Development/Competitive Parent FAQ's

                   (click on question to link to answer)

 1.   I am not sure my child is good enough; should they try out?

 2.   In what leagues do North Toronto teams compete?

 3.   What development/competitive programs are available for a player my child’s age?

 4.   Who will be providing instruction?

 5.   Where do North Toronto development/competitive teams train?

 6.   What is the commitment for development/competitive soccer?

 7.   Why is commitment considered so important?

 8.   What happens if my child does not fulfill their commitment?

 9.   What is the club’s vacation policy?

10.  What are the consequences of taking more summer vacation without Club approval?

11.  What is the policy for playing time?

12.  My coach is not following the club’s playing time policy. What should I do?

13.  Should my child be playing every position on the pitch?

14.  What can I do if my child is not playing in certain positions?

15.  Why are volunteer coaches running some of the practices and the games?

16.  My coach is supposed to be there but is not turning up.

17.  What feedback can I expect on my child’s performance?

18.  My child has not been offered a place on the team I think they should be on, what can I do?

19.  I don’t like the way my child is being treated but I don’t want to speak to the coach directly; what can I do?

20.  It’s August already, why can’t I get the winter schedule?

21.  This is North Toronto Soccer club; why aren’t all our practices in North Toronto?


1.   I am not sure my child is good enough; should they try out? 

  • The NTSC development program aims to provide a place for all to play.
  • The technical staff will recommend a program that is best for your player at this stage of their development.  

2.    In what leagues do North Toronto teams compete?

Indoor - Development Program

  • U9-U12 play in the GTISL League, the games are played out of Central Tech, Monarch Park and Mississauga Stadium.
  • U8 do not have a league; they train 3x a week.

Outdoor - Development Program

  • U8 will enter into festivals in the TSA region (roughly 8-10 festivals throughout the summer).
  • U9-U12 play in the TSA League and travel to other teams for away games.

High Performance/Soccer for Life/Competitive Program

  • The club aims to offer playing opportunities at every level of competition. In 2019, North Toronto SC will play in these leagues:
    • Provincial Leagues: U13-U16 in the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL),and  U21 in the Ontario Women's Soccer League (OWSL).
    • Regional Leagues (U13 and up in 2019: Central Soccer Leagues (CSL).
    • U13 and up, Toronto District Youth Soccer League (TDYSL).
  • Our ability to offer a team in every league level is dependent on interest from our members and the skill level of players interested.  

Select Program

  • Do not have a league; they train 2x a week
  • These teams play in several festivals and exhibition matches throughout the summer

3.  What development/competitive programs are available for a player my child’s age?

Development Soccer Program

  • Begins at U8
  • Continues after U13 for those not entering the High Performance Soccer Program
  • Train for 10 months a year
  • Play in summer and winter leagues

High Performance/Soccer for Life/Competitive Program

  • Begins at U13
  • Full-time commitment to soccer for 10 months a year
  • Players play in the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL), CSL or TDYSL 
  • Train year-round with professional coaches  

Select Program

  • U9-U14
  • Open try-outs in Fall
  • Season runs October-September (off July/August)
  • Commitment level less than full competitive program (2 practices a week)
  • Does not enter a league.  Tournament and exhibition play

4.    Who will be providing instruction? 

Development Programs

  • The coaching in the Development Program is provided by professional coaches who specialize in youth skill development.
  • In the younger age group teams, the professional coaches are supported by volunteer coaches to help with training and provide guidance at game time. The volunteer coaches receive coaching accreditation from Ontario Soccer. (NTSC supports parents and other volunteers who are willing to invest their time to take the Ontario Soccer courses that are offered).  

High Performance/Soccer for Life/Competitive Program

  • The coaching in the High Performance/ Soccer for Life Competitive Program is provided by professional coaches who specialize in the the technical and tactical development of youth players.
  • In the High Performance program, all head coaches have National Licences and are bringing years of experience to their coaching.
  • In the Soccer for Life/Competitive program, all head coaches are certified and bring years of experience to their coaching.

Select Program

  • The coaching in the Development Program is provided by professional coaches focused on youth skill development.

5.    Where do North Toronto development/competitive teams train?

Indoor - Development Program

  • Indoor facilities include - Downsview Hangar and Dome, Toronto SoccerPlex.

Outdoor - Development Program

  • Outdoors on turf and grass fields in the North Toronto area, and surrounding North York region.  

High Performance/Soccer for Life/Competitive Program

  • Indoor facilities - Downsview Hangar and Dome, Toronto SoccerPlex and local school gyms. 
  • Outdoors on turf and grass fields in the North Toronto area, and surrounding North York region.  

Select Program

  • Indoor facilities include - Upper Canada College (Dome), Central Technical Stadium (Dome), and local school gyms
  • Outdoors on turf and grass fields in the North Toronto area, and surrounding North York region.

6.    What is the commitment for development/competitive soccer?

SUMMER commitment             

  • Commitment in the summer is of primary importance.
  • Players are expected to attend EVERY practice and game. (There are no consequences for missed sessions other than missing out on a chance to practice and develop. We recognize that there will be absences due to vacations and other commitments although there will be no fee adjustment for any missed time.)
  • May miss occasional practices for school and family events or because of injury but notification MUST given to head coach.
  • Maximum TWO weeks vacation over the summer (see point 9. for the one exception). (There are no consequences for missed sessions other than missing out on a chance to practice and develop. We recognize that there will be absences due to vacations and other commitments although there will be no fee adjustment for any missed time.)
  • The number of practices and games will vary from team to team.

WINTER Commitment

  • Development Program (U8-U12)
    • Players must attend TWO events per week (3 practice, 1 game)
  • High Performance / Competitive (U13+)
    • Players must attend TWO events per week (3 practice, 1 game)
  • Select Program
    • There are no consequences for missed sessions other than missing out on an opportunity to practice and develop. We recognize that there will be absences due to vacations and other commitments although there will be no fee adjustment for any missed time.

7.    Why is commitment considered so important?

  • North Toronto’s Development, High Performance/ Competitive, Select program employs a development methodology, for which commitment to training is a key component. Players will not develop as quickly as they could without the time with the ball and technical attention required. Without a commitment to training, players do not develop at the same rate as the rest of the team members who show commitment to training.  

8.    What happens if my child does not fulfill their commitment?

  • They could be moved to an alternative program that is suitable to their commitment levels.
  • At U13+ playing time can be impacted as a result of poor commitment to training. 

9.    What is the club’s vacation policy?

  • Development/Competitive players are allowed TWO weeks vacation in the summer.
  • If you attend the NTSC Summer Academy with your team, you may take ONE additional week’s vacation.
  • There will be ONE blackout week for U8-U17 where players do not practice or have games (2 weeks for OPDL). Dates will vary depending on age group.
  • It is preferable if this time is not taken all at once as that can be hard on players to leave for an extended time while their teammates are continuing to train.  

10. What are the consequences of taking more summer vacation without Club approval?

  • They could be moved to an alternative program that is suitable to their commitment levels.
  • Soccer is principally a summer sport and families taking lengthy vacations should consider the Select program.

11. What is the policy for playing time?

   The policy changes as your child moves through the program

Grassroots Development Program (U8-U12): Equal Playing time

  • All players have the right to equal time on the pitch as long as they are committing to the program.
  • The time might be equal across several games rather than in each game.

Competitive & High Performance (U13 and up): Fair Playing time

  • Players showing the best commitment and effort in practice may be given more playing time, and vice versa.
  • Players relative ability should NOT result in less playing time, only their effort and attendance.
  • Playing time might be equal across several games rather than in each game.

12. My coach is not following the club’s playing time policy. What should I do?

  • First, consider the following:
    • Coaches can only sub on their throw-ins, goal kicks and after a goal. Sometimes there just isn’t the opportunity to get your child on the pitch at the time that the coach intended to make a substitution.
    • Bear in mind that the playing time should be equal across the season not necessarily in every game.
    • Depending on the number of players at the game sometimes the math just does not work out for every player to receive exactly the same number of playing minutes. Some players might receive a bit more as a result.
    • Sometimes there is an issue with the player – not feeling well, acting up on the bench, and playing time was not deemed the right thing for the player at that time.
    • For older age groups (U13 and up):
      • Has your child been attending all practices?
      • Has your child been working hard and showing a positive attitude?
      • Have you recently returned from a vacation or injury? It is often risky to throw children straight into a game without practicing first.
  • If on consideration you feel the policy is not being followed:
    • Speak to your age group head coach, team head coach and/or manager about the issue.
    • If this does not bring satisfaction, speak to the relevant person; Grassroots Development Manager, Tom Waud; High Performance Manager, Marc Maunder; Soccer for Life Manager Hermann Kingue; Select Coordinator, Nicolas Hurtado.

13. Should my child be playing every position on the pitch?

Grassroots Development Program (U8-U12)

  • Yes your child should be playing every position including goalkeeper.

OPDL and Soccer For Life Program (U13 and up)

  • By this stage players will likely be specialized in one, if Goalkeeper, otherwise two positions.

14. What can I do if my child is not playing in certain positions?

Grassroots Development Program (U8-U12)

  • The policy should be followed and coaches need time to respond;
    • Speak to your team head coach about your concerns sooner rather than later.  
    • If the problem continues, speak to your age group head coach.  
    • If the problem continues, speak to Grassroots Manager Tom Waud

Soccer for Life & High Performance (U13-U21)

  • You are not guaranteed your child will play all positions at this age.
  • You may speak to your coach who should explain his/her thinking about your child’s suitability to different positions.

15. Why are volunteer coaches running some of the practices and the games? 

  • We are a community club not an academy and rely on volunteers to support our programs.
    •  The Grassroots Development Program (U8-U12) program promises:
      • All practices run by professional staff.
      • A technical staff coach will be at games.
      • Volunteer coaches assist technical staff at some practices and games and potentially run some games when there are league conflicts.

16. My coach is supposed to be there but is not turning up. 

  • If you are sure that your coach should be there and is not fulfilling the club’s commitment, then speak to your manager and ask him or her to contact the Technical Director Billy Wilson. (refer to 15. first)  

17. What feedback can I expect on my child’s performance?

  • Parents can request feedback and are to contact the head coach of the age group if they require specific feedback.

18. My child has not been offered a place on the team I think they should be on, what can I do?

  • Give yourself 24 hours to process and calm down
  • Consider the following:
    • Selection decisions are all made to put players in the best environment for their development.
    • Practicing and playing in an environment where your child can experience a lot of success is beneficial when developing fundamental skills.
    • Conversely, practicing in an environment where the child struggles to succeed can result in poor development – if step-over never works, will they keep trying?
    • In a lower tier your child will have the opportunity to be a dominant player and develop leadership skills.
    • It is desperately hard to see your child disappointed but set-backs are character-building and opportunities to learn important life skills.
    • A new team will mean new friends for your child.
    • A new team can be liberating rather than desperately trying to hold on to a place on a higher tier team.
  • Once you have had time to process, speak to the technical staff member who made the decision;
    • Ask for their rationale.
    • Identify areas for improvement.
    • Ask them to speak to your child directly, if you think that would help.
    • Ask for information about additional training, if you are interested.
  • Think about how the situation might benefit your child and speak to them about it to figure out your best response as a family.
  • If after engaging in this process you are still not satisfied you may speak to our Grassroots Development Manager, Tom Waud; High Performance Manager, Marc Maunder; Soccer For Life, Hermann Kingue. The final step if still unresolved is to speak with our Technical Director

19. I don’t like the way my child is being treated but I don’t want to speak to the coach directly; what can I do? 

  • Speaking to the coach directly is usually the best option so try that route first if you can.
  • If you are really uncomfortable with that, speak with your team manager.
  • If it is a volunteer coach in the younger age groups, then you could also speak to the age group head coach.
  • If none of these options work things out, then contact the relevant person; Grassroots Development Manager, Tom Waud; OPDL Manager, Marc Maunder; Soccer For Life, Hermann Kingue; Select Coordinator, Nicolas Hurtado. The final step if still unresolved is to speak with our Technical Director.

20.  It’s August already, why can’t I get the winter schedule? 

  • Unlike hockey, the winter soccer program is dependent on school facilities to run;
    • Permits for these facilities are not issued until early September.
    • The club is gradually accumulating access to private facilities for the winter program, but there is limited availability and they are MUCH more expensive.

21. This is North Toronto Soccer club; why aren’t all our practices in North Toronto?

  • Good fields are limited in our area and there are many sports organizations vying for access, but the situation is improving as North Toronto is committed to working with the community, school boards and City to help improve the field situation in Toronto
      1. Our collaborations with TDSB at Deer Park and Northern Secondary have given us access to local turf fields and have been well received by the schools.
      2. We are working on other projects with schools in the area that result in more fields witin the North Toronto community.
      3. NTSC also accommodates our recreational players each week through the spring and summer.
    1. Real estate prices make the purchase of our own facility unfeasible at this time but we are open for donations or proposals on creative ways to make it feasible.