Spring Season Cancelled

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News

Spring 2020 Season Cancelled

Last night, after a thoughtful discussion, the Board reached the very unfortunate conclusion that the Spring 2020 season would be cancelled. Primary drivers from this course of action are around the challenges and logistics that the League and many teams are going to face to start play, naming a few:
  • Insurance: there isn’t a timeline when liability insurance will be available to the League. That protection enables many of our teams to secure fields and also provides all of us necessary protection when unfortunate circumstances come to pass. It wouldn’t be prudent to take that additional risk until it’s back in-place.
  • Fields: With the cancellation of in-person school for the remainder of the year, it is also apparent that many localities are not going to make fields available. We know some youth club and town leagues are looking to find a way to field a season which could help open fields, be we also know several towns that have fully pulled out of their youth sports. The result of all this is a field shortage that, at best, might take some time for teams to solve.
  • Schedule: to find fields, teams need a schedule. We as a board worked through multiple contingencies to provide options for 6 and 4-game seasons, but to create a schedule requires other unknowns to be solved meaning it will be from a few days to a week to create a schedule further exacerbating efforts of teams to organize their fields
  • Teams: We are aware that some teams are going to choose not to play. This is a reasonable choice given the circumstances that we’d not question. But, we’d need to devise a policy to handle it fairly (i.e., how do we balance divisions?). There are no good options.
  • Players: Similarly, some number of individual players are going to choose not to play which will result in teams not having enough players. Treating these circumstances as ‘normal’ forfeitures would most definitely not be appropriate – and so again, no good options.

Of note: All fees paid for the Spring 2020 season will be fully credited to that team’s next registration.

We aren’t abandoning hope for some soccer for teams and players who feel comfortable, at the appropriate time, to get some games in. Our state organization, MASS Soccer, is looking at options to give opportunities for organized activities in the late spring or summer (assuming appropriate clearance from state and local health officials). We’ll work with them on those efforts and share with you as we learn more.

Until we next see you on the pitch,

Jim Buza

League President

posted 04/22/2020

FIFA Changes Laws of the Game

Please see this page for details

posted 03/14/2020

Attention all managers

The age brackets will change in the Spring of 2021 to 30, 40, 48, 55, 62 with the goal to start the over 68‘s.

There may be double relegation in all over-56 division 1 flights at the end of this season

There may be single or double relegation in over-40 division 6 at the end of this season if we get enough new teams to start a division 7

There may be relegation in over-49 division 4 at the end of this season if we get enough new teams to start a division 5

posted 03/04/2020

Schedule is up and final

There was one SNAFU that required us to respin on Sunday, but everything seems fine now.

Most divisions are divided into two regions, north and south. This is done explicitly by the registrar as he does promotions and relegations and adds new teams. This should be somewhat optimal geographically.

Most regions have two flights. Flights are created by the scheduler without any regards to geography or balance, except that the two division 1 winners are put into separate flights. So it is quite likely that breakdown of the two flights will be sub-optimal geographically, or unbalanced. For instance, both team promoted up from below or relegated from above could end up in the same flight. The reality is, it is impossible to know which of these are the strongest teams anyway because they did not play the same opponents. All of the field sharing constraints create chains of dependencies that the program must satisfy to generate a viable schedule. Trying to predetermine the flights will severely limit its options and will very quickly lead to a deadlock, at which point we would either have to ignore all of the predetermined flights or play favorites and keep some and jettison the rest. Neither option seems good.

I do plan to try to improve the scheduler so that it favors putting teams into flights with less travel, but I am struggling with how to even make that fair. The program does not schedule teams in any particular order. The teams that it tries to schedule first will have the most flexibility and will therefore be the most likely to get an optimized flight but by the time it gets to the last 40 or 50 teams, there is almost no flexibility left and so these teams could get sub-optimal placement. I suppose we could leave that to chance also.

For those that care, here is the nitty-gritty details for how we generate schedules.

Everything is based on the 8 home and away patterns. Schedule 1 is "opposite" schedule 2, schedule 3 is opposite schedule 4, etc. By opposite, I mean when one schedule is away, the other is home. The job of the scheduler is to select a pattern for each and every team such that each region has one team on each schedule and all field sharing constraints are met. For any regions with 4 or 6 teams, it has to limit itself to the first 4 or 6 schedule slots. It does this by selecting a team, calculating what schedule slots are available and trying one. If that works, repeat. If it doesn‘t back it out and try a different option. When it sets a team to a schedule slot, it also sets all of the teams that have a sharing constraint with that team, and when a region is down to one slot left, it sets that one too. If it runs out of slots for a particular team, it backs up to the previous team and tries a different slot, etc. If it gets all the way back to the first team it tried to schedule and runs out of slots, it errors out and then someone has to go in and start deleting constraints until it works

When we had mostly regions with 6 teams and a few with 8, the 8 team regions were always the problem, because any team with a sharing constraint had to use one of the first 6 slots or else the constraints could not be met (unless the other team was also in an 8 team region, which was unlikely). In some cases, 7 or even all 8 of the teams in the region had constraints, and so there was no solution. Now that we have almost all 8-team regions, this is not an issue.

posted 02/21/2020

New home and away schedules

For the first time ever, we are revising the home and away patterns. The old patterns were optimized for groups of 6 and the schedules for groups of 8 and 4 were forced to conform. Now that the league is dominated by groups of 8, that no longer made sense.

For the groups of 8 , the new schedule has all of the cross-over games weeks 4,5,6, and 7. The old schedule was unfair in this regard, where some teams could end the season with crossovers and other teams had in-flight battles.

This schedule also has home-and-aways for the 6-team schedule and two home-and-aways for the 4 team schedule.

We hope everyone enjoys this little change which you can see HERE.

posted 01/30/2020

Spring 2020 week 1 suspended player list

Yes, players can be suspended week 1 because suspensions from last fall are carried over. Check this list carefully.

posted 01/29/2020

Check your Schedule Constraints

If more than 1 OTHSL team plays on your field, then you need to review your scheduling constraints. This can also make it possible for you to get your permits much sooner. For instance, if you share your field with one other team, and you set your start times to be the same and your scheduling constraint to be "opposite", you can go get your permit now if you apply together since one team or the other will be home for all 10 weeks.

posted 01/29/2020

2020 Schedule

JANUARY 15th -- Team Registration deadline. All returning teams MUST be registered at https://www.othsl.org/welcome/

Spring

  • start april 5
  • play on easter april 12
  • transfer freeze is 12:00:01 AM april 12 (week 2)
  • roster freeze is 12:00:01 AM May 10 (week 6)
  • skip may 24th -- memorial day
  • semis June 21
  • finals june 28

Fall

  • August 30 -- week 1
  • SKIP Sept 6 -- labor day
  • transfer freeze sept 13th
  • roster freeze Oct 11
  • semis Nov 15
  • finals Nov 22
posted 12/04/2019

FIFA Rule Changes

While the international soccer community has adopted some new interpretations to the Laws Of the Game, OTHSL will not be adopting any change until the Spring of 2020.

Two reasons dictate the slower adoption of the new rules. 1) The OTHSL has always played the same set of rules in the Fall as the Spring. 2) Additionally, the Massachusetts/New Hampshire referees won‘t be training on the new rules until the winter re-certification clinics.

Click here For a quick view of the upcoming changes

posted 09/01/2019

Walking Soccer moves to Saturdays

More Info here
posted 08/28/2019

GPS SoccerFest Champs

posted 08/18/2019

NEOTHSL over-70‘s SoccerFest Champs

NEOTHSL over 70 capture SoccerFest Crown

posted 07/14/2019

Help the League

The league is in need of some legal advice. Before we go and spend your money on an attorney, we like to ask if there are any lawyers in our midst that would be willing to help. Please contact Jim Buza if you are willing and available. This is not a request for a long term commitment; we just have a couple small issues to take care of.

The league also needs a backup webmaster/programmer. The site is in good shape and doesn‘t require a lot of TLC, but it would be nice if I didn‘t have to take my laptop with me every time I go on vacation. Typical LAMP stacks and if you know what that means, how to restart apache and how to generate and use SSH keys, you just might be a candidate. Drop me a note if you think you might have time to at least learn your way around the site.

posted 07/12/2019

PFC passes the torch.

PFC (ex AB United II) has spent a record 33 seasons in a row in Master’s Division One, winning their region 50% of the time, going to the finals 8 times, and winning it three times, most recently in Spring of 2018.

For much of this time, the team has been run by Paul and John Clough, and they were joined on the pitch by Cliff Browning, Rick Blackshaw, and the late, great James Bredin. The Cloughs, Browing and Blackshaw have decided to graduate to Over 49, to play for Belmont Old Boys in division one, and signals a passing of the torch, and the end of an era.

Let’s see if they can last 33 seasons in Division One Over 49!

posted 06/02/2019

rosters

Managers, when you invite a new player, they do not need the email to accept. The email is just a convenience. The player just needs to log into https://reg.mass-soccer.org and it will prompt them to accept (or decline) the invite. And if players have forgotten thier username, they can use their MASS ID number (starting with the MA) instead.

Players that are on a roster and that want to move to a team in an older age bracket will need to request that the move is done manually as the web site is not up to date yet. This also applies to players that show on a roster but have not played since week 1 and are therefore still new. In both cases, applications should be sent to the division director of your NEW team. Applications received by Wednesday 6 PM will be processed by that Sunday

posted 04/29/2019

AED Saves a Life

An AED unit that was subsidized by OTHSL and MASS was used to save a player's life earlier this season. At last report, he will make a full recovery. Every team should be bringing an AED to every game, scrimmage and practice. After the MASS and OTHSL subsidies, these units cost the average team about $20 per player. Click the banner above to learn more or visit MASS websiite and remember that OTHSL will match the MASS subsidy.

posted 04/24/2018

Schedule updates

Managers:All schedule updates, postponements and changes of venue must be handled by your division director. The registrar and the webmaster only create the initial schedule. Everything else is done by division directors.

posted 04/24/2018

How to see referee info on this site

As a manager, you should have a link to your team on the right under quick links. If not, scroll down to the bottom of the page and check your userid and access level. If your access level is guest, you are not logged in. If you access level is not "manager..." then there is something wrong and you should contact the webmaster and let him know your userid and your team.

If you do have your team listed under quick links, click it, and then click the "show referee assignments" link and you should be all set

Click here for a detailed guide for how you, as a manager, can see referee info right on this site

posted 04/05/2018

Referee Fees

Referee fees are $45 per team per game.

Assistant Referees are optional and get $45 each per game. If the teams agree to have ARs, then each team needs to bring $90 to the game, but if one team unilaterally requests ARs, then they are on the hook for $135. ARs can be requested by contacting your division director and may be assigned based on availability and if we are given enough advance notice.

posted 04/04/2018

Managers, please note

An Over30 team has been removed from the league for using underage players. No one team can include more than 4 players from their final roster. If you have any doubts about whether the players you are adding may fall into this group, please contact the registrar.

As the team Manager, you need to be confident that the Date of Birth information on every player's MA ID is accurate.

See rule 4E:

Using Players from Suspended Teams:

No active team shall have more than four (4) players from any combination of the final rosters of teams suspended or expelled within the past two years. This restriction will not apply if the suspended or expelled team has been reinstated

posted 07/26/2017

internet calendars

If you use our internet calendar feed, you can now add &offset=xx where xx is the number of minutes you'd like to be early so you can warm up. Now my phone tells me exactly when to leave to get to my games and still have time to warm up!

If you aren't using the feeds yet, go to your team page, and click "internet calendar" on the right

posted 05/05/2017

AED Rebate Program

We are pleased to announce a new program from OTHSL and MASS-Soccer to support the purchase of Automatic Electronic Defibrillators (AED) by the teams in our league. Both OTHSL and MASS-Soccer will provide a $250 rebate (Total $500) when a team purchases an AED to be available at league games. Teams already owning an AED may receive a rebate for replacement batteries and pads.

See this link on the MA Soccer page for details and the documents needed for the rebates.

In addition, we have identified a supplier to bring us discounted pricing. The average price of these packages is $900. DETAILS.

Together with volume pricing and rebates from both OTHSL and Mass-Soccer, the out of pocket cost for an AED for your team can be less than $400. We believe that this will make these life saving devices affordable for many teams and more importantly, available if needed in case of an emergency.

The State of NH is currently running a program which can bring the cost for NH teams down to as little as $150 for an AED. Please contact Doug (president@othsl.org) for more info.

posted 11/14/2014

Passcards and Rosters

Only current MASS ID player passcards may be used. Expired cards are not acceptable. However, temporary passes are acceptable, or you can show your ID on Your phone. Do not ask the referee to use his phone.

Players without a valid MASS ID number will not appear on printed rosters.

Click Here for the MASS Registration Site If you have any questions please direct them to Andrea at andrea@mass-soccer.org

Managers check your rosters. If you have players showing up in red, they will not print on your game day roster and they cannot play. period. Contact your players and get them to renew their registrations and/or submit a new headshot. Then they should print a temporary passcard and you should reprint your roster

For support on rosters, please contact Jeremy

For help with renewing your registration or fixing your headshot, contact Debbie, the MASS registrar

posted 10/26/2012

Google group

OTHSL now has a google group "othsl" that will be monitored by the board. Please use this to post your ideas, concerns or even kudos. We will use it to post news, issues we are struggling with or anything else we think the OTHSL soccer community will be interested in and now you can post there too!
posted 10/26/2012
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