Monday, September 25, 2006

Soccer

We were finally able to get back to having soccer practices again after the community had been closed for renovations for the past couple weeks. When I tell people back home that we have soccer up here I can get some funny looks at first. Soccer played up here is much different from how most people imagine it.

The major difference is that here we play an indoor version of the game with 5 players on a side (including a goalie) rather than the more familiar outdoor version with 11 players per side. There are 2 30-minute halves rather than 45 minute halves. Although I still long for a nice outdoor pitch, the indoor version here is just as entertaining. The pace of the game is much faster and the ball of course bounces more and we have the walls to deal with. You'll never see a stoppage of play in the outdoor version for a ball being "too high" or for hitting the ceiling.

Sport Nunavut threw a curve ball at me this year. Not only was the registration deadline for the regional tournament moved up to the end of the month (argh Friday!), they also changed the age categories on me from last year. Last year these were 16-and-under and 14-and-under but now that has been changed for some reason to 15-and-under and 13-and-under. This played a bit of havoc with the teams of players I was anticipating to have. But at the moment it looks as if we will have a 13-and-under boys teams and a 15-and-under girls team. With luck I might be able to put together one more team.

Because we are a small community with a smaller base of eligible kids to choose from I found myself last year including a few boys who were 12 or 13 on our 16-and-under team just so we could make up a team. The result, when we played against a bigger school like Iqaluit which had all their players either 15 or 16, the result was predictable. However, this year it looks as if our boys team will be a bit more competitive. At least they will play against teams their own age.

The girls team is a different story as it looks like there will have to be a few younger kids included so we can at least field a team. Ultimately we go to have fun and a trip to the tournament (Iqaluit this year?) is good incentive for kids to get involved in sport and get active. I've set a goal of each team winning at least one game during the November tournament. So we'll see how we do. It's not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in dog.

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