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Ontario Soccer – The Club Best Practices guide is a comprehensive guideline for Match Official development programming

Mar. 1, 2019

Vaughan, ON – Ontario Soccer is investing in its Match Officials.

Today, as part of its Long Term Officials Development (LTOD), a strategic initiative aimed at providing standards-based education and development for Match Officials, Ontario Soccer unveiled the Club Best Practices guide – a Comprehensive Guideline for Match Officials Development Programming at the Club level.

The first of its kind, this document will be used to assist Club Head Referees with the programming at their Clubs and raise the level of match officiating across the province.

“Long Term Officials Development is a major part of Ontario Soccer’s 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. It’s an area we are keenly focused on and will assist those in our game to reach their goals,” said Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer’s Chief Executive Officer. “Soccer is an eco-system and the development of our match officials will have long-term positive impact on the sport as a whole.”

The Club Best Practices Guide was developed in consultation with stakeholders and focus groups across Ontario and it was integral to creating the eight Key Development Areas, which are the backbone of the guide.

The Key Development Areas of the guide are: Mentorship and Coaching, Competition, Talent Identification, Education, Technical Leadership, Fitness and Training, Recruitment and Retentions and Administration.

“An important component of LTOD, the Club Best Practices guide is ground-breaking in the fact that it was shaped by our members,” said Nicky Pearson, Ontario Soccer Manager of Match Official Development. ”By reviewing over 10,000 open ended survey responses, Focus Group Meetings and over 100 face-to-face meetings with Match Officials, Clubs and District Associations we truly heard the voice of our membership. The Club Best Practices is built on the wants, needs and current best practices of our Community members.”

Long Term Officials Development is made possible, in part, thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Visit for more on the Best Practices Guide and LTOD.

About Ontario Soccer

Founded in 1901, Ontario Soccer is comprised of more than 650 Clubs and Private Academies servicing over 24,000 teams with 380,000 registered players, 70,000 coaches and managers, and 10,000 match officials, as well as countless volunteers, parents and supporters comprising a direct, multi-cultural community of over 1,000,000 Ontarians.

Ontario Soccer develops and delivers exceptional and sustainable programs and services throughout Ontario with the mission of providing leadership and support for the advancement of soccer in collaboration and cooperation with our membership, partners and other stakeholders. Ontario Soccer also operates the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) – the province’s premier standards based youth development program and proudly supports Canada Soccer’s National Teams, the Canadian Premier League and Toronto FC.

An overall goal of Ontario Soccer is to assist with the development of soccer as a healthy lifestyle choice, provide a talented pathway for players to excel and encourage community involvement at all levels.


Media Contact 

Ben Rycroft | Senior Manager, Digital Strategy and Communications | Ontario Soccer | | 905-264-9390 x 255