The following is some general information about the workings of our club. Hopefully it answers any questions you may have. If not, feel free to contact any board member.
- How is youth soccer organized in Saskatoon?
- When do you move up to the next age group?
- Who is the Aurora Soccer Club?
- What is tiering?
- How many divisions are there?
- How are players placed in divisions?
- How are teams formed?
- How are coaches selected?
- Final thoughts
Saskatoon Youth Soccer Inc. (SYSI) is the overseeing body for all mini and youth soccer in Saskatoon. SYSI looks after scheduling of games, organizing referees as well as all other matters of an administrative nature on a city wide basis.
Mini soccer includes all ages up to and including the Under 10 age group. Community associations are responsible for organizing mini soccer within their neighborhood. Each community association sets policies and objectives for soccer and looks after forming teams, finding coaches and outfitting them with uniforms and equipment.
Youth soccer includes all age groups from Under 11 to Under 18. Detailed organization of youth soccer is the responsibility of five zones in the city. Generally, zoning means that youth players must play in the zone in which they live.
Players who have played in the same age group for two years and are due to move to the next age group do so in the fall at the start of the indoor season.
The Aurora Soccer Club (ASC) was formed in 1997 when Saskatoon Youth Soccer Inc. (SYSI) adopted the zoning policy. Aurora is the governing organization for youth soccer in Zone 3, which consists of the area east of Circle Drive, North of 8th Street and west of McKercher Drive. Our mandate is to promote and assist the development and enjoyment of soccer for youth in our zone. We also strive to develop the concepts of fair play, teamwork, competitive sportsmanship, ethical behavior and good fellowship among all those involved in our sport.
Our organization is operated by volunteers according to the bylaws of the ASC and our Policies and Procedures Manual. We form standing committees at the beginning of each year and these committees make recommendations to the board. Currently, the following committees are in place:
- Coach recruitment and selection
- Team Formation, Player Placement and Player Transfer
- Policies & Procedures
- Club Identity
- Long Range Planning
You do not need to be a member of the Board to serve on these committees. Please call one of the Board members if a committee is of interest to you.
Youth soccer in Saskatoon is divided into four divisions in each age group - Premier Division and Divisions 2, 3 and 4. SYSI encourages each Zone to field at least one team in each age group, division and gender. Generally, the highest level of skilled competition occurs in the Premier Division, but teams in all divisions play the same number of games. The number of practices and tournaments is determined by each team’s coaches, players and parents. The number of tournaments attended and whether travel is necessary will determine the financial and time commitment required. Often, but not always, Premier Division teams will demand a higher time and financial commitment than Division 2, 3 and 4 teams.
For players (and their parents) who are just moving from mini to youth soccer, tiering is something new. The objective of this process is to ensure that players are placed on teams with others of a similar skill level. They will then play games against similarly skilled opposition. This allows everyone to be a valuable and contributing member of the team and allows for the most enjoyable soccer experience. When teams consist of players with a wide variety of skill levels it is often the case that many become frustrated or feel unhappy with their own or their teammates’ performance.
It is occasionally suggested that we disregard tiering and allow everyone to play with their friends. However, through this process the kids are given the opportunity to meet a number of new friends and develop greater social skills. As they grow and mature their circle of friends will expand to include not just those who live on their own street or in their own community but others in neighboring communities as well. More importantly, though, tiering allows for the greatest degree of skill development. One of our primary objectives is to develop soccer skills among youth in the zone and tiering is an important tool in accomplishing that.
A number of changes have been made to soccer in Saskatoon since the start of the 2004-2005 indoor season. The latest changes were being implemented beginning with the start of the 2008 outdoor season. These changes include:
- there are still four divisions. They have been renamed to the Premier division, Division 2, Division 3 and Division 4.
Dividing players into divisions is heavily dependent upon the number of players registered in each age group and gender. Once we know how many registered players there are, a decision is made as to how many teams can be formed. That determines how many players need to be placed in each division in that season.
Players are evaluated several times during their association with ASC in order to be placed in an appropriate division for their skill level. At the beginning of each season (both indoor and outdoor) they are asked to take part in an evaluation process. This is organized by an evaluation coordinator who schedules sessions in which coach-evaluators are asked to rate players based on individual and team skills. (We ask that parents do not take part in the evaluation process when their own children are involved.) In addition, at the end of each season coaches are asked to provide an evaluation of all the players on his/her team. This information is accumulated and kept on file.
Premier Division teams are formed by selecting those players possessing the best combination of soccer skills including ball handling, passing, trapping, shooting, athletic ability, speed and endurance. Premier Division players will also possess superior team skills including work ethic, commitment and a positive attitude toward peers, coaches, officials and parents. They are formed by selecting the best combination of forwards, midfielders, defenders and a keeper.
Teams in Division 2, 3 and 4 are selected by draft. Before the draft begins, coaches who have coached in the previous season with our club are able to protect some of the players that have played for him/her in the last season. In that way we try to keep at least some players together from year to year.
Once the draft process is complete movement of players between teams is still a possibility. However, it must be approved by the team formation, player placement and player transfer committee.
Coaches are an integral part of our soccer community. We ask that all those interested in coaching apply for a coaching position each season, either at registration night or by contacting a member of our Coach Recruitment And Selection Committee. Coaches are selected and assigned to teams after consideration of a number of factors, including experience, training and players’ previous evaluations. Near the end of each season players are asked to complete an anonymous evaluation of their coach.
All coaches are required to obtain certification and we reimburse the cost of certification courses they attend.
Indoor soccer and outdoor soccer are two very different games. A player may be placed in Division 2 for the indoor season, but in Division 3 for the outdoor season, or vice versa. If a player is a junior in the age group, it is possible that he/she will play in a lower division than when a senior in the age group.
For the indoor season we endeavor to provide one hour of practice time per week to each team. Coaches may decide to practice more often but in that case it up to the coach to find a practice location.
Our club is run by volunteers who strive to do the best they can for youth soccer in Zone 3. However, we know our system is not perfect and we welcome your suggestions for improvement. Please contact us:
If you have constructive ideas or suggestions, please give us a call!!