The Virginia Club Champions League was founded in January 1997 as one of a small number of soccer leagues based on the philosophy that the player is a member of the club as well as a member of the team and that successful clubs develop players and teams from within rather than through recruitment.
Play began in the fall of 1997 for boys teams U-11 through U-18/19. In June 2000 girls teams were added with play beginning in the fall 2000 season. VCCL adopted eight-a-side play for U-11 teams beginning fall 2005 and eight-a-side play for U-12 teams beginning fall 2007.
The five founding clubs were Beach FC, FC Richmond, Richmond Strikers, Roanoke Star and Williamsburg Soccer Club (now Virginia Legacy). Member clubs increased to eight with SOCA (fall ’02), Richmond Kickers (fall ’04), and Virginia Rush (fall ’05).
EXPANSION TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND
In the spring of 2011, VCCL accepted seven clubs from Northern Virginia as a group to begin play in the fall 0f 2011. The seven clubs - Annandale Boys & Girls Club, Arlington Soccer, Braddock Road Elite Travel Soccer, Fredericksburg Area Soccer Assn., Loudoun Soccer, Prince William Soccer, Inc. and Southwestern Youth Assn. - play in the VCCL North division. The eight original clubs play in the VCCL South division. Crossover games between VCCL North and VCCL South are also scheduled but not included in team standings.
In the spring of 2012, VCCL accepted four clubs from DC/Maryland to begin play in the fall of 2012. The four clubs, Bethesda Soccer Club, DC Stoddert, FC Frederick, and Freestate Soccer Alliance play in a Maryland Division and schedule crossover games with VCCL North and VCCL South clubs.
PROFESSIONAL, HASSLE-FREE MANAGEMENT:
The VCCL is managed by a Board of Directors made up of the Directors of Coaching from each of its members clubs. The Board has three scheduled meetings: one at the end of each season and the annual meeting held in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Convention in January.
Unique to the Champions League is the coordinated traveling schedule. Each club’s entire contingent of teams travels together to all away games. Start times are staggered allowing coaching directors and multiplayer families to watch several games. The compact schedule also provides each club with greater flexibility in scheduling tournaments and friendly games during the regular season.
COMPETITION FOR AGE GROUPS U-11 THROUGH U-18/19:
Competitive play is offered for both boys and girls divisions U-11 through U-18/19. Divisional winners are recognized at the end of each season. Standings are determined by weekly competition: three points for wins, one point for ties; and no points for losses. VCCL North also offers U9 and U10 developmental play.
At the end of each season, an overall club champion is determined based on standings in each of the boys and girls age groups, U11 through U18/19: sixteen points for first place, twelve points for second place, ten points for third place; eight points for fourth place; six points for fifth place, four points for sixth place, two points for seventh place, and no points for eighth place. The winning club retains the traveling trophy until the end of the next season.
LEAGUE SELECT TEAMS:
Each year the Board of Directors names a boys U14 and girls U-14 select team from its member clubs.
The first Champions League Select U-14 boys team was named to represent VCCL in the 1998 Dallas Cup. The boys select teams have played in the Dallas Cup tournament every year except 2009 when they participated in the International Countryside Easter Tournament in Clearwater, FL. The following year, both the boys U14 and U15 teams traveled to the Dallas Cup. 2012 marks the fifteenth year of the U14 boys league select program.
As the girls programs became stronger, the Champions League Select U-14 girls team was named to represent VCCL in the 2003 Spring Classic Girls Invitational Soccer Tournament held in conjunction with the Dallas Cup. Beginning with the spring of 2009, the League Select girls team traveled to Clearwater FL, to participate in the International Countryside Easter Tournament. In the spring of 2012, the girls team will return to Dallas for the Dallas International Girls Cup tournament held in the same week as the Dallas Cup.
VCCL SHOWCASE - VIRGINIA LEGACY SC HOST:
The 20th Annual VCCL College Showcase is scheduled to be held on November 22-24, 2013, for girls teams and December 6-8, 2013, for boys teams. All games will be played at the Warhill Sports Complex, Williamsburg, VA. Hosted by the Virginia Legacy Soccer Club, the VCCL Showcase is a top level soccer event for college coaches to view players in the U17 and U18/19 age groups for boys and U16, U17 and U18/19 age groups for girls.