AGC Manual

  1. Policy
  2. AGC Formed Teams
  3. Draft
  4. Parent Requests

Job Description

The Age Group Coordinator (“AGC”) is the volunteer responsible for the organization, implementation, and communication for a specific age group, or division of players within the Mill Valley Soccer Club (“MVSC”) Recreational Soccer Program.  Divisions are organized by school grade, and consist of:

Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th/8th Grade, & High School

All age groups have both a Girls and Boys (coed) division.

Job Duties include:

Preseason Team Formation
Through our on-line registration system, RosterPro, AGCs can view all registrants in their division as players register.  The "on-time" registration period runs from April 1 - June 1, after which late registrants may continue to register but without the assurance that they will be placed on a team.  The AGC is responsible for forming teams prior to the end of the school year, usually around mid June.  Team formation may vary by age division, with Kindergarten and 1st Grade teams placing a high emphasis on friendship requests and school based teams, 2nd and 3rd Grades placing a higher emphasis on player ratings from previous seasons, and 4th Grade and older being formed by draft.  Exact team formation processes shall be in accordance with the guidelines outlined and approved by the Rec Committee.
 

Coach Recruiting and Assignment
Coaches and assistant coaches are asked to volunteer at the point of player registration.  AGC is responsible for analyzing total player pool, calculating potential late registrants, and formulating an appropriate team count for their division.  AGC is responsible for insuring an appropriate number of coaches are assigned to each team.  As necessary, when volunteers are greater than the anticipated number of teams, AGC is responsible for pairing coaches whenever possible.  If teams outnumber coaches, AGC must take steps to recruit additional coaches from the ranks of parents.  This is most often done by requesting that assistant coach volunteers step up, or soliciting other volunteers directly from the parent base.  The AGC will work with the DOR to assess the need for more drastic communications and/or actions.

Once team formation is final, AGC is responsible for managing and approving any and all trade requests made by families or coaches.  Final rosters are to be submitted to the DOR, and communicated to the coaching slate. 

Coach/Team Communication
AGC should be in direct contact with all coaches in their division.  AGC is responsible for forwarding on Club communications 
directly to coaches, and requesting further communication from the coach to the families as required.  These communications would include key events such as meetings, practice scheduling, game schedules, and other announcements.  Timing is often critical, so communications from the Club should be forwarded within 24 hours of the request.  The AGC may perform other communications directly with coaches as required. 

Season Oversight
During the course of the season, AGC is responsible for general oversight of their playing division.  AGC should strive to have a sense of how things are going with regards to general play and adherence to the MVSC Code of Conduct.  Intervention, with the support of the DOR, DOC and other board members, should be expected as the need arises.  For 3rd Grade - High School, the AGC is responsible for ensuring the collection of all game scores from their teams.  Game scores are reported directly by coaches through the "Phone-It-In" system (see below), but some follow up from the AGC in regards to delinquent reporting may be required.  AGC should monitor game scores and take action as needed if there are consistent infractions on our Blow Out Rule.
 

Jamboree
For 4th Grade - 7th/8th Grade divisions, a Jamboree Tournament will be held at the conclusion of the season.  The AGC fulfills a few key roles in the preparation and execution of the Jamboree.

First, AGC insures that all game scores are reported and recorded as the season progresses.  In mid-October, working with the DOR and DOO, divisions will be evaluated and “flighted” for the Jamboree.  In general, flighting is done by dividing the division into A & B (and sometimes C) flights based on standings.  However, the AGC may provide additional insight into strength of play for any given team, and make adjustments to the flighting as deemed necessary to achieve fair and balanced play within the flights.

During the Jamboree, the AGC ensures that all game scores are reported on a timely basis.  Timing is critical, as accumulated game results decide who advances to the Championship Round.

Finally, the AGC should plan to present Jamboree medals to the top teams in each flight.  This usually requires attendance at the championship games.

Post Season
The AGCs play a critical role in two post season events.  First, the gathering of player evaluations from all coaches is required at all levels of play except Kindergarten.  Second, the AGCs should assist in the communication and gathering of information thru the Recreational Season Survey.
 

Other
AGCs should plan to meet as part of the Recreational Committee, approximately 4-6 times per year, to exchange ideas and information for the betterment of the recreational program.

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Recreational Committee
The Recreational Committee is a leadership group charged with making key strategic and operational decisions for the recreational program, and to advise the MVSC Board on those issues that require higher oversight and approval.

The Committee is typically comprised of:

  • Director of Recreational Soccer (“DOR”)
  • Director of Coaching & Player Development (“DOC”)
  • Director of Operations (“DOO”)
  • all AGCs

All members of the Committee must be approved by the Board.

The Committee meets on a periodic basis as necessary to discuss, plan for, and implement all aspects of the recreational program and season.  Meetings may take place approximately once a month, or as otherwise required to meet the needs of the program.

The Committee is chaired by the DOR, and all members of the Committee have an equal vote in decisions about the program.  For aspects of the program that require Board level approval, either due to financial impact or policy changes within the club, the Committee will act as an advisory group to the board. 

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Team Formation Guidelines

Policy
All teams will ideally have 3, or a maximum of 4 substitutes.  Those that play with 4 should roster no more than 8.  Those that play 8 should roster a max of 12.  Those that play 11 should roster 15+.  High School teams may consider rostering 20+.

The AGC will evaluate total number of anticipated teams, based on known registration numbers compared to historical trends of that age cohort.  The AGC may take either of two tacts during initial team formation:

  • Option 1:  Form teams to 100% capacity.  This rewards on-time registrants, but reduces the flexibility to add kids later in the summer.  All late registrants would then be placed on new teams as space allows. 
  • Option 2:  Form teams to approximately 90% of capacity.  Generally, this will mean leaving 1-2 roster spots unfilled, allowing for flexibility in making moves or adding late registrants.  Downside is that failure to get more registrants may leave a team short handed during the season.

No late registrants (after June 1) are added until after initial team formation, or a time as advised by the DOR and DOO.  Then, depending on method used in initial team formation:

  • Option 1:  All late registrants are formed into new teams, but only as capacity and coaching volunteers allow.  If no coach is available, the team is not formed.  Exceeding the maximum recommended roster size is strongly discouraged, and must be approved by the DOR.
  • Option 2-A:  If late registrants are fewer than number of teams, each team receives one additional player to complete their roster. 
  • Option 2-B:  If late registrants are greater than the number of teams, an additional team shall be formed as coaching staff allows, with any additional players being placed as per Option 2-A. 

Late Registration Placement

Whichever team formation model is used, late registrants will be placed on teams with the following priority: 

  1. New families who move to Mill Valley after the on-time registration period. 
  2. Mill Valley residents. 
  3. Non-residents who attend Mill Valley schools. 
  4. Non-residents on a first come, first serve basis.

It is crucial that players registering just after the deadline of June 1 are NOT included in the initial team formation.  Including them in initial team formation circumvents the late registrant placement policy listed above, and reduces the flexibility with which the AGC can manage future late registrants.

EXCEPTION:  Kindergarten teams are formed on a different timeline, without the same regard to late registrations. 

AGC Formed Teams
The goal of team formation is to create a recreational playing division with teams of comparable skill level, to insure a fun and competitively balanced season for all.  While AGCs are encouraged to consider friendship requests (one per player) during the team formation process, the Club cannot guarantee such requests will be honored.

The following procedures are guidelines to assist an AGC in forming fair and balanced teams.  The AGC is free to modify this process as they see fit to obtain league parity within their assigned division. 

Team formation preparation:

  1. Become familiar with the Demosphere RosterPro system.  This will be your sole source of player data and team management.
  2. Do a review of all players date of birth and grade.  Parents make mistakes, and it’s best to find the 15 year old registered in 2nd grade before teams are formed.
  3. Confirm that players have a rating
  • 1 - 7, with 7 being the highest; 
  • x = former player who did not receive an evaluation from their coach; 
  • D = a Development player; 
  • C = a Competitive player). 
  • New players to MVSC will not not have a rating.

Team Formation:

  1. AGC will form teams by placing approximately equal numbers of players from each rating level onto each team.
  2. When possible, AGC should consider friendship requests and accommodate as appropriate.  Effort should be made to place each child with at least one requested friend.
  3. Additionally, teams may be formed using school affiliation (see Areas of Concern).

Alternative Formation Process:

At the discretion of the AGC, it may be appropriate to solicit team formation input from the coaches.  In such a situation:

  1. Send the full player list, along with ratings, to all coaches for review.
  2. Request that coaches create a “wish list” of players.  As an example, based on number of teams and quantity of players in each category, the AGC will direct coaches to select 1 player rated 6-7, 3 players rated 4-5, 3 players rated 1-3, etc.
  3. AGC will review proposed rosters, make decisions where players are requested by more than one coach, and assign balance of players based on standard criteria.

Areas of Concern:

Be careful of creating wholly “school based” teams.  It may be appropriate to place 3-4 children from one school on a team.  However, creating a team with all players from on school is discouraged.  Reasons:

  • The goal of the Club is to create new teams each season, and not have teams comprised of materially the same children from year to year.  Creating a team exclusive from one school in 1st or 2nd Grade makes it increasingly difficult for children and parents to recognize the value in meeting new friends in later age groups.
  • If you have 9 children registered from 1 school, and are forming teams with 8 man rosters, creation of an all school team of 8 will leave 1 child out, often to the extreme detriment of that child.  Better to split the kids up onto 2, or even 3 teams, allowing some familiarity but encouraging an expanded friend base.

Avoid the “Daisy Chain.”  If one parent requests to play with player A, and player A wants to play with play B, and B with C, etc., you have the formula for a parent selected team.

Be aware of last year’s play results.  If one team won every game by a significant margin, yet the player evaluations show a diversity of talent, take care not to recreate that team in tact.

The AGC has authority to make, approve or disallow any trade, with the ultimate goal of creating balanced teams and league parity.

Draft
The goal of team formation is to create a recreational playing division with teams of comparable skill level, to insure a fun and competitively balanced
 season for all.  While AGCs are encouraged to consider friendship requests (one per player) during the team formation process, the Club cannot guarantee such requests will be honored.

AGCs should follow the procedures outlined below to conduct a fair and balanced draft.  AGCs are free to modify this process as they see fit to obtain league parity within their assigned division.

Draft preparation:

  1. Become familiar with the Demosphere RosterPro system.  This will be your sole source of player data and team management.
  2. Do a review of all players date of birth and grade.  Parents make mistakes, and it’s best to find the 15 year old registered in 2nd grade before teams are formed.
  3. Confirm that players have a rating 
  • 1 - 7, with 7 being the highest; 
  • x = former player who did not receive an evaluation from their coach; 
  • D = a Development player; 
  • C = a Competitive player).  
  • New players to MVSC will not not have a rating.

Send the full player list, along with ratings, to all coaches for review.  Only players who register on-time should be included in the draft.  This will ensure fair access to the information, and ample opportunity to revise a player’s ranking on Draft Day (See Draft Day #1). 

Draft Day:

  1. AGC should confirm that all coaches have a complete list of registered players, and disallow any late registrants.  Coaches will sometime come to a draft with the knowledge that a player “just registered” or “is planning to register soon.”  These players should not be included in the team formation process.
  2. The AGC and coaches should review players with no ratings and place as many as possible into one of the rating categories.

Draft:

  1. The coach and assistant coach’s children are assigned to that coach’s team, and count as choices for that team in a round appropriate to the player’s rating level.  For instance, if they are a “7,” they would be assigned to the 1st round, and the coach would not have a selection in that round.  If they are a “2,” they would be assigned to the round that immediately follows when the last “3” was drafted.  
    It is strongly recommended that only 2 players per team may be reserved, and only the coaches’ children, not friends (twins would be an exception).
  2. Draw numbers from a hat to establish the order in which teams will draft.  Take care to record the draft order for futuer reference (see Late Registration.)  Draft order is reversed each round, so that the team that drafts last in the 1st round will draft first in the 2nd round, and so forth.
  3. Each team drafts a player rated 7 , until all those players are distributed.  The teams then move on to drafting players rated 6, then 5, etc.
  4. Lastly, teams draft those players for whom there is no rating.

EXCEPTION:  A coach may chose to draft a player with a lower rating, even if players with higher ratings are still available.  The AGC must be vigilant in assessing the intent of the coach in such situations and direct the draft accordingly.  If the draft pick is to accommodate friendship requests and is judged not to be detrimental to the balanced skill level of the team, the AGC may allow it.  If it is deemed that the player was inaccurately ranked, and that the coach is taking unfair advantage of his knowledge of that player, the AGC may disallow the pick and require another from the appropriate skill group.  

EXCEPTION:  In the 7th/8th Grade or High School division, the AGC must be vigilant in ensuring that all teams are comprised of approximately the same numbers of 8th graders and the same number of 7th graders.  A coach may prefer to draft all 7th graders to satisfy a friendship base, but this should be strongly discouraged as it creates a situation that can lead to extreme disatisfaction during the season.

Post draft:

  1. Each coach should count the number of players by rating.
  2. If there is a significant imbalance, the AGC may facilitate trades to more evenly balance the teams.  
  3. Review each player’s friendship request.  If possible, conduct trades to satisfy at least ONE request per player, while maintaining the overall balance of skill level within the team.
  4. The AGC has authority to make, approve or disallow any trade, with the ultimate goal of creating balanced teams and league parity.

Late Registration

  1. Players registering late will generally be placed on teams by the AGC in the same order of the draft, in order to insure that all teams have roughly the same number of players.  Players that have an established rating due to past evaluations will be placed on teams at the discretion of the AGC in an effort to keep total team skill balanced and fair.
  2. A late player, whose parent wishes to coach or assist, may be assigned based on coaching need of an existing or newly formed team.
  3. After team rosters are announced to families, there will be NO PLAYER TRADES OR TRANSFERS except for:
  • Religious school commitments that conflict with practice times
  • Hardship (i.e.; carpool needs for 2 working parents)
  • Any trade must be for a player from the same rating group, and with approval of parents from both affected players.
  • All trades or transfers must be by processed thru the AGC, and with approval of the Director of Rec. 

Parent Requests
A reasonable attempt to honor friendship or other special requests should be made at the point of team formation.  Honoring a parent trade request is a very complex issue, and should only be approved with proper consideration.  Once an AGC grants one parent’s request, more are sure to follow.

“My child will only play if he can be on his friend’s team.” is not an acceptable reason to honor a trade request.

MVSC does not offer refunds to parents who withdraw their children due to dissatisfaction with team placement. 

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Demosphere (RosterPro)
Demosphere is the company that supports our web site application, our on-line registration system, and our game scheduling system.  In general, it refers to any web based application we use in the operations of our club.  All AGCs are given limited administrative access to the RosterPro registration tool, which they will use to build teams and communicate with their division.

For a video traininig of player & volunteer placement, CLICK HERE.

RosterPro is accessed through the standard registration portal, using your normal household account log-in and password at:  

https://mvsc.demosphere-secure.com/_registration

Click on MY PROFILE DASHBOARD.

You have been granted limited administrative access to the Recreational Soccer program, and you should click on    Manage "2018"   .   

You should now be at a Seasonal Registration Setup screen:

The top bubble shows the registration counts for the entire recreational program to date.  The lower tiered bubbles show the age groups that you have admin access to, with registration counts to date.  To work as an AGC, click on the  Registration Management   tab.

You are now presented with a split screen working area, with three distinct windows:

  • Participant/Volunteer Registrants in the upper third.
  • Season Structure & Teams in the lower left.
  • Team Staff & Team Rosters in the lower right.  (This area won't display data until you click on a specific division's bubble in the Teams section.)

By clicking on a specific division "bubble" in the lower left, you will populate the upper registrant screen with all players in your division.

Data Management
The Participant Registrants area displays all registration data for all players in your division.  Much of this information is extraneous, and you may choose to   Configure Table   for a more efficient view of the data you want to work with.  By selecting or deselecting data fields, and by dragging desired fields into a different order, you can customize the data you are working with during team formation.  After you've configured the table to your satisfaction, click CLOSE.

You can also sort this data by the column headings in either ascending or decending order.

Additionally, you can   Search   for a player, or add a   Filter   to limit your search using these fields.  For instance, you could add a "School" filter and only look for kids from a specific school, or you could filter by "Previous Team 2015" and see if there are any kids coming out of our Competitive program.

Adding Teams
To add teams, in Season Structure, simply click on the division you wish to manage, and then   + Add New Team  .  Please take care in using the MVSC naming conventions:  Grade/Gender/Team # (i.e.; 1B1, 1B2, 1B3 or 6G1, 6G2, 6G3, etc.)  Do not use this system to name teams used by the players:  no Mighty Mites or Screaming Eagles, as this system is not viewed by our members.  Work with the DOO to do an initial set-up of all required teams.  

As you assign coaches to teams, you can edit the team name, but be sure to keep the original alpha/numeric label (i.e.; 3G1-Brown or 6B3-Smith).  These names will be copied directly into our game scheduling system, so conforming to a standard naming convention is critical.  As necessary, the DOO may edit your team names to achieve a more standardized apperance.

Adding Players to Teams

  • In the Season Structure window, click on a specific team you wish to manage.  
  • In the Participant Registrations window, click & hold on the player you wish to place, and drag them into the Team Roster area in the lower right corner.
  • If you want to change a player's team assignment, click on their name in the Team Roster section, and drag them back into the general pool bubble.  Then pull then into the desired team.  You cannot drag straight from one team into another, so un-assigning them is a necessary first step.

Adding Coaches to Teams

  • Next to the Participant Registrations tab at the top, click on the Volunteer Registrations tab.
  • You will see all volunteers in your division, including SoccerFest, Referees, etc.  You can filter by Coach & Assistant Coach to limit your view.
  • All volunteers have a registration status of "Pending Review."  This allows you to APPROVE those coaches you wish to assign to teams. 
  • In the upper window of Volunteer Registrations, click on the   Edit   button.
  • Select the coach you wish to use, and in the Registration Status column, click on the drop down box and select APPROVE.  
    It is critical that you APPROVE a coach, as this trigger impacts all future club communications, as well as informs MVSC Staff as to who should receive a Volunteer Refund at the end of the season.  If a coach is left in PENDING, we will assume they did not coach.
  • Then, click on that coach and drag them into the Team Staff window.

NEW FEATURE:  Now, a player and their volunteer parent are connected in the registration system.  If you assign a player to a team and their parent has volunteered to coach, you will be prompted with the following window:

You will see the same message if you assign a coach to a team.  By clicking YES, either the player or the parent will automatically be placed on the same team.

Other Features

There are many other features accessible thru user friendly icons on the Registration Management page.  

  • emailing a .pdf file of the roster
  • exporting the roster to .pdf
  • adding a coach or assistant coach that is not on your volunteer list.

For additional support in using the RosterPro system, please contact Jon Bontz @ information@mvsc.org.

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Coaches Meeting
At some point prior to the start of the season, MVSC hosts a mandatory coaches meeting.  The meeting typically last 2 hours, and all AGCs should plan to attend.
 

Club Information
The purpose of the meeting is to provide general introductions, including all AGCs, as well as to review basic rules and policies of the club.  Speakers typically include the DOR, DOC, Head of Referees, etc.  AGCs are not expected to speak to the general assembly, but may chose to take that opportunity to have a smaller meeting with the coaches in their division.

Equipment
After club announcements, team balls and other equipment are handed out to each coach.  As a point of policy, each team is given 3-4 more balls than players, so coaches should be advised to manage their balls carefully, as replacement balls will not be provided by the club during the season.

It is highly advisable for coaches to mark each ball with a PHONE NUMBER, not just a symbol or a team name.  This will allow the random stray ball to be returned.  

Coaches who do not send a representative to this mandatory meeting will not have equipment prior to their first practice.  Because of the volume of work that goes into launching the season, it should not be expected that special arrangements will be made for coaches who do not attend.  Therefore, it is critical that AGCs emphasize the MANDATORY nature of this meeting, and if a head coach cannot attend, an assistant or any other parent should attend to represent the team.  If the AGC wishes to take extra ball bags for teams in their division who do not attend, they should make those arrangments at the end of the mandatory meeting.

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Game Schedules

Regular Seeason
The DOO is responsible for the creation of all game schedules.  Scheduling is done on Demosphere, and all schedules are posted to our website once completed.  Timing for release of the schedules is typically targeted between August 1- August 15.  The only factor that delays the release of the game schedule is if any one division is still attempting to add more teams at the point the schedule is due.

For that reason, the AGCs play a critical role in managing late registrants, and finalizing team formation at the direction of the DOO.

The season start time can vary, depending on school dates, but typically practices begin the last week of August, and games begin the first weekend after Labor Day.  

For grades K - 3rd, the general goal is 8 games for the season, with the last game in the final weekend of October, before Daylight Savings Time ends.  For 4th -7/8th Grade, the goal is approximately 7 regular season games, followed by the Jamboree that insures 3-4 additional games for each team.  High School teams play in MISA, and should expect a similar schedule with a post season tournament of 1-3 games.

Jamboree
The Jamboree is a season ending tournament scheduled for 4th - 7/8th Grade teams.  Teams within each division are broken into flights based on regular season results.  The goal of the Jamboree is to achieve, exciting, evenly matched games, and not explicitly to determine a “champion.”

As such, flights are determined based on regular season success, with the stronger teams playing in one flight, and the weaker teams playing in another.  Teams within different flights generally will not play each other, and there will be a champion crowned in each flight.

While season results are the primary factors that govern flighting and seeding, an AGC may also provide guidance on how to split a division if they feel that game results are not the truest reflection of team strength.  

The AGC also plays a big role in managing the tone and expectation of the Jamboree.  Coaches who may be inclined to “ramp up” their competitive drive for the Jamboree may need gentle reminders from their AGC as to the goals of the event.  The Jamboree has a long standing history of fair and competitive games at all levels, and our community is proud of the spirit of competition more than we care about the ultimate winners. 

MISA
The Marin Interleague Soccer Alliance ("MISA") is a playing league that serves the needs of U12, U14, U16 and U19 teams throughout Marin County.  Alliance clubs represent communities in Mill Valley, Tiburon, Ross, San Anselmo, Dixie, San Rafael, Novato and West Marin, to insure a diverse and viable playing experience for teams at these ages.

Because of MVSC’s volume of teams, we have the good fortune of keeping our 5th thru 8th Grade teams playing in-house.  But we generally opt to include our High School rec teams in MISA, in order to broaden the playing experience for these older teams.  

"PHONE-IT-IN" Game Score Reporting
New in 2016, game scores can be reported directly by coaches thru the "Phone-It-In" system (PII).  Game scores are collected for all 3rd - 8th Grade games (MISA scores are reported thru a different mechanism.)  AGCs should clearly communicate the following procedures to all coaches at the start of the season.  Game scores can reported any one of three ways, all of which are detailed on the Phone-It-In.
 

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Season Ending Procedures

Player Evaluations
A key part of the AGC’s role is to gather player evaluations from all coaches (Kindergarten excluded).  

Coaches are required to complete this evaluation for all players.

AGCs consolidate the team evaluations into a single form for their division.  Based on team performance and personal knowledge of the division, AGCs are authorized to make adjustments to the coach ratings as they see fit.  All completed evaluations are to be submitted to the DOR & DOO for use in the following season’s team formation process.

Additionally, the player rating will be entered into a player's personal record.  This is a confidential data field and is only visible to AGCs and other MVSC personnel.  It will be updated from year to year to reflect the most recent player rating from the prior season.

Ropers Award
The Ropers Award has a long standing tradition in our club.  For complete details about the history of the award, please the MVSC Memorials page.

Ropers Awards are handed out to one player on every team in MVSC.  The awards are typically available for pickup from a central location in mid-October, prior to the end of the season.  Every coach should be strongly encouraged to hand out a Ropers Award for their team. 

Coaches’ Dinner
After the season, MVSC hosts a Volunteer Thank You Dinner.  This is primarily focused on Rec Coaches, as well as AGCs, Board Members, and our competitive team managers and treasurers.  All coaches and assistant coaches are invited to attend.  

AGCs can assist by spreading the news about the dinner, and encouraging coaches to RSVP.  The popularity of this event makes an RSVP mandatory, and coaches who do not respond will not be allowed into the event.  This is a great celebration of the season, and AGCs should rally their coaches to join in the event. 

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