GREATER CHESTER VALLEY SOCCER ASSOCIATION
September 8, 2010
I would caution parents against enrolling their kids with the Great Chester Valley Soccer Association (GCVSA). While this may be a great experience for many, if you have any disagreements with the organization there is absolutely no way to resolve them. I would recommend an organization such as West Chester United instead, which has an elected Board of Directors.
We enrolled our daughter in GCVSA last spring because a parent from her school was organizing a team, and had been told that this was no problem. Except that our daughter was not placed on that team. When we tried to resolve the issue, we were told there was no way to change it, and the President - Neil Davis - unleashed a stream of obscenities at me over the phone and hung up when I tried to talk about it. The coach of the team was able to resolve it, but once again this year our daughter was not on the team - one of three girls who were not included, despite our getting our registration in very early with a letter noting that we were enrolling to be part of that team.
In this case, we decided not to do anything - it wasn't worth the stress. But, one of the other parents engaged Neil in dialog explaining why they wanted their daughter on that team. Neil responded by dropping them from the league and refunding their money and telling them never to consider GCVSA again.
We decided that perhaps we were better off separating from the league as well, and sent Neil a polite email asking if he would consider dropping us and refunding our money as he had done with this other person earlier that day.
His response was to tell us we were dropped from the program, and that he would not refund our money. When I responded that if he was not refunding the money, we would stay in the program, his response was too late it is already done.
I have tried to engage in a dialogue with Neil, and his responses have been the same. I tried sending notes to the Vice President and Registrar on the site, asking if there is anyone to talk to arbitrate a disagreement. I received no response.
If you are considering this league, I would recommend trying to talk with Neil, and express any questions you have before you enter the league.
Since this has happened, we have talked with other parents, including some who have switched from GCVSA to avoid this type of exchange.
It is a shame. At six and seven, sports should not be so serious or difficult.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
2009 and 2010, when my daughter played soccer in the league - and was then dropped before the season began without a refund.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Create a board of directors with oversight.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
My daughter did get to play two seasons of soccer, which she loved.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
Neil Davis is the President and main contact. He has made it clear to us and other that he does not like to deal with parents.
Ways to make it better...
My daughter could have played a third season without mishap. The President didn't shout at my wife and have her in tears, swear obscenities at me and hang up the phone, drop another parent's child from the program because the parent had a disagreement.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
Lack of a professional governing body.
One thing I'd also say is that...
Youth soccer should be fun - especially at the 5-7 age. It is far too serious far too early.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Client Served & we enrolled our daughter in the league.
Review from Guidestar