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2019-20 NPL member league spotlight: Virginia NPL

By US Club Soccer, 10/04/19, 11:45AM EDT

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Editors Note: As the Fall 2019 season gets underway, US Club Soccer will be highlighting each NPL member league with a Q&A of the league administrators and directors. The Virginia NPL conversation was with league admin Oliver Weiss.

  • Established: 2014
  • Number of clubs: 11
  • Schedule: Here

Question: Virginia NPL has established itself over the years. What are the biggest changes that you've noticed in the evolution of the NPL?

Weiss: More structure and more consistency across all clubs in certain fundamental club soccer policies. These are:

  • Better game day environments through improved selection of member clubs
  • Better refereeing
  • More collegiality among coaches and directors on match day
  • More accountability to follow player-centric initiatives like substitution rules
  • Appropriate player movement on game day to create meaningful and competitive matches
  • Creating grassroots programs to introduce young players into a less stressful match day environment, where enjoyment takes priority over adult wishes, such as winning

Question: The NPL network is like a family. What do you want other NPLs to know about your league?

Weiss: We are always looking for partnerships in trying to help other leagues and ourselves. It's important that we provide a healthy game day platform, so we can all grow the game.

Question: Are you making any adjustments this season compared to previous seasons?

Weiss: We are always evaluating ourselves each year to see where we had some success, where we floundered and where we should be focusing our energy. We struggled with a cup format that crowded the normal playing schedule and didn't add a lot of value to our development platform, other than providing a knockout competition. So, we moved that cup competition outside of our normal playing season dates. We will see how it works out. It certainly gives every team a much better playing schedule with less disruptions and rescheduled games.

ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER:

A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.

Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.

US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and supported by LaLiga through a technical partnership.

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