Frequently Asked Questions
How can my organization join SAAC?
For information on joining SAAC, please visit our Membership Policies page.
SAAC provides contact information for all its members on the website. Click here to see a list of our members and the general areas they operate in. We encourage you to check out more than one to find 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 prime difference is focus. 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 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 and while provides a clear delineation of the different levels of play, does not mandate any special requirements for a club or team to enter the highest levels. 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 Academy system has been developed as an alternative to the top level of the current Pyramid of Play. The are driven by a qualified technical staff where the focus is on players that have the skill and commitment level to participate in high performance programs. The system is player-focused rather than team-focused, so 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 that SAAC has set out for coaching, training and physical well-being.
SAAC is one of the few organizations that have publicly supported the recent Long-Term Player Development Plan issue by the CSA. 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 for 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? ** UPDATED **
As of 2010, Soccer Academy Alliance Canada is an Associate Member of the Ontario Soccer Association
Beginning in 2013, Ontario academies will have the opportunity to become OSA Recognized Non-Club Academies. As part of this recognition, Academies would be provided with some entitlements, including the use of sanctioned referees, the ability to play exhibition games against club teams and travel to selected tournaments. SAAC has mandated that all Ontario members must be OSA-recognized in order to participate in SAAC competitions.
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. Click here to see a list of our members and the general areas they operate in. We encourage you to check them out and see if they can provide the type of service you are looking for.