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Football Canada releases strategies aimed to improve the sport

By Football Saskatchewan / Football Canada, 08/29/16, 11:45AM CST


Strategies the result of multi-year competition review process

Ottawa (August 29, 2016) -  Today Football Canada released 21 strategies aimed at improving the sport of football across the country. The strategies were adopted by provincial football associations at Football Canada's annual general meeting, June 17-18, 2016.

Full details regarding the strategies can be seen here:

"The strategies unveiled today help to better align football in Canada with its Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Plan, encouraging optimal athlete development and participation," said Kim Wudrick, president of Football Canada.

"We'd like to thank the football community and stakeholders for their input throughout the competition review process and encourage them to continue working together to implement the strategies for the betterment of the game."

The strategies, which are gradually being implemented between 2017 and 2022, are the result of a multi-year competition review process which began in 2013.

The following changes come into effect in 2017:

  • A ban on playing two tackle football seasons at the same time
  • Introduction of schedule regulations: 
    • Tackle football games must be scheduled at least four calendar days apart
    • Six or more calendar days is recommended
    • Make-up or rescheduled games may only be scheduled with a minimum of two calendar days in between
  • Teams must begin each season with a dedicated Safe Contact week to teach tackling and blocking prior to starting other skill development and/or strategy implementation at training camp

About the process

The competition review process evaluated football's competition structure using the sport's Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Plan (which can be seen here) with the goal of promoting optimal athlete development and participation by fostering the ideal competition structure with respect to an athlete's developmental age.

A series of strategies was then developed to bridge eight gaps discovered during the review phase. Participant and public feedback were used throughout the process to develop and refine the strategies as well as to help with the implementation phase of the process.

Summary of strategies, 2017-2022

The following will be recommended beginning in 2017, fully implemented by 2022:

  • Standardized two-year age categories and designations
  • Out-of-season tackle football game limits and approval process by provincial governing bodies
  • Specific number of weeks allowed each year for tackle football at each age category
  • Gradual progression to 12-a-side football
  • Coach teaching plan for each age group (up to U14), developed by Football Canada
  • Educate coaches on rule modifications
  • Practice calendars
  • Each player at the U14 level and younger must have an opportunity to play  
  • Minimum roster size to start a season and play a game