OFSAA soccer officials elect to increase fields

The OFSAA 2000 soccer committee has decided to use four fields when Fort Frances hosts the all-Ontario girls’ soccer championship next June.
The decision, reached at last week’s general meeting, is the best way to organize a 16-team, four-pool tournament, co-organizer Jason Kabel said.
Tournament officials originally had planned to use just three fields for games.
Now, they will use the two soccer pitches at St. Francis, which have undergone extensive work this summer, the main football field at Westfort, and the practice field there.
Muskie girls’ head coach Struchan Gilson, who has done an extraordinary amount of work to get the fields in shape, said they are on the way to becoming top-notch pitches.
“The fields, for the most part, are in tremendous shape,” he noted. “They are coming along nicely.”
Scheduling the tournament should be no problem, added Gilson, given the workable amount of teams and fields involved.
“With four fields, it’s the best situation with 16 teams, it’s perfect,” enthused Kabel, who attended this year’s OFSAA tournament in London with Fort High athletic director Rick Wiedenhoeft.
“All the quarter-final games can be played at the same time and no team has more time to rest than the other,” he noted.
Kabel said he felt London did a reasonable job hosting OFSAA this year but added he and Wiedenhoeft will be recommending some “minor changes” when Fort Frances hosts it next June.
And noting London did not start to organize OFSAA until January, Kabel felt they were “way ahead of the game” and that everything looked to be right on schedule.
Meanwhile, officiating will have an out-of-town feel due to a lack of experience here. Kabel said they’ll most likely be forced to bring in four officials each from Thunder Bay and Winnipeg.
But all line officials will be drawn from here.
The OFSAA meetings will take a break for the summer and resume again in September.