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New Canadian D3 Regional Semi-Pro League Circuit


CDNFootballer

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So we have League 1 Ontario & Quebec's PLSQ so far in the creation of this new Canadian D3 semi-pro set of Canadian league's. A BC League is rumoured to be in the works and possibly starting in 2016.This set of league's will be similar in its setup apparently to the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) that is the umbrella group of the WHL, OHL, and the QMJHL.

 

I know the Provincial associations are supposed to set up each of their semi-pro league's but is the CSA plan to create and run an umbrella group (ie : League 1 Canada) ala the CHL that will basically run the Canadian D3 Cup Championship consisting of each provincial league's champion? What other tasks would a CSA "League 1 Canada" perform in addition to organizing the National Cup tournament?

 

I'm not sure exactly if the junior hockey equivalent CHL only organizes the Cup tournament or is also involved in pushing standards or has any other input for the junior league's.

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Instead of a specific cup competition, I think a logical next step is to introduce the champions of these leagues into the Voyageurs Cup. For example, the winners of L1O and the Quebec Premier League can play each other in an early round, with the winner getting the lower ranked NASL club. Once western leagues get going, perhaps div 3 champions there can play the Eddies, while Quebec or Ontario div 3 champs would play Fury (keeping it regional with the intent of reducing travel costs).

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Quick question: Are these regional D3 leagues operating under the same set of standards/criteria for entry? In other words, have formal "Division 3" standards been agreed to and established by the CSA/provinces?

 

I ask because if the answer is no, then doesn't that mean that presumably teams from one regional league would be of a higher standard/ability than others? If so, what's the point of having a "champions-cup" competition or even loose affiliation between these leagues as a "Canadian D3" if they're not on the same level?

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So we have League 1 Ontario & Quebec's PLSQ so far in the creation of this new Canadian D3 semi-pro set of Canadian league's. A BC League is rumoured to be in the works and possibly starting in 2016.This set of league's will be similar in its setup apparently to the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) that is the umbrella group of the WHL, OHL, and the QMJHL.

 

Is PLSQ actually following the youth-orientated model that L1O has adopted? I have seen no evidence of that, although admittedly my French language skills are less than stellar so I may have missed it. What has happened so far is that the CSA has handed over responsibility for semi-pro D3 to the provinces. That means you can't compare this directly to the CHL where there is a regional three-way split with an entry draft that sends student athletes from the larger population centres out to smaller towns and cities where people will pay to watch them play to an extent that subsidizes the whole operation. What will probably happen instead in the absence of an entry draft mechanism, is that Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver will have local semi-pro leagues, because that's where about half of the population is concentrated in a way that minimizes travel distances, with not much happening over most of the rest Canada's populated landmass.

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Quick question: Are these regional D3 leagues operating under the same set of standards/criteria for entry? In other words, have formal "Division 3" standards been agreed to and established by the CSA/provinces?

 

I ask because if the answer is no, then doesn't that mean that presumably teams from one regional league would be of a higher standard/ability than others? If so, what's the point of having a "champions-cup" competition or even loose affiliation between these leagues as a "Canadian D3" if they're not on the same level?

Think the standards will be quite similar but each provincial association is creating their own. I thought the CSA had been somewhat involved, possibly as advisors, in the OSA's D3 standards.

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Is PLSQ actually following the youth-orientated model that L1O has adopted? I have seen no evidence of that, although admittedly my French language skills are less than stellar so I may have missed it. What has happened so far is that the CSA has handed over responsibility for semi-pro D3 to the provinces. That means you can't compare this directly to the CHL where there is a regional three-way split with an entry draft that sends student athletes from the larger population centres out to smaller towns and cities where people will pay to watch them play to an extent that subsidizes the whole operation. What will probably happen instead in the absence of an entry draft mechanism, is that Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver will have local semi-pro leagues, because that's where about half of the population is concentrated in a way that minimizes travel distances, with not much happening over most of the rest Canada's populated landmass.

L1 Ontario's model is not necessarily youth oriented in fact. Only 4 of the starting 11 need to be U23 players and a majority of the roster can be over 23 years of age.

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So why place so much emphasis on the CHL model in your original post then? The CHL's economic model works with a three-way regional split because student athletes can be forced into an entry draft and relocated out to places like Moose Jaw and Sudbury, and can be paid a pittance to make all the ten hour bus trips that are involved by dangling the carrot of an NHL contract in front of them, which most of them will never get. 

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So why place so much emphasis on the CHL model in your original post then? The CHL's economic model works with a three-way regional split because student athletes can be forced into an entry draft and relocated out to places like Moose Jaw and Sudbury, and can be paid a pittance to make all the ten hour bus trips that are involved by dangling the carrot of an NHL contract in front of them, which most of them will never get. 

The CHL was mentioned simply as an example of regional leagues being under an umbrella organization (CHL) that handled the memorial cup tournament in junior hockey as was similarily mentioned in the Easton Report recommendations that the CSA has agreed with.

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http://www.canadasoccer.com/canada-soccer-releases-report-on-division-ii-soccer-viability-in-canada-p153255

 

It was ultimately recommended by Rethink Management Group that the Canadian Soccer Association look at a regional semi-professional development-focused league, competing at a division III level and operating in Canada’s largest soccer markets, focused on providing players aged 18-23 a structured and meaningful competition environment.

 

Can anyone confirm whether the PLSQ has taken any steps towards having a focus on the development of 18-23 year old players, similar to those put in place by the OSA for L1O? The PLSQ launched before the Easton report when D3 standards were still oriented towards an open-age format similar to the now desanctioned CSL's. 

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http://www.canadasoccer.com/canada-soccer-releases-report-on-division-ii-soccer-viability-in-canada-p153255

 

It was ultimately recommended by Rethink Management Group that the Canadian Soccer Association look at a regional semi-professional development-focused league, competing at a division III level and operating in Canada’s largest soccer markets, focused on providing players aged 18-23 a structured and meaningful competition environment.

 

Can anyone confirm whether the PLSQ has taken any steps towards having a focus on the development of 18-23 year old players, similar to those put in place by the OSA for L1O? The PLSQ launched before the Easton report when D3 standards were still oriented towards an open-age format similar to the now desanctioned CSL's. 

 

I haven't seen anything written in the rulebook. I'm not saying that they don't develop 18-23 players, because they do, but they need to pay 9 players and players in that age range still want to keep their CIS eligibility or (possible) future NCAA eligibility options open so they don't get paid. But after those 9 players, it's pretty much players in that 18-23 range that complete the team.

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  • 4 months later...

Coxon has watched a ton of PLSQ games with FC Gatineau and the Fury FC Academy, and I'm sure he's quite happy with your article. He was always telling me that I underestimated the playing level of PLSQ, and he was probably right ha.

 

I just based my assumptions on the 2014 Interprovincial Cup final, which I didn't think was unreasonable :)

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Where’s the BC Semi-Pro League?

 

"The success of League1 Ontario and the Première ligue de soccer du Québec has again raised interest in a provincial, semi-professional soccer league for British Columbia. Some knowledgeable observers have considered a BC league almost more of a “when” than an “if”, yet we’ve hardly moved an inch towards that goal in the past ten years. This league’s inability to just get off the ground has become a very old story."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Until the D3 level leagues are run from May 1, to November 15, the development goal for the leagues will not be fulfilled.

 

Currently the L1 Ontario schedule finishes in time to let players go off to University teams, where it should be scheduled right to November and recognize in the long term you want players to play for the club and attend classes at college or university or work at the butcher shop until they get their chance to move up to a fully pro salary at D2 NASL.

 

D3 level clubs need the larger number of games a season to pay for fixed costs, and to push them to being more professionalized, i.e. getting bums in seats at a dollar value that pays the bills long term. Anything else is glorified amateur soccer.

 

The same issue of short seasons in youth soccer to let athletes go off to hockey or basketball or high school sports holds back the development of elite level soccer players, till it changes we will lag behind because our players do not get enough of the game in the right training atmosphere of constant competition for playing time on the pitch.

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Some of Canada's top players are in the NCAA. So this makes a longer season tougher.

 

These leagues have to decided if they just want to be the top amateur teams or a true semi-pro D3. Right now, I've heard that basically L1O thinks it is competing with PDL. That's not semi-pro.

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Until the D3 level leagues are run from May 1, to November 15, the development goal for the leagues will not be fulfilled.

 

Currently the L1 Ontario schedule finishes in time to let players go off to University teams, where it should be scheduled right to November and recognize in the long term you want players to play for the club and attend classes at college or university or work at the butcher shop until they get their chance to move up to a fully pro salary at D2 NASL.

 

D3 level clubs need the larger number of games a season to pay for fixed costs, and to push them to being more professionalized, i.e. getting bums in seats at a dollar value that pays the bills long term. Anything else is glorified amateur soccer.

 

The same issue of short seasons in youth soccer to let athletes go off to hockey or basketball or high school sports holds back the development of elite level soccer players, till it changes we will lag behind because our players do not get enough of the game in the right training atmosphere of constant competition for playing time on the pitch.

 

Great post. If you want development, you need to play a lot more than 4 months. It should be a viable competitor to NCAA, not dropping them off after the short season. 

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Some of Canada's top players are in the NCAA. So this makes a longer season tougher.

 

These leagues have to decided if they just want to be the top amateur teams or a true semi-pro D3. Right now, I've heard that basically L1O thinks it is competing with PDL. That's not semi-pro.

If some of Canada's top players are in the NCAA it is only because the CSA and provincials have not offered a viable stay at home alternative.

 

A D3 pro club should generate enough revenue to cover tuition costs for a Canadian player at a local university, who studies on a part time basis during league period and then picks up courses in winter. Total time probably less then one extra year, and lots more oppourtuntity to learn the pro game and be ready to step up at 21 or 22 to a fully professional enviornment.

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L1O ends October 15th.

 

In regards to the NCAA and quality, I still think top Canadian players, unless they are 100% postive they have a pro career, will go to NCAA as the degree is more recognizable post graduation. I think of a guy like Tyler Varge who went to Yale to complete his degree but played good enough college football to be drafted to the Colts. If the whole procareer fails he ends up with a Yale degree. Not shabby.

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Until the D3 level leagues are run from May 1, to November 15, the development goal for the leagues will not be fulfilled.

 

Truer words were never spoken.

 

 

Great post. If you want development, you need to play a lot more than 4 months. It should be a viable competitor to NCAA, not dropping them off after the short season. 

 

IMO professional soccer is best developed by professional clubs not amateurs based in academia. The NCAA system has been built on a weird perversion where players are unpaid professionals (particulalry basketball and football) but soccer still has a chance to make it a different way that does not pervert amateurism and accept and keep athletes with no academic qualifications or abilities simply because they can play.

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