[QUOTE="supercell, post: 399714, member: 7364"
I think the costs associated with travelling to a national championship for any league are about the same. So it's not really an ECNL thing so much as it is a national league thing. Every national league excludes people who can't afford to travel for it. ECNL is especially bad though because they separate the national playoffs from the championship, requiring 2X trips to win the prize. I think that's really the rub here, that seems totally unnecessary.
I like the idea of a more regionalized showcase model. When the national events are on one coast or the other, they lose value to the majority of kids who are looking at mid-majors and below, who are recruiting regionally for the most part. That makes it tough on the west coast player who wants to go to school on the east coast of course and vise versa. I suspect that if you had statistics on where ECNL kids are recruited from, it stands to reason that the majority would already be scouted primarily at regional events just because there are more of them and they occur earlier in the year. ECNL still calls them national events to further confuse matters.
Most of the "so called" national championships (there are so many that none really exist now) are modeled this way and I think it's modeled incorrectly. It needs to be changed and it's not too difficult. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe CalSouth actually used fees to pay for or substantially subsidize ODP players to travel.
Create local championships, then move them to 16 regional championships, then have the 16 regional winners play in the championship tournament. A portion of all player fees should go into this. With the quantity of players registered, we should afford to pay for the 8 regional winners to travel. Or increase fees by $10. Increase local entrance fees by $50 a team and use that money for regionals and championship tournaments.
It doesn't matter what league you play in (ECNL, DISCOVERY, CSL), the true National Champs should play thru this method and everyone team from every league should have access to enter this competition without any seeding. All drawings are done via lottery and it's luck of the draw who you have to compete with in group play.
We don't need a mayor's cup or a governor's cup or president's cup. Just a national one. Tournaments can distinguish flights and let the lower flights earn medals that way.