What is a Festival Format?

 A festival format is a format where the ultimate result is not the main reason of play.  By that there is not a tournament progression and no championship game.  Some of the reasons are as follows:

1.  It would allow a situation where all of the players would be able to get equal time without the pressure of leaving on the best players thus leaving off the weaker players to get a result.  It is more important for players to experience play rather than focusing so much on the outcome.

2.  It would also allow for players to experience every position again because there would be no pressure of the result.

3.  The event would be able to pair teams according to strength of the team without having to worry about grouping and advancement.  This would avoid lopsided games that are no benefit to either the winning or the losing team. 


We have to remember at these ages that player development is more important than the result at these ages.  The game by its nature is competitive but it is up to the coaches and parents to keep this in perspective what a result at this age means.  It is no secret that at this age the way to win is to get the best athletes who are more physically developed and you will win.  This is why at this age we have to focus on the development of the player so that when some of the late maturing does in fact mature they will have the skills and the knowledge to play at a higher level.  We dont at this age know for a fact who is going to be the best later on so we need to look at the betterment off the entire group. 


I have heard the argument that players need to know what winning and losing is.  I agree if kept in proper perspective.  When the adults are putting on so much pressure on the players at an early age to get a result it no longer becomes a game but a job.  There are times for this to happen but not at the early ages.  We have burned out too many players at a young age.  We have to instill a love for the game.  Proper development will bring the results when they count down the road.  Our society wants to win now but we cant do this at the detriment of development. 


I find it interesting that many of our older State Cup level teams are doing this on certain weekends where they will bring in top teams and play each other.  They are not doing this to get wins and trophies but to play top-level teams, play all of their players, try different roles with their players and see how they do.  This is in preparation for either tournaments or State Cup matches where they do need to get a result.  This is what we are doing with our younger players, preparation for later games.  Their important games are way down the road for our younger players.  Lets not burn them out so early that when these games come they are not around to play them.