FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
REGION III PREMIER LEAGUE
1) What is the Region III Premier League?
a. The Region III Premier League (R3PL) is a league designed to allow the top teams from each state to compete against each other on a regular basis according to the mission of the league, which is: "To provide an opportunity for the most competitive play possible for the highest-level teams within US Youth Soccer Region III to aid in the development of the US Youth Soccer players.” It is for age groups U-14 through U-18, boys and girls. The league normally plays two games on designated weekends across the southeast, one Saturday afternoon and one Sunday morning generally. There is a heavy amount of travel involved as compared to playing in the NCYSA Premier League, but the competition level is extremely high in this league. NC teams have done very well overall in the R3PL since the league was established some seven (7) years ago.
2) How is the R3PL organized?
a. Region III has organized the R3PL into three divisions: East, West, and Central. NC is part of the East division, which also includes the states of SC, GA, and FL. The West is made up of teams from NTX, STX, and OK, while the Central is made up of teams from TN, AL, AR, LA, and MS. For R3PL East, each age group is generally made up of at least 8 teams (each gender), two from each state in the R3PL East, but can be as many as 12 teams in a particular age group.
3) When does the league operate?
a. U-15 through U-18 (boys and girls) play in the fall. The U-14 age group plays in the spring each year. This time-frame was picked because most of the states have their club seasons in the fall and are not playing High School soccer during the fall. And most U-14 players have not yet reached High School, so this allows play during the spring season. The notable exception is NC which as we all know has boys High School soccer in the fall. Teams that participate in the R3PL will not participate in the NCYSA Premier League, but are eligible for the State Cup, and are in fact slotted very high in the State Cup seedings. Actual State Cup seeding will be determined by the NCYSA State Cup Director, but will depend heavily on how they rank in the R3PL at the time of NCYSA State Cup seeding. Again, the exception to this is that boys teams in age groups U-15 through U-18 WILL play NC Premier league in the spring, since they have R3PL and HS soccer in the fall.
4) How are the teams selected to participate?
a. We'll only address selection of teams in the R3PL East, since this is the league that teams from NCYSA participate in. Each state is guaranteed two teams in each age group for participation in the league. Every state has different criteria for selection of teams that will be nominated to participate in the league. In NC, the NCYSA Classic Council has established criteria for selection of our two top teams, in addition to criteria for selection of other potential "wildcards” that could be added as additional teams if the league expands to 10 or 12 teams. (We have the criteria posted elsewhere on this website). The past number of years, NC has had as many as 5 teams in an age group get accepted into the league, although normally, we only have 2 or sometimes 3 teams per age group. Teams that are interested in playing in the league and meet the NCYSA criteria apply for acceptance into the league. The application is posted usually in early June for the fall league and November for the spring league (U-14's). The R3PL East committee, which is made up of the 4 state reps in the R3PL East, considers all the applications and decides depending on how many teams apply, if the league will be made up of 8, 10 or 12 teams in each age group. The league reps rely heavily on information from the soccerincollege.com website, as well as record info provided by each team on the application. Teams are presented by each state in the order they want them considered (NC teams are presented in the order according to our published criteria). The merits of the teams are discussed and a vote is taken on acceptance into the league. Decisions of the R3PL East committee are final.
5) If my team meets the criteria established by NCYSA, does that mean we're automatically in the R3PL East league?
a. Not necessarily. All teams must apply to the league. No one is automatically considered for the league without an application. And some teams from NC may meet the criteria for nomination, but because of their ranking and number of applications from other states, may not be selected for participation in the league. We have a very good record of getting NC teams into the league, but in some cases, NC teams nominated and otherwise meeting the NCYSA selection criteria may not get accepted into the league.
6) I've been told that the winners of the R3PL earn entry directly into the USYSA Region III Championships, even if the don't win the
NCYSA State Cup. Is this correct?
a. YES! The winners of the league in each age group earn the right to participate in the Regionals each summer as the R3PL representative. The R3PL East and West actually rotate each year between boys and girls in getting 2 teams into the Regionals. For instance, in the 2007/2008 R3PL East, the top two (2) boys teams in each age group will earn the right to attend the Region III Championships in Raleigh/Wilson at the end of June. One girls team from R3PL East will attend as the R3PL representative. The next year, it flip-flops with the girls getting two slots into the Regionals and the boys getting one. If a team also wins their State Cup, they MUST represent their respective State as their Region III Championships representative. In that case, the 2
nd place finisher in the R3PL will then be designated as the R3PL representative for the Regionals. Depending on how many of the top teams also win their State Cups, the league will go down the standings until a non State Cup winner is reached for the R3PL representative for the Regionals. So, you don't necessarily have to actually win the league to earn your way to the Regionals, but finish in the top echelon and have State Cup winners ahead of you in the R3PL.