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Ontario Player Development League OPDL
NTSC Frequently Asked OPDL Questions
Updated on January 8, 2015
What age groups will OPDL affect?
- The league started in 2014 with U13's only - the 2001 age group. Each year the league is adding one division: U14 (in 2015), U15, U16, U17 and finally U23.
- NTSC's highest level teams - 1994 to 2000 - will continue to play in the current league structure: OSL, OYSL, CGSL, CSL.
- Younger age groups will continue to play in TSA district leagues. One NTSC team per age group (and gender) will be entered into the OPDL when they reach U13; other NTSC U13 teams will play in the TSA (district) league, and U14 and older teams will play in either the regional leagues (CGSL, CSL) or the TSA league.
What are the dates for trials (tryouts), the start of training and league play? OPDL Teams
- Trials for NTSC's are held in the Fall. OPDL teams start training in mid-January as per league guidelines.
- The league operates between early May and the first weekend of November 2015.
- Trial dates for the 2016 season will be announced in September 2015.
Who is eligible to try out for NTSC's OPDL teams?
- Unlike all other OSA-sanctioned youth rep leagues, there are no geographic boundaries for OPDL teams.
- Open trials (tryouts) are mandatory for OPDL teams..
- In 2015, the U13 divisions are primarily for players born in 2001, and the U14 divisions for players born in 2002. A player born one year earlier is eligible to try out and may be selected if the club determines that playing up one year would be in the best interest of the player's development.
- Not eligible in 2015: players born in 2004 or later, and players born in 2000 or earlier.
- Following the trial process, the most skilled and dedicated players will be selected regardless of residency or affiliation.
Which teams are in the league and where will games be played?
- There are 16 license holders for 2015. The league has 2 divisions, East and West. NTSC teams will play in the East division.
- The other 7 teams in the East Division are: Unionville-Milliken, Markham, Pickering, Whitby Iriquois, Nepean Hotspurs, West Ottawa and Ottawa South. Against these 7 teams, NTSC teams will play one home game and one away game.
- The teams in the West Division are: Richmond Hill, Aurora, Kleinburg-Nobleton, Glen Shields, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Burlington, and Hamilton United. Games vs. West Division teams will be played at central venues.
- Assembling teams at central venues on 8 game days makes it possible to expose OPDL players on a regular basis to OSA and OPDL technical staff, and scouts from the provincial and national teams and (in later years) from Canadian and U.S. university and college programs.
What is the schedule and time commitment?
- OPDL teams operate between mid-January and early November.
- There is intensive indoor pre-season training between mid-January and late April, and pre-season outdoor training during April.
- The season consists of 22 league games, played primarily on Saturdays, except on holiday weekends and a 2-week break around the August holiday weekend.
- During the season there are at least 3 weekly practices.
- A break of 7-8 weeks will be scheduled between early November and early January.
How will the OPDL affect multi-sport athletes?
- NTSC promotes multi-sport participation as a means to develop an all-round athlete. However, should a player be selected and choose to play at the OPDL level, the time commitment mandates that their OPDL team must be their first sports priority.
If a player does not wish to become soccer-dedicated at U13 could he or she make the choice later?
- Yes, open tryouts will be held every year for each team. Team head coaches will continue to track the development of all club players in their age group.
- Should a player be capable of meeting the OPDL standard and want to make the extra commitment later in their career, the opportunity will be available.
If a player does not get selected or chooses not to play for the OPDL team, what other options will they have?
- NTSC will continue to enter teams into district leagues and (U14 and older) regional leagues, and will fully support these teams.
- Ideally, each age group will field 2 or 3 tiered rep teams.
What are the estimated player fees for NTSC's OPDL teams in 2014?
- The 2014 fee was $4,200.The league fee alone was $9,000 per team.
- All organizations applying to the OPDL were required to have in place and commit to maintaining high technical, facility and organizational standards including:
- Technical staff for OPDL teams: a National-level team head coach, an assistant coach with Provincial certification, twice-weekly goalkeeping coaching, strength and conditioning coaching, sports medicine personnel and programs
- Club technical leadership: a National-level Technical Director
- A comprehensive ongoing program of coach training and development
- First-quality year-round indoor and outdoor training facilities
- Full-time qualified administrative and support staff
- Annual audited financial statements and other standards of governance and organization
- For 2015, the League Fee has not yet been published. Depending on the league schedule and travel costs, the estimated annual cost per NTSC player is expected to be over $4,000 for 10 1/2 months of activities; indoor training and the outdoor season.
- Fundraising and sponsorship initiatives are expected to cover a portion of the OPDL team travel costs.
- OSA bursaries will be available to provide partial assistance to a limited number of players.
- As in all of its youth soccer programs, NTSC will provide payment programs and some financial assistance to players whose families are unable to pay the full fee.
What changes are being implemented at NTSC in order to participate in OPDL?
- No major changes are required as NTSC has been putting in place over the past few years all of the components needed to participate in a high-level competitive league, based on the principles and experience of the FA and other jurisdictions as adapted to the Toronto environment.
- Highly-qualified coaching staff including 9 NTSC coaches who have Canadian National level or equivalent UEFA licenses, including staff coaches who qualified under the auspices of NTSC and others already qualified when joining NTSC during the past several years.
- Strength and conditioning coaches and locally-based sports medicine professionals who have worked with NTSC teams since 2012, goalkeeping coaches who have experience with NTSC players.
- A portfolio of indoor and outdoor facilities that has been developed and expanded over several years, supplemented with additional time to support the rigorous OPDL training schedule without negatively impacting other NTSC programs.
- Several years of unqualified audited financial statements and appropriate financial ratios (debt ratio and current ratio) which provide assurance that the organization can financially sustain its commitment to OPDL.
- An organizational structure that can support all club programs.
- Fees for OPDL teams will include all costs directly related to OPDL teams - including Team Head Coach, Assistant Coach, other coaching costs and facility costs - and the team's share of technical and administrative overhead.
- Fees for all other NTSC programs - development, competitive (other than OPDL) and recreational programs will not be increased to support the OPDL teams.
- Club resources - technical, facilities, financial, administrative - used to support other club programs will not be reduced and will in fact continue to be expanded.
Other questions? Please contact OPDL@ntsoccer.com