Club Licensing

On July 31, 2019, Canada Soccer announced the first group of successful applicants for the National Youth Club License. Across Canada, 39 clubs were successful in achieving a Provisional license, including the following 7 clubs in Alberta:

Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program – Executive Summary

The Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program is designed to guide member organizations throughout the country toward best principles for organizational development both on and off the field. Member organizations play an essential role in the development of players, coaches, and officials and provide both the daily playing environment and primary contact for participants. By raising the standards of member organizations, both the daily playing environment and participant experience are enhanced; thereby improving the overall soccer system in Canada.

In developing the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program, the underlying philosophy is to take “high standards” to “best principles”. Many Provincial/Territorial Soccer Organizations (PTSOs) have existing charters or standards-based programs, which provided a guide for the development of the national standards. By consolidating these programs along with those of Canada Soccer’s governing bodies, CONCACAF and FIFA, it is envisioned that the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program is vertically aligned (from FIFA through the PTSOs) and integrates best principles from several sources to create a standard that is both high quality and recognizes the unique Canadian soccer landscape.

The primary goals of the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program are to:
  • Set clearly defined standards and expectations for member organizations;
  • Recognize excellence in the soccer community;
  • Raise the level of all soccer organizations throughout Canada; and,
  • Drive change in the soccer system.

To achieve these goals, the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program takes a principles-based approach. Principles provide direction but not detailed prescription, allowing organizations to develop and select the methods by which they will operate based on their available resources and unique situation and context.

The principles of the Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program are grounded in the values being established for the Canadian soccer community to guide the behaviour of all organizations and can be utilized to inform choices, establish impacts, and drive outcomes. The Canada Soccer Club Licensing Program Principles are as follows:

  1. Prioritize Fun
  2. Emphasize Physical, Mental, and Emotional Safety
  3. Provide Developmentally-Appropriate, High Quality Programs
  4. Maximize Attraction, Holistic Personal Development, Progression, and Long-Term Engagement
  5. Focus on Participant-Centred Decision Making
  6. Foster Accessible, Inclusive, and Welcome Environments
  7. Act as a Good Corporate and Community Citizen

After the announcement of the successful Alberta applicants, Alberta Soccer, the clubs, and their associated Districts began working on the implementation of a National Youth Club Licensed competition, scheduled to launch in the Spring of 2020. The competition will create a “best-on-best” Canada Soccer-aligned competition in our province.

The 2020 competition (limited to clubs who achieve their National Youth Club License status prior to October 31, 2019), will begin play in April 2020 and launch with a single age group (U14) for both genders. Alberta Soccer has opted to launch one age group per year, until we complete the implementation of all age groups in 2023. Each year, a new U14 group will be introduced to the league as the previous U14 group advances to the next age category.

The competition will be “periodized” across a full calendar year, allowing for:

  • scheduled breaks throughout the year to avoid training overload,
  • games to be scheduled with adequate intervals between them, and
  • planning and recovery time for clubs, coaches, players, and families.

Alberta Soccer’s stakeholder group has also begun identifying the framework for player movement between Licensed and District clubs and will now begin work on the operational details (competition timeframes, schedules, player intake and registration processes) to ensure we are prepared for a successful delivery of the National Youth Club Licensed competition.

Additional details about the Competition will be released as they are finalized.

Any questions regarding this may be emailed to the Alberta Soccer Technical Director