FAQ

How can my organization join SAAC?

For information on joining SAAC, please visit our Membership Inquiries page.

How do I get my child into one of your programs? How much do they cost?

SAAC provides contact information for all its members on the website. Click here to see a list of our members, or use the map below to select the best fit for your child.

Costs will very depending on the Academy. Some groups charge a flat rate for the year that includes all programs. Others charge a lower base rate and then offer additional program options throughout the year. All Academies provide opportunities for no-obligation trials. Click here for more information on the typical Academy cost structure.

What is the difference between my Community Club and an Academy?

The primary difference is skills excellence. The mandate of a community Club is to provide services to accommodate the entire soccer community. The are expected to provide programs for all levels of ability and are accountable to the entire soccer community. They are typically driven by a volunteer board members made up of well-intentioned but generally inexperienced parent volunteers.

At the competitive level clubs enter their teams in the Pyramid of Play. This system is structured upon team progression versus player progression. Although the team progression provides a clear delineation of different levels of play based on age, it does not mandate a requirement for a club or team to enter the highest levels of play. As long as a team wins, they are eligible to advance. Coaching qualifications and technical programs are not subject to any mandatory evaluations as one progresses up the Pyramid.

The SAAC Academy system has been developed as an alternative to the Club’s top level Pyramid of Play. The entire SAAC Membership are driven by qualified, Certified (FIFA, Canada, USA, etc.) Academy directors & technical staff where their focus is on the player who have a desire for skills and are committed to participating in high performance programs. The SAAC system is player-focused rather than team-focused, where the needs and development of the individual player are put above those of the team. In order to field a team in this program, Academies must meet strict requirements. Beyond their commitment to field a competitive team, they must also produce a player development plan that incorporates the standards set out by SAAC for coaching, training and physical well-being.

SAAC is the first organizations that have publicly supported the recent Long-Term Player Development Plan issue by the Canada Soccer. Click here for an overview

My local club offers an ‘Academy’ program, how does it compare with SAAC programs?

The use of the term ‘Academy’ has become so widespread that it invariably leads to confusion among parents and players. The purpose of SAAC was to try and bring back some accountability into the word ‘Academy’ by providing the customer a basis on which to evaluate their options.

We cannot speak to the quality of programs offered outside of SAAC. Some will be very good, while others may not live up to expectations. What SAAC can do is provide the customer with the assurance that if they choose a SAAC Academy, they can expect the level of service to comply with the Standards laid out by our association.

Is SAAC affiliated with the Ontario Soccer Association?

Soccer Academy Alliance Canada has been an Associate Member of the Ontario Soccer Association since 2010. As of 2013, Ontario academies have the ability to become OS Recognized Academies (ORA).  As part of the ORA recognition provided through the OS, Academies are provided with some entitlements, including the use of sanctioned referees, the ability to play exhibition games against club teams and travel to selected tournaments.  The SAAC League is an Associate Member of Ontario Soccer for the 2019 Season. 

Do you provide supplemental training programs for club players?

SAAC understands that there are many players out there that are not looking to leave the community club system, but would still like to be exposed to additional training run by professional coaches.

Each member of SAAC provides some level of additional services beyond the teams programs. We encourage you contact any of our members you may be interested to see if they can provide the type of service you are looking for.

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