Note to self: the old adage “Get on the ball.! Be on the ball!” heard playing soccer as youth, still holds true.
As summer came to a close, the smell of fall ripening filled the air; I discussed the seasonal activities with my 9-year-old son. As was standard, he made the decision to play soccer. Last year, his mother was an assistant coach, the year before, I was. After the discussion, I went online and pursued fulfilling the registration application. At this point, it was two days prior to the deadline for registration. Once I made my way onto the Mt. Lebanon Soccer Association (MLSA) website and continued on to their registration site, I was prompted to provide login information and password. I came to a standstill. I did not have an account on the registration site, so how was I able to provide this? I wasn’t. So, I attempted to set up an account. That went fine. Now to enter the player, my son onto my account. Failed! It stated that he was already assigned to an account and could not be assigned to more than one. Again it requested the login and password for the account. And still, I did not know of any.
So, I then began a long line of attempts to gain knowledge of that information and have my son registered. To make a long story shorter, I never received the login info. His mother attempted, but at that point, it was a day after registration had closed. MLSA stated in an email, “Sorry registration is closed. Should have contacted me last night. Better luck next time.”
I continued on requesting to MLSA that the president of MLSA be given this to consider. I asked that due to my documented attempts to register my son prior to the deadline, that an exception be made and that my son be considered registered. I received no correspondence back in writing ever. I did receive a phone call that lasted more than 30 minutes late one evening while my family was on vacation, and I was told several reasons why they (MLSA) do not make exceptions and are not going to start. I was explained to that the maximum capacity had been reached. I was informed that field space was limited. None of the reasons took into account that I attempted to register my son prior to the deadline, nor did they justify my son not having the ability to play on the field this season. Also, they offered no waiting list of any type, no option. He’s not playing here in Lebo.
I took it further and spoke with PA West (local oversight committee, soccer specific) and to US Youth Soccer (national), also spoke with Mt. Lebanon Recreation Department. Some have a view that there should be a place for a 9-year-old to play on a soccer team. I have contacted other local clubs and they had room and would take him despite their registration being closed. However, MLSA will not be governed by their peers or by their big brothers. No exceptions. I have heard recently about how allowing another player on the field would in turn limit another’s time. I know. My son is limited completely. He can’t even step on the field. He’s 9, and he wants to play.
Limiting a child’s ability to play at 9 years of age. Why? Let them all play.