Fields & Permits

Coin Toss!

Why not just reschedule?
Why not just play a ’round robin tournament’?
Why not move this weekends games to next weekend?
Why not play more games next weekend and shorten the halves?
Can we play indoors?
Why not extend the season?
Why not use the seedings from the regular season to determine champions or teams that would win, instead of a coin toss?

And more of your ideas / suggestions have been read and considered, just check our Facebook and Twitter to see!
We have never had so much social media interaction. We ask all season to share your story / pictures / video with us, and it takes a smoke out to create the interaction!

Playoffs have been mandated to SFYS. The field availability is what we have been given. The schedule has been set for playoffs with the process and progression set to determine a winner for each bracket and age.
Seedings from the regular season cannot carry over to the playoffs. Why? We fought hard all season… Not all teams played each other, guest play was available, and other factors. Teams knew playoffs were coming and many were ready to go. Playoffs are a single elimination game, and seedings / season performances count for nothing now.
Consider Iceland beating England at Euro 2016. Iceland had a FIFA ranking of 34, way below England. Had there been a smoke out and the ‘top seeded’ team progress, as is being constantly suggested to SFYS, then England proceed to the next round. Yet, England lost. Anything can happen in playoffs and as these are mandated, we have to be fair to ALL teams and not just the top ranked teams – all deserve the right to be in contention, not just the top seed going through because they played better all season.

Can’t we just reschedule? Scheduling the playoffs has been difficult for all involved, namely families who are trying to juggle schedules. Rescheduling games to next weekend may make sense, but people planned for this time, this weekend, not this time next weekend. We hear constantly how valuable a season long schedule is to families, and many managers will speak to how difficult it can be to change a game time, that ripping up the schedule and starting again next weekend is just not a viable option. Some have mentioned that their teams will play anywhere and at anytime, which is great to hear, but 6000 families totally affected by reschedules does not make this so easy – your team of 12-16 can be easier to arrange for sure.

Round Robin Tournament? 30 minute games in groups of 4? 6 games. 3 hours of game time.
How do we ensure the teams are all checked in and playing the correct players? See fair play suspensions before arguing that everyone is ‘doing the best for the kids to play’.
How much time is needed between games to move into the next game? We have incredibly strict timings on fields, even when you see Beach 3 open after playing on Beach 1 and think why don’t we just play on there? SFYS still doesn’t have access to those fields. We are assigned field permits to allocate games on to based on the number of teams scheduled to play. There is very little, if any, wiggle room to move games around, which works just fine if everyone is on time and ready to play, but that is not always the case and puts a stop to alternative ideas for getting more games in.

A coin toss is an ‘easy way’ out, apparently. Can’t we just do pks or a game at practice? Does the home team host, or the away team? Do you have the space? The correct equipment? Can your opponent and all of their players make that time / location? There are so many ‘what ifs’ to this situation that it is not fair to entertain this an idea for all. So, the coin toss decision was input for a worst case, with a favorable forecast that changed on us and here we are, preparing for the first toss.

My idea… In true playoff spirits, why not give the lowest seed the benefit of a good run and give them the win? That would upset 50% of the other teams that have argued the above.

So you’ll see, the issues for games are the time constraints, and the need for a winner posed by the playoff situation – the same situation would be presented if we had a rain out and the answers identical for a situation in which we need winners.

We will be asking for your feedback post season and we really need it. Please look for that and share your feedback with us then as it will help shape the coming seasons.


4 thoughts on “Coin Toss!

  1. SF Youth Soccer after reading the many good and bad suggestions on how to handle the playoffs situation I feel the decision to not award trophies was in retaliation to the players for having parents, coaches and clubs voice their opinion.

    1. The first thing is that WE 100% are stunned by the fires that are taking place in CA and WE the people, players, coaches, clubs, and leagues wish there was more we could do to help those that need the help the most during this difficult time.. Lets not compare this tragic incident to a coin toss.

    2. For the 1st time there has been a strong interaction regarding the coin toss decision and this is a good thing to see the many ways people look at your decision to finish the playoffs. Yes many offered to play during the weeknights, others to do a tournament format during the weekend and if a team had to play 2 games to determine a champion than this was a great idea. Many did not leave a positive response to the idea of a coin toss. When we work and hold a title of Director, Manager, Supervisor or Lead we don’t always please everyone in the decisions we make. But to punish the players by saying the games this weekend will not be for trophies……

    What I see here as my own personal opinion, since SFYS did not get the support of the coin toss the best way to answer back was to hurt the players with this decision. How are you hurting them, this is how. SFYS has parents, players, coaches fill out all the paper work to register including the code of conduct. If a parent complains about the poor reffing on the field you punish the player or the parent. Your Mission statement is in question here because you are here for the kids and motivate the kids. How does this decision motivate the kids? SFYS being in charge should have said we are going with the coin toss for this year and next year we will look at all the options available to address a similar situation.

    I see this decision as a punishment to the parents and coaches for not having 100% positive feed back on this issue. when all is set and done the players were the losers in the end. As an established organization you need to stand your ground and say well this is what we are doing and stick to it. But punishing the kids with no trophies is 100% wrong. Now you want teams to play one more game this weekend that has no meaning what so ever. Just cancel the season now keep your trophies and call it a day.

    1. SF Youth Soccer is not “punishing” or “retaliating” against any team, player or club. We can only do so much and I along with our staff agonized about what to do, that would be defensible and scalable – and take into consideration that we may very well still not be able to play yet again this weekend, given the air quality predictions. We stand by our decision and hope you’ll reconsider forfeiting this weekend, and get one last match in if it’s possible.

  2. Coin toss is a very bad idea, for BOTH the loser AND the winner of the toss. You basically make 100% of the players feel bad. The losers obviously, but also the winners, as they would feel they haven’t really earned the championship.

    With ranking, at least there’s some justice… And, at least 50% of the players feel they deserved their advancement or relegation (probably, 80% would feel this was right). Yes, there are “Iceland vs England” cases but they don’t happen often. Bottom line, the teams that have worked hard and achieved higher rankings deserve to advance. The lower ranked teams may not like it but at least they can appreciate the reasoning.

    Alternatively, if playing the finals on December 1 weekend isn’t a possibility (that would be the best option in my opinion), I would do shorter semis and finals next weekend (cut the game into half, 1 min water break, 3 instead of 5 penalty kicks etc.).

    These three options are better than the “easy way out” coin toss.

    If you agree or have better ideas please make your voice heard. Hopefully, sfyouthsoccer will listen.

    Keep the victims of the fire in your thoughts and help out as you can.


    1. Hi Roy,
      It is not possible to play in December.
      It is not possible to reschedule the last weekend to accommodate mini-tournaments.
      We hate that at the eleventh hour there isn’t a more “soccer-y” way to solve the issue of advancement, but alas, there is not. We’ve written in detail about the options we considered here:

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