HISTORY: The Club Champions League was founded in January 2013 as 15 distinguished soccer clubs in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, agreed to form their own league based on a simple concept that included three main features: 1. Superior Competition 2. a Model for Player Development and 3. a governing board made up of Soccer Directors from each club.
The CCL is 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.
From 1997-2012, the league operated under the Virginia Club Champions League name. 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, the league 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, Fredericksburg Area Soccer Assn., Loudoun Soccer, Prince William Soccer, Inc. and Southwestern Youth Assn. – played in the North division. The eight original clubs played in the South division. Crossover games between North and South were also scheduled but not included in team standings.
In the spring of 2012, the league 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 played in a Maryland Division and schedule crossover games with North and South clubs.
THE CREATION OF THE CCL AND A UNIFIED LEAGUE SCHEDULE: In January 2013, fifteen of the clubs formed the Club Champions League to further their common goals and growth. The inaugural CCL season along with a unified league schedule begins play in the fall of ’13.
PROFESSIONAL, HASSLE-FREE MANAGEMENT: The CCL 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 SCHEDULING: Unique to the CCL is the coordinated traveling schedule. Each club’s entire contingent of teams (U11-U18, boys and girls) 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. CCL North also offers U9 and U10 developmental play.
CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP: 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. In addition to the Overall Club Champion, a Boys and a Girls Champion are also crowned starting in the fall of 2013.
LEAGUE SELECT TEAMS: In past years the Board of Directors named a boys U14 and girls U-14 select team from its member clubs. However, due to league changes in 2013 the league select program has been indefinitely postponed.
The first Champions League Select U-14 boys team was named to represent the league 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 the league 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.
CCL SHOWCASES – A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE CONTINUES: The 20th Annual CCL Fall 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 CCL Fall Showcase is a top level soccer event for college coaches to view players in the U16, U17 and U18/19 age groups for boys and U16, U17 and U18/19 age groups for girls.
A brand new Winter CCL Showcase is added to the schedule and slated for February 7-9, 2014, in Richmond, Va.