Ontario Soccer Association

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Ontario Soccer Association
Founded1901; 123 years ago (1901)
HeadquartersVaughan, Ontario, Canada
National affiliationCanadian Soccer Association
PresidentPeter Augruso[1]

The Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) is a Canadian soccer organization. Established in 1901, the OSA is one of the oldest sports organizations in Canada. The OSA is composed of over 350,000 players, as well as coaches, referees, and administrators.

Situated at The Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan, the OSA functions through its 18 member District Associations ("Districts"). District Association membership includes over 500 Youth Clubs and Senior Clubs across Ontario.[2]


The OSA has five types of members:

  1. Active Members (District Associations)
  2. Associate Members (Organizations operating in more than one District)
  3. Professional soccer clubs operating in an International Professional League
  4. Life Members (an individual granted Life Membership in accordance with published rules)
  5. Honorary Members (an organization granted Honorary Membership in accordance with published rules)

There are currently 21 Active Members, 14 Associate Members (including 11 Leagues) and 11 Life Members. There are no Professional Soccer Club Members and no Honorary Members. The current Members are listed below by category.

Ontario Soccer District Association Members (as of Jan 2023)[3]:

  • Durham Region Soccer Association
  • East Central Ontario Soccer Association
  • Eastern Ontario Soccer Association
  • Elgin Middlesex Soccer Association
  • Essex County Soccer Association
  • Greater North Soccer Association
  • Hamilton Soccer
  • Huronia District Soccer Association
  • Lambton Kent Soccer Association
  • Niagara Soccer Association
  • North York Soccer Association
  • Peel Halton Soccer Association
  • Sault Amateur Soccer Association
  • Scarborough Soccer Association
  • Greater North Soccer Association
  • Soccer Northwest
  • Southeast Ontario Soccer Association
  • Southwest Soccer
  • Toronto Soccer Association
  • York Region Soccer Association

Former District Associations

  • Sudbury Regional Soccer Association
  • Soccer Northeastern Ontario

Associate Members: Central Girls Soccer League, Central Soccer League, East Region Soccer League, North Region Soccer League, Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, Ontario Indoor Soccer League, Ontario Soccer League, Ontario Soccer Referees’ Association, Ontario University Athletics, Ontario Women's Soccer League, Ontario Youth Soccer League, South Region Soccer League, Western Ontario Youth Soccer League,

Life Members: Lois Brewer, Tom Doyle, Lewis Edwards, Jim Ellis, Edward Grenda, William Hoyle, Terence Kelly, George MacDonald, Alan Southard, Jack Strachan, Clive Wilkinson, Les Wilkinson


Committees: Discipline & Appeals Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Futsal Committee, Indoor Soccer Rules Review Committee, League Management Committee, Central Region League Management Committee, East Region League Management Committee, North Region League Management Committee, South Region League Management Committee, West Region League Management Committee, Ontario Cup Committee, Referee Development Committee, Staff Evaluation Committee, Technical Development Committee,

Task Forces: Task Force on Facilities Development, Task Force on Governance, Task Force on Harassment & Volunteer Screening,

Advisory Groups: Constitution Advisory Group, Medical Advisory Group

Ontario Outdoor Soccer League Types[edit]

District Recreation Leagues: District Recreational Leagues can be thought of as large scale house league environments.

Tier-Based Leagues: District or Regional Competitive leagues. Those leagues with a larger number of teams will provide Tier divisions based on promotion/relegation criteria each season, Tier 1 being the highest level of play within the District or Regional league.

Integrated Model (iModel): The Integrated Model is an Ontario Soccer approved pilot project for the central region introduced in 2023. Seasons are organized in Qualifying and Competitive phases of the outdoor calendar year.

Ontario Player Development League (OPDL): OPDL was introduced in 2014 as one of the province's first standards-based, youth high performance league that combines top level competition with strict high performance training standards. Teams must apply for an OPDL licenses.

Ontario Outdoor Soccer Leagues for U13 to U18 - Tier-Based Leagues - Summer 2023 (associations cited)[edit]

  • Durham Region Soccer League (Durham Region, East Central Region)
  • Eastern Ontario Soccer League (Eastern Ontario, Southeast Ontario - top teams promoted from SOSA)
  • Elgin Middlesex Soccer League (Elgin Middlesex)
  • Hamilton District Soccer League (Niagara, Hamilton & District)
  • Huronia District Soccer League (Huronia)
  • Peninsula Soccer League (Niagara)
  • Peel Halton Soccer League (Peel Halton)
  • Southeast Ontario Soccer League - SOSA (Southeast Ontario)
  • Southwest District Soccer League (Southwest)
  • Toronto Soccer League (North York, Scarborough, and Toronto Soccer)
  • Western Soccer League (Essex County, Elgin Middlesex, Lambton Kent, Southwest Region)
  • York Region Soccer League (York)

Ontario Outdoor Soccer Leagues for U13 to U18 iModel Leagues - Summer 2023 (associations cited)[edit]

Qualifying Leagues

  • Toronto Soccer League (Scarborough, Toronto Soccer, Durham Region)
  • York Region Soccer League (York)

Competitive League

  • iModel Central Region (Toronto Soccer League and York Region Qualifiers)

Ontario Cup[edit]

Beginning in 1901, with the exception of 14 years during the war, the Ontario Cup has been Ontario's most prestigious award. It has recently involved over 600 teams. The competition begins in May, and finishes with the Cup Finals in September to determine a championship team in each of the twenty two divisions: Under 12 Boys, Under 16 Boys Tier 2, Under 18 Boys, Under 12 Girls, Under 16 Girls, Under 13 Boys, Under 16 Boys Tier 1, Under 21 Men, Under 13 Girls, Under 17 Girls, Under 14 Boys, Under 17 Boys Tier 2, Men, Under 14 Girls, Under 18 Girls, Under 15 Boys Tier 2, Under 17 Boys Tier 1, Special Olympics, Under 15 Girls, Under 21 Women, Under 15 Boys Tier 1, Women

The Ontario Cup is open to any competitively registered team in Ontario. In the Ontario Cup, youth age divisions (Under 12 to Under 18) play in Tournament Rounds which lead to Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and the Cup Finals. The Under 21 Men's and Under 21 Women's play a Single-Game Knock-out Format leading to the Semi-Finals and Cup Finals on one weekend in August. The Men's, Women's and Special Olympics' divisions play a Single-Game Knock-out Format leading to the Cup Finals in September.

National Championships take place in four age levels, Under 14, Under 16, Under 18 and Senior Open. The Ontario Cup winners in those age divisions advance to the National Championships which are usually played on Thanksgiving weekend in various provinces across Canada.

Ontario Player Development League[edit]

Launched in 2014, the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) is the province's first standards-based, youth high performance league that combines top level competition with strict high performance training standards. This program is an important component of the overall movement to adopt the core principles of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) across soccer at large in Ontario and Canada.

Focusing on stages 4 (Train-To-Train) and 5 (Train-To-Compete) of the LTPD pathway, OPDL represents young players' early graduation to a genuine high performance training environment, targeting only the top athletes in the province from age groups U13 to U23 with what will be the highest level of competitive youth soccer in Ontario.

In order to participate, clubs must apply for a license and meet strict criteria that show themselves to be worthy of training and developing the province's best. Teams are not promoted or relegated from the OPDL. Entry is decided on by the quality of the club, not the results on the field, allowing coaches to focus purely on developing their players.

Festivals and Cups[edit]

OPDL Cup[edit]

The OPDL Cup is a competition for Male and Female OPDL athletes in U-15 to U-17 age groups in alignment with the Canadian Soccer Associations Long Term Player Development Model (LTPD). The competition is a chance provide Ontario Soccer staff an opportunity to observe and assess players and coaches out side a regular game environment.

Gary Miller Charity Shield[edit]

The Gary Miller Charity Shield is designed to highlight the achievements of OPDL teams in the U-14, U-15 and U-17 age groups. All proceeds collected from admission and auction are donated to Ontario charities. Since 2015 thousands of dollars have been raised and donated to charities all across Ontario.

OPDL Under-13 Boys Pre-Season 9v9 Festival[edit]

The OPDL Under-13 Boys Pre-Season 9v9 Festival's purpose is to prepare the OPDL coaches and players for the season with a high intensity format. This festival is also an opportunity to showcase players' talents to Ontario Soccer and Toronto FC Academy staff.

The following organizations are current or historical license holders:

Player Development Program[edit]

The selection process for Canada's National Teams relies heavily on the Provincial Player Development Programs. Many National players are first identified representing their Provinces at the annual U14 and U16 National All-Star Championships.

Provincial development in Ontario begins at the U13 age category via the Regional Development Program. Every September the Regional U13 boys and girls teams compete at the Provincial Identification Camp. The best players from this tournament are selected to progress to the U14 Provincial Development Program.

At U12 the District players are identified and brought into train with the Regional Staff as they prepare to compete each September / October at the District I.D. Tournament within their Region where they are scouted by the Regional Coaches.

At U13, Regional Coaches scout through the District I.D. process and through Club Head Coach recommendations, select and prepare Regional Squads to compete in the U13 Regional I.D. Camp held every September at the Soccer Centre. Provincial Coaches and Scouts select, based on technical and tactical skill, the best prospects for inclusion in the U14 Provincial Development Program. Development Squads of approximately fifty girls and boys are selected for further screening with this number being reduced to thirty in each group by November. The final group of players report to the Soccer Centre on a regular basis for training with the U14 Program training four times weekly from October through to May at which time the U14's return to their Club Programs. The U15 and U16 Programs also commence in October and like the U14's train four times weekly through to the end of April, after which they also return to their Club Programs.

The U14 and U16 Programs conduct a week-long training camp one week prior to the National All-Star Championships held at the end of July. It is at the All-Star Championships that the Canadian National Coaches scout for players.

Ontario Regional Excel (REX)[edit]

The Canadian Soccer Association partnered with Ontario Soccer, Own the Podium, Sport Canada, the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, and Bill Crothers Secondary School in Markham Ontario, to launch its Regional EXCEL (REX) program in January 2018. The REX Super Centres provide top youth female players with a centralized, daily training program to develop their skills for players from U14 to U18 as part of Canada Soccer's Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) program.[4]

Match Officials Development Program[edit]

The Match Officials Development Program of The Ontario Soccer Association has as its mission, "To prepare and certify Match Officials for the club, district, regional and provincial levels of the game". To this end, the training and support provided to leaders such as Club Head Referees, District Referee Coordinators, Instructors, and Evaluators is an ongoing activity intended to enable these leaders to assist with training and developing Match Officials in communities across the Province.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Soccer migrated all certification courses to an online format starting with the 2021 season. This format has several components:

  • Approximately 10 self-guided online modules;
  • A mandatory 2 hour webinar, led by the elite instructors of the province consisting of former FIFA, National and Provincial Match Officials;
  • Complete an open-book online exam, varying in length based on whether taking a Small-sided or Full field certification course;
  • Participate in a 4 hour practical on-field session, led by a Provincial Match Official Development Officer;
  • Complete a 30-minute "Signals" test after the on-field session.

Individuals who are 12 years of age or older, as of April 1 of the current registration year, are welcome to take the Small-Sided Match Official training course. At the conclusion of the course, Match Officials receive an Ontario Soccer badge and are certified to officiate small-sided (7v7) matches. All persons aged 14 and above, as of April 1 of the registration year, are encouraged to take the Entry Level (11v11) course.

Grading is based on a 1-12 scale, with new small-sided Match Officials beginning in levels 1-3 based on their age. Entry Level (full field) Match Officials begin their careers at Level 4, and are able to be used by both Clubs and Districts when assigning matches. After 1 full season, all Match Officials are automatically promoted to the next grade above, provided they meet the requirements of that grade.[5] A Match Official can then, through both physical and knowledge testing as well as performance assessments, elevate themselves to elevated grades and greater opportunities. The highest grade at the Provincial Level (Level 10) will allow a Match Official to be considered for Canadian Premier League assignments. Levels 11 and 12 are administered by Canada Soccer and FIFA, respectively.

Ontario Soccer began in 2022 a media campaign called "No Ref, No Game", reminding spectators, coaches and players that Match Officials give respect to them and expect it to be returned. According to comparative data, Match Official registration and retention was 40% of 2019 levels,[6] resulting in the deployment of a 1+1 system for District Recreational leagues which traditionally had 3 or 4 Match Officials assigned.[7]

The Soccer Centre[edit]

The Soccer Centre is Canada's leading competition, training, education, and exposition soccer facility. It features a 130,000-square-foot (12,000 m2) field house that can accommodate three indoor soccer fields or one full size 11-a-side game. It has two international size outdoor grass fields, one international size outdoor artificial turf field, a sports therapy clinic, a restaurant and lounge, and is located on a 25-acre (100,000 m2) parcel of land that is easily accessible from Ontario's major highways. Tenants include The Ontario Soccer Association, The Canadian Soccer Association, The Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum, and all of Ontario's Provincial Leagues.

FieldTurf Fields:

In the fall of 2003, The Soccer Centre opened up its new artificial turf outdoor field. The project not only involved the installation of FieldTurf, which is an artificial surface that feels and plays like natural grass, but also the installation of lights and two new change rooms. This new field will expand the outdoor playing season and eliminate the need to cancel games because of poor weather conditions. The project was the result of a collaboration between The Ontario Soccer Association, The Canadian Soccer Association, The Soccer Centre, and The City of Vaughan. The playing surface is 105 metres long by 68 metres wide.

In August 2015, the Ontario Soccer Association hosted a grand opening for the new Ontario Soccer Centre Stadium. The new outdoor facility has bleacher seating to accommodate up to 2000 spectators, and a FIFA 2-star quality turf (designation for professional-level soccer fields).[8] The new stadium is home to Toronto FC's USL team, Toronto FC II. . Along with the new stadium, the Ontario Soccer Centre also upgraded its indoor facility to have a FIFA 2-star quality turf.

Play Soccer[edit]

The Ontario Soccer Association launched Play Soccer Presented by Rogers in June 2006 to promote the sport of soccer from the grassroots level through to the professional arena.


  1. ^ Board of Directors on OSA website
  2. ^ www.https://www.ontariosoccer.net/
  3. ^ "Ontario Soccer Association Members as of Jan 2023".
  4. ^ "Ontario Regional Excel Super Centre".
  5. ^ "Match Officials Grading Protocol".
  6. ^ "Match Officials".
  7. ^ "Match Official Programs".
  8. ^ "Ontario Soccer Centre Stadium Grand Opening marks a new era for soccer in the province". Archived from the original on 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2016-03-24.

External links[edit]