From: Brad Lawlor, Executive Director
For a number of years U15 AND U17 AAA clubs, coaches, parents and players have expressed a number of concerns with 7-aside soccer during the indoor (winter) season:
Taking all of this into consideration and looking very closely at the development of the athlete, we are pleased to announce that we will be moving to an annual 11-aside league for U15 AND U17 AAA teams beginning in January 2020.
Benefits of new league format:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’S)
1. What is PDP?
Canada Soccer is developing a Player Development Program (PDP) to provide guidance to Provincial/Territorial soccer organizations in implementing, organizing and managing the player development program in their province. The philosophy of the Canada PDP is based on improving the quality and volume of training while providing more meaningful competition for the players using performance periodization. Our annual 11-aside season along with grandfathering the required PDP standards will bridge the gap in preparation for Canada Soccer’s Player Development Program.
2. How will communities without full indoor facilities participate? Practice is
recommended to commence in January with league games starting indoors in March &
April. Clubs with no access to full ﬁeld facilities will play games away from home during this
3. What will my child do from October to December? It will be a standard of the league
that all players receive two months of rest from organized soccer. In those instances where
a player has transitioned from a AA program after the summer season, they will be allowed
to start training in December within the club they are registered for. Example, integrate
them into existing training programs or set up training for a select group of players for a
4. Can we play U15AA during the indoor season and transition to the outdoor league
when it ends? Clubs will be able to move players to the AAA program if decided that is in
the best interest of the player. However, the player must sit out of two months of
programming including training to obtain the required rest period. Example: Player ends their
AA season in the middle of March. They will not be able to participate on the AAA team until the middle of May. Any player being added to the AAA roster must be submitted and
approved by the league.
5. What happens if the club recognizes that my child is in the wrong program and they
want to move him in December? If the player is being added to the AAA roster, this again
must be submitted and approved by the league and followed by meeting the two month
6. What happens if the player does not follow the minimum rest period or has not
submitted the required paperwork to be added to the AAA roster? They will not be
eligible to participate in this competition for the duration of this season and the club will be
7. Can our team participate in the winter senior league and also participate in the annual 11-aside
league? No, the entire squad will be ineligible to participate in the competition.
8. Can a U17AAA player be called up to play winter senior soccer? Provided that the
player has observed the 2 month rest period, players may be called up for their senior
team. If a player is called up without observing the rest period the player will not be eligible
to participate in this competition for the duration of this season and the club will be
sanctioned. Example: A player ﬁnishes their season in October, and observes the rest
period in Nov & Dec, they are eligible to be called up for senior soccer games in January.
9. Will this program be more expensive with it being 11-aside all season? After a ﬁnancial
review and the signiﬁcant reduction in the use of indoor facilities, the cost of the program is
close to identical to the existing two-season program. Note - This does not include the
ﬁnancial structure of each individual club.
10. Will clubs be required to train on a half a full-ﬁeld from January to April? No, clubs are
encouraged to use gyms during January & February for pre-season purposes. They will be
required to access more appropriate facilities in March, once the regular indoor season has
ﬁnished, and facilities become more accessible
11. How will my child be able to participate in school soccer? In the inaugural season, the
requirements of practice frequency is reduced during the school soccer season, and games
will be scheduled on weekends, to assist with conﬂict and allow players to participate in
12. Can we play for any club in the province? At this stage policy indicates players must play
within their district.
13. Why are we changing the existing structure? Canada Soccer are releasing a Player
Development Program (PDP) coast to coast, which is an accredited standards based
competition. These changes are to align ourselves with this program. Furthermore, at the
age of U15 & U17, we want our AAA athletes to play in a consistent environment where they are
playing 11-aside competition year round to assist with their development and
understanding of the game. U13 and U15 AA teams will be eligible to register for an 11-Aside Friday Night Cup during the 7-Aside season.
14. Why are the U13AA & U15AA divisions not going all year round? This decision was
made, with a combination of reasons. Players who typically participate in these age groups
are still at a development stage where we encourage the participation of experiencing
15. Can any club enter this competition? Any club can participate but the standard to
participate in the competition, requires a club to be participating in Canada Soccer Club
Licence PTSO Level 1 & meet the grandfathered standards of Canada Soccer’s PDP as
outlined by Soccer Nova Scotia.
16. Who is participating in year one?
All existing U15/U17AAA teams including PEI are eligible for 2020.
Unanimously supported by Development Committee, supported by Canada Soccer, approved by NSSL, supported by the Referee committee.
This was presented to other operational committees as per decision making process
Secondary meeting with existing AAA/AA Clubs took place