Interesting changes coming to USYS leagues, and its conferences as it relates to South Carolina and surrounding States.
Starting in 2020/2021 The Piedmont and Sunshine Conferences will be combined, and reduce to only one tier (division) of play with 14 qualifying teams.
What I know today, and certain soe of these qualifying rules may change yet.
Qualifying Criteria for 14U-19U 2019/20 – 2020/21 Transition:
- Top 6 teams from Premier I from 2019/20 will retain position
- Top Premier II team (boys only) from 2019/20 will retain position (promoted to Premier I)
- NC, SC, and GA all receive 1 qualified Conference position through a state level competition. State Cup in South Carolina.
- FL receives 2 qualified positions. These 2 positions would be filled using the Sunshine Conference 2019-20 competition.
- 3 Girls and 2 Boys Open Slot Application positions
Qualifying Criteria for 13U 2020/21 and Beyond:
- NC, GA, and FL all receive up to 4 qualified Conference positions (must be 0, 2, or 4 teams)
through state level criteria. SC will receive 2 qualified Conference positions. Each state
association would determine their qualifying criteria.
Qualifying Criteria for 14U-19U 2020/21 and Beyond:
- Top 8 teams would retain position
- NC, SC, GA, and FL all receive 1 qualified Conference position through a state level competition.
- 2 Open Slot Application positions.
This will certainly make qualifying for 'Piedmont/Sunshine' harder in our State, but that has its pros and cons.
Looking at this with a glass half-full perspective, I actually like that it will mean a stronger SCSCL (Challenge) level of play in State, and less travel for many talented teams choosing this route. And also by narrowing down to one level of play, you avoid dilution of prestige/accomplishment in participating for the very few that do get there.