I would like to thank you all for your patronage to St. Clair Shores Youth Soccer League. Our Board of Directors recognizes that the league would not exist without all of you, your players, and your time. Coaches, you are the back bone of this league! While our Board of Directors does a lot behind the scenes, we couldn’t have teams without all of you! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do for your players and the time you give up to do it. Some of you give up over-time at work to make sure your team is taken care of and I know what that does to your pocket! As volunteer coaches, I appreciate each and every one of you, and I thank you for putting up with me as your Director of Coaches. Parents, please take a moment to thank your coach for volunteering their time to coach your child’s team.

Our first season “post” pandemic has been mostly successful. There were a lot of unknowns going into this season. Would we get shut down again? What kind of changes will Covid introduce along the way? Will we be able to find enough coaches? Will referees be available for all of our games? A ton of things changed during our shut-down, but I am glad we were able to get the league back up and running.

I learned a BIG lesson this year that my U6 coaches and players suffered for. While I don’t need to spell out the issue, I sincerely apologize to the coaches, parents, and players that were effected by this mistake. This issue was addressed at a Board Meeting and will not happen again. You have my word on that! I feel bad for this poor decision and I am grateful and appreciative for the way you all handled it.

Picture Day was a success with a huge turn out of mostly full teams! This is the best turn out I’ve seen since I started with the league in 2016! A big high-5 to all of you and to Jewell Photo! Also, a huge thank you to our Registrar, Mel Rothenberg, for helping Jewell maintain some organization during this event! They worked hard, together to make sure the event went smoothly.

I would like to take some time to address a question that several of you have, “What did I pay for back in March?” Over the last few days, I have answered this question several times, but I think it needs to be addressed to everyone so we are all on the same page.

What did that money actually get you?

You paid for the 2021 Spring Season that came with your uniform, 8 games, league insurance, city fees, and referee fees (U8 – 14).

Why did the pricing structure change?

Back when the pandemic started, we were unable to refund any moneys to anyone; this upset many board members and made us feel helpless. We got a lot of backlash for this and it was obvious that something had to change. At the time, you paid for Fall and Spring soccer, one time, before the Fall season started. Many are confused on this part and thought the seasons were Spring and Fall; it is not. Prepandemic, we were able to purchase all of our products and pay for all of our fees for the entire year, at one time. That meant city fees, league insurance, and yearly fees we have as a business were all paid in the Fall. We were called out on this and upset many people, including our Board of Directors; no body liked this! Currently, the schedule of fees does not allow this same pricing structure. The only yearly cost we have is insurance; which is approximately $10 per player. City fees are now paid per season.

Why did costs go up? Why is it so expensive?

Many have questioned the price hike. Someone even called us out for “price gouging”, which I can assure you is not the case. Our costs went up because all of our vendors raised their prices and our fees to exist was also raised.

Really? Up that high!? I don’t believe you!

Uniforms went up almost $10; to $40 per player. Insurance went up from $7 per player to $10 per player. City fees are nearly $40 per player, per season. Referee fees went up as well. The cost to background check our coaches went up to almost $10 per year. The cost of equipment has gone up. General fees of doing business and keeping players safe has increased, too. A bag of sand went from around $2 per bag, to over $4 per bag. This all adds up quickly.

Why only 8 games?

This is our first season back after the pandemic began, and we were unsure of what to expect. This season, our main point of interest was to get your players back on the field and to make sure the league was still going to exist. We were unsure how much the season would actually cost the league and were expecting surprise costs from Covid and the State of Michigan along the way.

U8 didn’t have many referees this year!

This is a true statement. Some U12 games only had 1 referee instead of 3 as well! U10 games had referees most of the time; as did U14. Why is that??!! There is a shortage of referees in the State of Michigan. This does not only effect our league, it effects all soccer leagues; especially recreational leagues. If you, as a parent, are concerned about this, please take the referee course and become a referee for the State of Michigan. You can set yourself up to referee only in St. Clair Shores if you’d like, and you’ll get paid for each game you referee.

No picnic? Where’s the medal? No Round Robin Tournament?

When we began putting the season together, Covid restrictions prevented us from planning the picnic. Many of you may not realize that planning the picnic starts in January with the booking of the venue and the vendors. That includes the tent, the area at Veterans Memorial Park, Better Made, Nationals, Kona, etc… We could not book any of this as businesses were not operating at this capacity. Participation awards..after listening to several of our parents and voting on this, are a thing of the past and will be replaced with something different.

What about fundraising?

The last league fundraiser we did, cost the league around $1000. This led to the overwhelming survey last year about fundraising. 73% of our parents were against fund raising. While we appreciate everyone taking the survey, and the feedback we received from it, it was quite obvious that a league fundraiser would not be useful; many called it “too inconvenient” and “pointless”. While we won’t offer a league fundraiser, we are not against individual or team fundraisers and strongly urge you to do so. There are many that are easy to do on your own and will help make up the difference or even pay for your season.

Moving Forward.

What will you be paying for? The current season; Fall or Spring, depending on the time of year. Registration in the Summer pays for Fall season and registration during the Winter pays for Spring season.

What will those moneys get you in the Fall? You’ll get a uniform with a drawstring bag. 8 – 10 games, depending on the amount of teams in your division and the weather. League insurance. Your city fees for that season. A coach with a background check. Safer fields. U8 to U14 will have referees; when they are available. The 3v3 Tournament will also be held in the Fall. Medals will only be given to the Winning team in each division and the runner-up in each division.

What will those moneys get you in the Spring? The same as the Fall, except the 3v3 Tournament and the uniform. Starting in the Spring season of 2022, the Round Robin Tournament will be back! Medals will only be given to the Tournament Winners in each division and the runner-up in each division. Starting 2022, the Picnic will also return! If you would like to change teams for the Spring Season, there will be an additional cost.

What will it cost?

  • Scotter Shooters: $100 for the Fall, $75 for the Spring, $100 in the Spring if you’d like to change teams
  • U6: $100 for the Fall, $75 for the Spring, $100 in the Spring if you’d like to change teams
  • U8: $150 for the Fall, $100 for the Spring, $150 in the Spring if you’d like to change teams
  • U10: $150 for the Fall, $100 for the Spring, $150 in the Spring if you’d like to change teams
  • U12: $150 for the Fall, $100 for the Spring, $150 in the Spring if you’d like to change teams
  • U14: $150 for the Fall, $100 for the Spring, $150 in the Spring if you’d like to change teams

What it costs elsewhere…

  • AYSO Region 919: (10 games) $130 + $20 National Fee; priced per season
  • Eastside FC: 8 games, Scooters (U5) to U8 is $130, $150 for U10, $165 for U12, U14; plus $30 for a jersey, not a uniform; priced per season
  • Jr. Nationals (ages 3-10 only): 7 Games, $120 + $30 for uniform; priced per season

According to their websites, none of these leagues off a Picnic, medals, or any tournaments. I want to be clear here, I am not knocking any of these organizations for their prices, I am just showing you your options.

Our current Board of Directors has acted in the best interest of our parents and players for the current and upcoming seasons; I’ve witnessed it. We have researched ways to cut costs, asked for feedback from our parents, and did our due diligence to make sure player safety is always at the forefront of running our league. Our Board of Directors is made up of volunteers who’s lives revolve around Saint Clair Shores Youth Soccer League. To most of us, this league is everything and we’ve devoted a lot of time, money, and energy to help make this league what it is today; of course it would be no where without of each of you and your players. I want to personally thank you, parents, for your patronage to the league. To our coaches for having to deal with a very odd season and several issues because of the “new” normal. And to all involved in making the first season “post” pandemic, the best we could.

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, my inbox is always open. I check my email every evening except for Sunday; I rarely check respond to emails on Holidays. I do my best to respond to every email I receive, even unfavorable emails. I take your feedback to heart and personally.

Soccer On!
Daniel “Coach Dan” Rothenberg
League Vice President and Director of Coaches