For questions regarding the District III Enhanced Recreational Programs please contact Enhanced Recreational Representative: Chris Hayes (RecreationPlus@district3soccer.com).
More on Enhanced Recreational Programs:
Some clubs in District III operate an enhanced version of recreational (Division 4) soccer, in addition to the standard Division 4 program. Notable among these is Mustang and San Ramon, who refer to their program as White Plus and Rec+ respectively. District III is interested in providing for the existing and emerging need of players and their families who wish to take part in ?enhanced? recreational programs of this nature.
Division 4 encompasses in excess of 80% or more of a typical club's membership, and with such large numbers it is just unrealistic to imagine that everybody's desires are adequately catered for. The typical Division 4 player covers the spectrum from the social butterfly who just plays because his/her friends do, to the fiercely competitive aspiring Freddy Adu or Mia Hamm, who is realistically limited in likely achievement due to shortfalls in technical skills, athleticism, or both.
The enhanced Division 4 programs were founded on the recognition that one size does NOT fit all. Essentially, these programs are designed for two types of players: (a) those who just want to play more soccer than the ten games typical of a Division 4 program, and (b) those looking to dip their feet in a somewhat more intense soccer experience, but who are not yet ready to try out to play at Division 3. For these, the enhanced Division 4 programs function as a bridge between Division 4 and Division 3 play, enabling the aspiring recreational player to sample soccer at slightly higher intensity. Similarly, it also provides a somewhat detuned experience for those who found their initial taste of Division 3 or above a little too much.
What makes an enhanced program? First and most importantly, these programs still follow the parameters for Division 4 laid down in the Cal North handbook: the programs are open to all; there are no tryouts; teams are not selected per se, but are assembled with a goal of achieving approximate balance in strength. Second, in addition to the regular league season, a small number of tournaments are organized, either internal to the playing league or on an inter-league or district basis. Third, limited training is made available to the teams, once assembled. Program features over and above the regular league play are funded by those taking part, but otherwise there are no additional fees for participating in an enhanced program.
Game play at the enhanced level is not necessarily at a higher skill level or any more competitive than within the regular Division 4 program, as can quickly be concluded from watching a game in action. But with the additional exposure to tournaments, periodic training and more opportunity to put into effect what has been taught and learned, coupled with the participation of a higher percentage of children more committed to the sport, games in the enhanced programs might be expected to demonstrate more focus, and over time, an improvement in skill level.
Not every club will want to go to the trouble of organizing an enhanced Division 4 program, or have sufficient players to support two programs, but it would be surprising if there was not an untapped demand for such a program in every club. The membership at Division 4 level is so large that it represents every extreme of ability, athleticism and desire, and every point in between. The enhanced programs are trying to provide a targeted outlet for a segment of that population, and District III supports that initiative, providing it does not detract from the Division 4 program as a whole. This is about providing something for everyone, no matter what their ability, attracting more youngsters into the sport and helping in their development as players, young people, and members of our community.