VicSoccer’s debut as a rec soccer league couldn’t have started on a busier day.
The first game was Sunday at 5 p.m., about eight hours after many of the city’s most active residents ran the TC10K.
Eighteen players showed up to play the inaugural VicSoccer match at Hampton Park. Not a bad turnout despite the original time being bumped two hours by the Gorge FC women’s provincial B Cup soccer match.
“It’s going to take a little time but the word of mouth is getting out there,” said VicSoccer organizer Steve Teska.
“The main message we want to spread is that we are not trying to compete or take away from any of the other leagues in the city. We are just giving another option for the players to have a run around.”
The next match is Saturday, 3 p.m. at Hampton Park. Signup is online at vicsoccer.ca.
“It’s a pretty good response since only a handful of people are promoting it around the city so far,” Teska said.
The soccer fanatic is willing to roll with the punches that come with getting a league off the ground, especially one that’s a bit outside the box compared to what the city is used to.
“It’s a new concept,” Teska said. “The way it works is there’s no official teams in VicSoccer. Players are competing for themselves and everyone else.”
When you sign up you choose a side, possibly with your friend, for example, and your position, which is on a first-come-first-serve basis.
“You show up, get your jersey, take your position and you go from there. It’s amazing to see how well the people gel and come together. It’s very interactive and social.”
Though it’s new in Victoria the league is based on a proven model, KWSoccer, in Teska’s hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo.
“KWSoccer is successfully entering its fourth year with over 2,000 followers, which is about five percent of the soccer community in Kitchener-Waterloo,” Teska said.
“It takes a while but people come to understand it. Stats are kept online, and prizes go to the top point getters, etc. We are competitive, but it’s a completely new concept and the players learn that.”
All 11-a-side matches are officiated as are most nine-a-side matches. Teska plans to host games big and small.
“In three years there’s been zero cards issued, not a suspension or ejection, no fights or anything. It’s a respect thing. We know we’re not out to win the World Cup.”
VicSoccer is for players 16-and-over and Teska is hoping to add women’s and masters age games, run year-round, and expand to other fields.
“With registrants interacting through social media we can do so much. The league is about flexbility. Prices vary but they’re quite reasonable and we provide a true soccer experience.”