The South Bucks Mini Soccer Conference exists to allow developmental junior football. The aim is to encourage the development of players and clubs by providing a framework in which young players are encouraged to learn and develop their game without any undue pressure. It has been shown that a focus on results, i.e. winning or not losing, has a detrimental effect on the broad base development and some individuals progress in football. As a result of this experience SBMSC member clubs said no to publishing scores or results of friendly fixtures played within the conference.
It has also been shown that a focus on playing well and encouraging players has a beneficial effect. To this end clubs are positively encouraged to publish articles that mention :-
- good play,
- improvements in teams and individuals
- players* in a positive manner.
* players can even be named, within protection guidelines.
No to Publishing Results
The SBMSC voted overwhelmingly not to publish scores or results in any external publication via newspapers, websites, radio etc. It was agreed that clubs are permitted to publish results in internal newsletters that are not available to general access. The SBMSC also voted overwhelmingly of the recommendation that if teams failed to observe the SBMSC guidelines for the publication of scores and results, they would be excluded from all conference fixtures with immediate effect*.
Most newspapers in our district are keen to publish articles on football. Traditionally this has focused upon scores and results with some comment on the match. Newspapers do not usually create the articles, but rely upon these being sent in to them. It is best to contact your local paper to understand what they are looking for in articles for publication. Most newspapers usually welcome photographs. These days emailed articles and digital photos are preferred. Articles and pictures should be sent at least a day ahead of the deadline, to increase the likelihood of being published.
Newspapers favour regular columns, or ‘good stories’ with some newsworthy points. The challenge is to write interesting articles that have some interest for the public as well as the club and players. Positive writing about football could include how a player’s skills made a difference in a match, humorous moments, closely contested games, defence, midfield players contribution, not just a focus on strikers and goal-scorers, refereeing and managers’ contribution to the game, weather conditions, anything unusual about the venue or pitch conditions. Players are very motivated by seeing their name in print, mention names as frequently as possible, trying to ensure that all players get mentioned, not just the ‘stars’. Articles about clubs and individuals can often go into the ‘human interest’ local news section, as well as the sports sections.
No publication of results – Voting history
Although “no publishing of results” was part of the original ethos of the SBMSC when it was founded in the late 1990’s it was not actually written into the constitution. Two clubs tested this and the first member-wide vote on no-publishing results took place at the Nov 2000 General Meeting. This was endorsed a year later at the Nov 2001 General Meeting. The November 2001 General Meeting also added a second vote to exclude non-compliant clubs. SBMSC members voted on these rules going into its Constitution and this was adopted with overwhelming support.