How to Join and Why CDL?



Club Registration:
Thank you for your previous interest in joining the Club Development League (CDL).

We wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with more information in case you are still interested in applying for the league. We have an online application form which you can complete at CDL Application Form. We understand the application process is time sensitive taking into consideration the “Invite to Play” date being on Wednesday June 17, therefore;

Application deadline is Monday June 15 at 10:00 p.m.
Review process will occur Tuesday June 16 at 10:00 a.m.
Response will be given following the Tuesday meeting


We want to give you insight into why we are committed to starting and forming a new league through an attached a document that provides narrative and context for our decisions. We hope it provides better perspective into our commitment on why we feel this is the best pathway for our clubs but feel free to contact us if you need any clarification.

The cost of playing in the league will be similar to Iowa Soccer League and we can provide you with that information upon a successful application.

If you have any questions please reach out to me.
Gary Eyles
Ames Soccer Club
Director of Coaching
amesdoc@gmail.com
(515) 360-5117

Why do Clubs want to Form a New League?
It is important that we provide context and a narrative of how the IPSL was originally formed and why we have reached the point of submitting this proposal to organize and run a league outside of the current league offerings. I believe that Jon Cook and Gary Eyles are the only founding members of the original IPSL and so we can use their experience along with provide our experiences throughout the years.

How the IPSL was originally formed
Group of like-minded DOC’s started discussing and collaborating on the concept of a new league
1. Challenges & frustrations within their current leagues
  a. Rescheduling large proportion of league games (due to teams competing in tournaments)
  b. Philosophies and beliefs wide ranging
  c. Competitiveness of games was questionable
  i. Top teams in the state rarely played against each other, unless it was a tournament (club or state cup)
2. Increase the overall level of play
3. Help shape the soccer landscape into becoming more professionalized

The group began discussions with Ian Bradley and ISA to try and put our vision into reality.
Ted Bzdega was appointed as League Director and helped facilitate the formation of the league by drafting league rules, club standards etc.

The DOC’s handled governance including:
1. Implementing rules
2. Recruiting policy
3. Forming a disciplinary committee
4. Deciding on membership admittance
As you can see there were several important policies and documents that helped at all levels of the game.
IPSL was basically a self-contained league operating under the Iowa Soccer umbrella and as Ted stated on many occasions when we had discussions about changes and implementations, “This is your (the coach’s) league, you decide” – Ted Bzdega

How the IPSL was Modified after year 1 as a result of Club Leader’s Desires
DOC’s were very pleased with how Ted grouped clubs on similar sites and asked to have “B” teams included so we could offer the same developmental model for our top players as our “B” players.
1. This is relevant because it demonstrates early on how the league adapted to the needs of the original members.
2. It is also relevant historically because it is a clear example of how the league was always a club model league and not a team model league.

Why are we making this proposal?
In reflection, when Ted retired this was a pivotal moment in the history of IPSL and the league has moved further and further away from its original goals and more importantly oversight and governance by the technical leaders of clubs. Indeed the name changed from IPSl to ISL and the identity was lost and along with it the function of the league.
We are culpable as club leaders because we should have recognized the shift in philosophy of how the IPSL was viewed and ultimately how it functioned.
Over time Iowa Soccer has increased its league business exponentially and the IPSL has lost its identity within the soccer landscape. The influx of new clubs and teams has ultimately lessened our ability as club leaders to govern and make soccer decisions. In truth we have lost this ability!
The Iowa Soccer leagues model has just become too big to address the needs, wants, desires and things to avoid throughout the various competition levels. It is basically a structure of one size fits all and it simply does not work for many clubs.
A few years ago there may have been some hope of forming a desired league structure with the collaboration efforts with Nebraska Soccer Association/League. Unfortunately, those discussions did not come to fruition and have only resulted in the realization that we have to look within the state to further advance and promote the game of soccer.

Throughout the past 6-8 months it has become clear that a group of clubs, largely the same group of clubs responsible for forming IPSL, have come to a consensus that the league in its current format cannot meet the player developmental needs of our players. Moreover, we do not blame the Iowa Soccer for the situation we are in at this time. The overall mission of the Iowa Soccer Association to provide a league model that meets the vast needs of its many member clubs simply does not align with our much more narrowly defined missions to meet the needs of our players who register with us. Acknowledging that this is simply a misalignment of purpose and mission is not an indictment or criticism of the league, the state association, or the league directors. Framing the problem in this way has helped guide us to our decision to request to move away from the ISL because no change in leadership, policy, or structure of the league can remedy the misalignment.

Therefore, our proposal is that Iowa Soccer sanctions the Club Development League (CDL) and gives authority to the CDL Board of Directors to govern and run the league. Our preference is to run the league under the Iowa Soccer umbrella. However, if it is not possible for Iowa Soccer to sanction and give full control to the CDL Board of Directors then we will seek out alternative sanctioning options.

New League Structure
We want to emphasize that the new league is inclusive and so if clubs other than the founding members apply and meet the Club Standards then they will be accepted and play in the league. If applying clubs are lacking in one or more standards, then they can be admitted on a “provisional” status with the understanding they are working to address their shortfall within the Club Standards.
The efforts of the new league are to provide an enjoyable and financially conscientious platform for all players at an appropriate competitive level. Many of the Club Standards are designed to help enhance the growth of youth soccer throughout the state and are not just limited to the communities of the nine founding members.

— Club Development League Partners