significantly, which is in conflict with many Island parents that would like to see soccer played on the Island. They long for the quaint, family friendly games that have long been a part of the Island.

Parents brought their concerns to the PISA soccer league and the following are the Minutes from the 10/15/08 PISA Meeting:

In summary, the group consensus was that the goal of moving soccer games back to the Island as a part of an Island soccer program:

The preference is to get this done under the existing PISA organization. PISA is a well-run organization and has the infrastructure in place to best make this happen. The group was very complimentary of the hard work and sacrifices that Mike and his board have had to make in order to keep the program going.

If PISA is unable to move a sufficiently comprehensive program back to the Island, parents feel strongly enough about an Island program that they are willing to begin the process of investigating how to get this done independently from PISA.

A variety of suggestions and concerns were presented to the PISA board including:

1. Institute an East/West or North/South league concept where the league splits game play between the Island and Veterans Park. Island fields can be the home fields for Island teams and Veterans Park fields can be the home fields for off-Island teams. Other alternatives to this approach were discussed.

Perhaps we need the following on the applications:
“Although we cannot make any guarantees, if you could select a home league/field, which would you choose for your child:”
-- Veterans Park
-- Pleasure Island
-- I don’t care

2. Perhaps we should consider a late fee in order to encourage timely registration, which will allow for additional time to plan team rosters/locations.

3. Moving just a small number of games or only a couple of age groups would not be appropriate…it needs to be a full program.

4. Ft. Fisher & Kure Beach Facilities may be available for practices and/or games (another way to allow us to stay on the Island).

5. It was mentioned that facilities on the Island (including parking) are not adequate for the league. Also, splitting facilities may be inconvenient for parents with multiple children playing soccer.

6. Is it that the facilities on the Island can’t support the league or is it that the league has allowed growth greater than what our Island can handle. Why did we decide it was more important to be larger and off the Island instead of smaller and on the Island? What is the magic number for cutoff?

7. Several parents indicated that they were told that soccer would move back to the Island after the Spring season and were caught off-guard when that didn’t happen.

8. Comments were made that some coaches were turned away, but at least one coach is coaching two teams.

9. Comments were made that some sponsors were turned away – at least one sponsor turned away was in attendance.

10. A parent indicated that most soccer leagues and official licensed programs discourage organized play for 3 year olds. Perhaps there is an option to have a “free play” or alternative approach for the 3 year olds.

Mike has indicated that he would also like to see games played on the Island. We hope that PISA can institute an Island program that will satisfy the needs of the community. If I have failed to capture any important ideas or suggestions, I encourage you to reply to this email and I will ensure that the feedback is passed along to PISA. I also apologize for any errors I have made in trying to capture feedback…feel free to correct any errors I may have made.

Thank you again for your time and we look forward to PISA’s response.

Pleasure Island Parents

Contact Duke Hagestrom
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