Pioneers Support Vote to Extend College Soccer Season

A new proposal discussed at recent NCAA meetings would reduce the college soccer regular-season schedule – for both the men and women – from 25 to 23 total matches but would expand the campaign across the entire school year. The first half would consist of 13 games in the fall and end around Thanksgiving before picking back up in the spring with nine more matches. In DU’s case, non-conference games would likely be held in the fall and conference matches and championships would be held in the spring. The College Cup would fall between lacrosse’s Championship Weekend which coincides with Memorial Day and baseball’s College World Series. Three exhibitions would be spread around the year, as opposed to the current setup of five meaningless exhibition games all set in the spring offseason.

Sources are telling us that Denver will endorse the split-season plan.

As we discussed in a prior article, the main goal of the plan is to eliminate midweek games, helping to cut down on missed class time for players. The other key factor, identified in an NCAA white paper, is the increased incidence of injuries during multi-game weeks. The unspoken benefit of the new rules would include professional development. The new,  longer season would feature a single weekly game with proper time for recovery, practice and training. This would allow collegiate soccer coaches a greater ability to recruit and retain players with professional ambitions. If approved, the new schedule will apply to both men’s and women’s sides.

The eventual NCAA member vote, which will be held in April, will consist of 64 total submissions. Each Power 5 conference will have four votes each, while the Group of 5 conferences has two votes each and the remaining conferences have one vote each. To pass, the proposal needs a full majority, meaning 33 yes votes are required out of the 64.

This is a winning idea for programs and fans alike. Weekend games will be easier to attend than mid-week games for local fans. It’s likely that student-athletes will be better prepared for matches and the overall quality of games should improve. Also, with a superior coaching staff such as Jamie Franks and his staff,  coaching adjustments and tactical changes can be made during the winter break to better prepare for spring play. Finally, underclassmen will have more time to develop and coaches will have more time to coach.

Soccer head coaches have by and large embraced the proposal and will be working with their respective administrations over the next several months to ensure passage.

In other news, DU men’s soccer is traveling to Germany this spring for exhibition matches. This trip will allow DU’s student-athletes to travel to a soccer hotbed and test their skills against German clubs. Also, the trip is likely to be an opportunity to leverage their alliance with FC Bayern Munich soccer club – one of the finest soccer organizations in the world.

Here are some options if you want to support the team:

In October 2018, FC Bayern and the University of Denver announced a wide-ranging partnership to engage in various cultural, academic, and athletic ventures. The alliance includes cultural exchanges (this trip), research collaborations, educational opportunities and the sharing of coaching and leadership philosophies, methodologies, and techniques.

4 thoughts on “Pioneers Support Vote to Extend College Soccer Season”

  1. I like the idea. Still lots of travel. Figure 5 flights in the fall (or more if we schedule top tier teams) and air travel for every road conference game in the spring. However if DU has no Friday classes,Thursday evening and or Friday morning travel makes sense.

    I think they need to keep kids off the field who transfer between the end of the fall term and the winter/spring term. Theoretically, a school could have kids play as replacements to fill voids in the fall results/performances.

    TV in the spring is another issue. Lots of baseball, softball, and lax to compete against for tv time.

  2. I love this idea.

    Soccer is was never intended to be a winter sport, for players or spectators. Having a warm weather playoff season and College Cup is certainly an improvement over the current December season-end.

    Player development, injury prevention, and missed class time will be improved if they go this way, and that’s good for the sport and the athlete experience. It will also help retain good coaches, who don’t like these condensed seasons, either.

    The downsides are a loss of momentum with a long break, the specter of field crowding at those schools who don’t have separate stadiums for soccer and lacrosse/track and field and the extra costs of keeping staff around at schools that end classes in May, but those are all fixable issues.

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