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Ontario Player Development League OPDL

Frequently Asked OPDL Questions  

Updated in January 2017

What age groups play in OPDL?

  • 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 (in 2016), U16/U17 (in 2017).
  • NTSC's highest level teams, 16 and older to 2000 - will continue to play in the CSL, OYSL, OWSL, OSL and League1 Ontario (mens).
  • 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 league  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 late October..
  • Trial dates for the 2018 season will be announced in September 2017.  

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 2017, the U13 divisions are primarily for players born in 2004, the U14 divisions for players born in 2003, and U15 divisions for players born in 2002, and U16/17 for players born in 2001 and 2000. 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.  
  • 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?

  • Schedule pending as at January 22

What is the schedule and time commitment?

  • OPDL teams operate between mid-January and late October
  • There is intensive indoor pre-season training between mid-January and early April, and pre-season outdoor training during April.
  • The season consists of 20 league games, except on holiday weekends and a 2-week summer break.
    • During the season there are at least 3, usually 4 weekly practices.
    • A break of 7 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 2017?

Costs

  • The club fee is expected to be between $4,590 and $4,890 for teams not in indoor Futsal leagues.
  • 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
  • In 2017, the League Fee is $6,200.
  • 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 10 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