MTOC Team Considerations

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MTOC Team Considerations Revised 29 May 2018

Background:

Audience – This is intended for both club administrators as well as team coaches

MTOC teams have some special considerations that administrators and coaches need to be aware of to plan properly and prevent surprises.  If the team is placed in Girls or Boys Grade 6 Division 1 or 2, Grade 8 Division 1 or 2, Grade 10 Division 1 or 2, Grade 12 Division 1 or Grade PG division 1 either voluntarily or involuntarily - it is an MTOC team and needs to abide by the special rules for them.  For more details on MTOC see the BAYS website "MTOC information" under the MTOC Tournament drop down.

 

Pre-Season:

 

  • Player Passcards Required.  Each player needs a recent color photo that is mostly face and front view.  Your registration software will often have a module to make player passcards (Affinity the state software does as well)  The registrar can also order blank stock from MYSA and do it manually (with a typewriter - remember those?).
  • Validated (stamped) Roster.  Rosters are submitted to the BAYS Registrar for validation.  The registrar returns stamped roster to division director AND club registrar for distribution to the coaching staff for use in a match.
  • Roster Size limits.  Grade 6 is 16 players - others are 22.  Exceed that via waiver, you give up MTOC eligibility.  This waiver also has a suggested deadline of March 15th so the competition committee is aware of what teams wish to give up their MTOC eligibility. 
  • InterLeague Waivers.  If the player resides outside a town serviced by BAYS but inside Mass, permission from the residence town president and the league president where the town plays is required as well as the usual BAYS waiver reason.  Technically four approvals are needed, BAYS assumes you have the receiving club President approval if you make the waiver request and the BAYS waiver processor gets the BAYS President approval.  These can take some time to gather the permissions so plan early.
  • Advanced Grade waiver - if the player is an advanced grade but correct calendar year birthdate, playing history must be provided showing the player has played with their age mates rather than grade mates.  Typically three years is required.
  • Waiver limits - Grade 6 and 8 teams must have 75% of the players from your club (on a 15 player roster for example, you may only have 3 residency waiver players).  Grade 10 and older require 75% from out League (only interleague or out of state waivers count against the limit)
  • Placement - be sure of your requested placement as swaps are much more difficult in MTOC sections.

 

During the Season:

 

  • Player Passcards Required.  Ensure you have them before leaving for the field.  Players without passcards should not be allowed to play.  Suggestion is that coach retains the passcards and punch a hole in the laminated card away from the text and picture and put on an easily opening ring so you have all the cards and some don't get lost in the coaches bag.  As a card gets long in the tooth (delamination is common failure - rain or a trip through the washing machine are often enough....) have your registrar replace the card.  Also remember to get them back from the referee after the match.
  • Validated (stamped) Roster.  Bring two copies to each match.
  • Unique Numbers - ensure the copies given out at the match have the current shirt numbers and each number is unique.  Athletic tape of the right color is a valuable addition to the coach's bag to change a duplicate 12 to 112 or 121 on one of the players with a duplicate number.
  • Roster Alterations.  The only alterations permitted are adjusting shirt numbers, crossing out players not participating in the match, signing the coach certification and adding substitute coaches not on the roster (properly credentialed of course).
  • Player Movement - players may be added or removed from the roster as needed up until the roster freeze.  After the final affiliation date, the BAYS Registrar verifies any new players have been affiliated before validating the roster.  Note that it may take a few days for the ticket to go through so make allowances.  In a pinch the BAYS Registrar can upload the player.  Also be aware that once a player is removed from a roster, they may not return to the roster without permission from the competition committee.  Several teams tried to use this strategy to get around roster player limits. 
  • Report your score promptly and follow the division director's requests and guidance on all matters.  In MTOC sections, BAYS assigns our most experienced and senior division directors.  It is not their first rodeo and their subterfuge detectors are highly attuned.  If you have an issue bring it up when you are aware of it, waiting until the playoffs to bring up an old issue is not a good plan.  If you believe the division director to be wrong, the proper escalation is to the executive director of the competition (in MTOC sections usually the second VP).
  • Become familiar with the rules - especially regarding playing the schedule and follow the division directors guidance as to how they want to be involved in the postponement/reschedulement process.

 

Roster Freeze:

 

            In MTOC sections there is a roster freeze date.  Any changes to player or coach list - adds or deletes must be in the BAYS Registrar inbox by the time and date specified by the BAYS Registrar.  Current practice is to establish the date in August for the following spring.  If the BAYS Registrar finds an issue in an unvalidated roster submitted before the BAYS Roster freeze date, the club registrar will be allowed to fix the roster provided the fixes are done and the roster validated prior to the state-wide freeze date which is currently May 15.  Asking for special dispensation to replace a player with a season ending injury in June won't happen.  Make sure all your changes are done by the roster freeze date. 

 

Playoff Preparation:

 

  • Poll your team as to player availability noting whether the player conflict is school-based or other.
    • For every day of playoff week - starting the Sunday of week 10 through the following Sunday.
    • For MTOC weekend - All day Friday and Saturday
  • Understand the playoff qualifications - how are the playoff participants chosen?  Also don't assume you are out because teams above you may decline to go if they have insufficient numbers.  Until the playoff seeds are published and you are not among them, keep doing the tasks required of playoff seeds.
  • Fill out the playoff availability spreadsheet when it becomes available in late May or early June.  Unless it is abundantly clear you won't qualify - fill it out.  There will be the ability to opt out if you don't feel you will have a team due to player conflicts.  There is a substantial penalty if you enter the playoffs and secure an MTOC spot and then back out.  Before the playoffs start ensure you are capable of fielding a team at MTOC.
    • List all school conflicts for EACH day and the type of conflict (e.g. grade 8 moving on ceremony NOT School conflict).  Even if your division is scheduled for Mon/Wed/Sat and your team has a Thursday conflict, rain or your opponent's conflict may move the game from the scheduled day, bringing it up while the BAYS Playoff Committee is rearranging matches may mean it won't be honored.
    • Ensure you have a designated contact person that will be available for phone communications during working hours as things move quickly playoff week and email is not timely.

 

Playoff Week:

 

            Your division director is your primary point of contact for match information.  We try and keep the web up to date but we ALWAYS keep the division director in the loop as to the progress of their section playoffs.  The choice of fields and kick off is at the discretion of the playoff committee.  Volunteering your home field or negotiating with your opponent for a change of venue or time is not permitted.  BAYS will always assign neutral referees for a playoff match.  Please allow for traffic delays and plan to arrive in plenty of time for warm ups and an on-time kick off.  BAYS playoffs are like regular BAYS games were two stamped rosters and all the players must have player passcards.  Each field complex will have a field marshal present.  Report any issues to them immediately.  Your division director will know who the assigned field marshal is if you are not sure who it is.

 

Pre-MTOC:

 

            Should your team be the BAYS representative there are several pre-MTOC tasks

  • The BAYS Registrar will confirm the roster to be used including jersey numbers that may not change during the tournament.  Remember that Goalkeepers need numbers as well.  Should the team have an alternate kit and the numbers match there is no extra work but if the player has a different number that is listed on the roster as well.  For example in the standard blue kit the player is 77 but in the red kit the player is 15, the player jersey number is 77/15.  At the top of the jersey column put Blu/Red.  Plan on bringing 10 copies of the roster.  The BAYS Registrar turns in master copies of the roster to MTOC Registration and if the roster used for the team is different - there can be severe penalties.
  • MTOC rules require Player and Coach passcards used at MTOC be approved by the League Registrar.  BAYS indicates this by applying a sticker.  Usually at the finals of the playoffs, BAYS officials will review the passcards with the players and sticker the conforming ones.  Get the non-conforming ones fixed before MTOC.  BAYS officials will be at the MTOC Pavilion with stickers for emergency and last resort circumstances.
  • If the BAYS President sends out an MTOC letter - read thoroughly and understand as it often contains last minute changes and details.
  • Ensure the Head Coach and other sideline personnel have their sideline credentials.  The BAYS President receives them from the tournament committee in early June and at his option may mail them or give them to the playoff committee to distribute at roster and passcard review after the finals or a combination of methods.  If you don't have yours by Wednesday prior, contact the President to see what  happened.  There usually are not extras so if you forget yours, be prepared to not be with the team although BAYS may have a few extras for emergencies.  We get three per team and sometimes teams don't have three coaches.
  • Review kits with your team.  Now is the time to make sure socks match and you all have the same generation of uniform.  The less you give the registration inspectors to comment and review - the quicker through the process.
  • Determine your team ID (it will be on the contact list distributed by the Registrar) as well as on the BAYS Website with the playoff seeds.  Unless we have a wildcard, there will only be one BAYS team in the bracket.
  • Work out your schedule.  If any matches are unreasonable (like a noon Friday match when your players are in school until 2 PM) contact the BAYS President who is responsible for bringing up valid conflicts with the tournament committee.  The BAYS President decision is final as to whether the conflict is forwarded to the tournament committee.  It is suggested any conflicts be given to the BAYS President no later than Sunday evening before the tournament (for most teams that will be the day after winning the finals).
  • Monitor the schedule daily (MYSA web site) as other leagues may turn in conflicts and the scheduling manager makes changes as the conflicts are resolved.
  • Arrange meeting times AND places for your team for required team events - registration before the match for example and end of the day instructions.  What is the backup plan if a player is late for any reason?  Some teams leave a manager at registration to get the late player processed quickly and off to the field.
  • Have a complete list of contact information for each player and adult you may need to contact.
  • Hold a team meeting with parents and stress the importance of good and positive behavior as field marshals have been known to eject spectators not behaving properly.  There will also be sportsmanship volunteers circulating to determining sportsmanship winners.  BAYS highly prizes sportsmanship winners.  

 

At the Tournament

 

  • Head Coach should have sideline credential, MYSA credential, stickered coach passcard.  Coach should also have a stickered player passcard for all players on the roster, even if the player will not participate in the tournament.  Typically player passcards for players not checking in are retained at registration, so if a player is late, they need to get their passcard and inspection at registration prior to joining the team at the field.  It is recommended that you have a permission to treat form for each player although no one at the tournament will ask to see them.
  • Have a complete set of mesh pinnies in case of color conflict and two game ball quality soccer balls of the correct size.  It wouldn't hurt to have spare uniform parts in case some go missing (socks, shorts etc)
  • Follow the time recommendations - if the paperwork suggest you be at registration an hour before scheduled kickoff, be there 75 minutes early to organize things, don't show up 15 minutes before and expect to be rushed through.
  • Registration will ask for the passcards of any player not in line at registration.  If a player is late, you need to send them to registration to have equipment inspection and retrieve their player passcard.
  • There are two registration areas - the pavilion for fields 1-10 and one at the back fields for field 11-16.  Know which one you are going to and where to send your players.
  • Know the MTOC rules - they will be in the tournament books and available on the web site.  Remember group phase games are 2x25 minute halves running time with no allowance for injury or time wasting.  In case of rain during the match, games in the 2nd half are considered complete and games not having reached the second half are replayed in their entirety.  If there is rain during the day that has suspended play and you are scheduled for an afternoon game after the rain is gone - it will kick off on time and the suspended games get moved to free slots later in the tournament.
  • Know the requirements to get to the final four.  Wildcard tiebreakers can be tricky.  Before your team leaves the complex on Saturday be sure you know whether you are coming back on Sunday and when.  The final tiebreaker is kicks from the mark and it is held at the end of the day on Saturday, time and place at the discretion of the tournament committee.  We have had one BAYS team where the coach had two hours to track down his team and get a minimum of seven players back to the complex (45min drive) to participate in kicks from the mark when they had left thinking they were done 4 hours earlier.  Don't be that coach.
  • When you arrive at your game field, note where the field marshal and medical golf carts are located.  There will be multiple  field marshals observing the fields for inappropriate behavior.  There will be golf carts with a red cross pennant responsible for fields.  They are staffed by an EMT and have ice and first aid materials as well as radios to call for ambulance or additional help should the need arise.
  • Should you feel the need to protest anything, seek the counsel of the BAYS President.  If advised that it is protestable and has merit ensure you have the protest fee available in whatever form is necessary (plan on cash although they may take other payments).   Be prepared to do some writing as protests have to be filed timely and in writing not orally.

 

Revision: A                                                                                           Last Edit Date: 29-May 2018     

David Dalrymple BAYS Registrar