2021 U8 PROGRAM
In support of Long Term Player Development, "Festivals" are the only form of competition for both male and female players in the U8 age group.
"No scores or standings published".
At this stage, individual player development is paramount. Coaches should create a stimulating learning environment where the atmosphere is "Freedom and Fun".
The philosophy underpinning the Festival format is a focus on FUNdamentals and emphasize skill development and movement through small sided games (SSGs) that promote a feel for the ball, while teaching basic principles of play within a fun but structured setting.
U8 Festival Program Revamped For 2021
Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Provincial restrictions imposed, the U8 Festival program will operate in 2 stages in summer 2021.
Stage 1: Exhibitions
Once intra-club games are permitted, U8 Festival teams will be permitted to participate in exhibition games against other U8 teams from within the TSA only.
These games can be arranged either directly with the "U8 Coordinator" at another member club/ associate academy (a list will be distributed shortly), or via Andrew Darichuk, TSA Special Projects Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org .
In order to facilitate these exhibitions as easily as possible the participating clubs will be able to use the "Blanket Approval of Exhibition Game process" outlined HERE. Again, this process is only available when both teams are from within the TSA.
All players participating in these games MUST be registered in the OSCAR registration system but no player books are required. Coaches MUST be registered in OSCAR and have an approved coaches book stamped by the TSA for Outdoor 2021. ALL necessary Covid related protocols required during this period MUST be adhered to.
Stage 2: Festivals
Once Step 3 of the Provincial Re-opening Plan has been reached and Return To Play is permitted without restriction, we will move into the "Festival Phase" of our program.
These Festivals typically involves 20-30 teams playing 2 x 30min games during the festival, and takes place on Saturdays throughout the summer (avoiding Long Weekends when possible). Each game will be played as 2 15 minute halves with a 1-2 minute break between the halves.
Member clubs/ academies will stipulate the number of teams they will enter in each festival, allowing the District to schedule accordingly. The member clubs/academies must use the "Open Roster" concept during the event. Open Roster allows clubs to move players within their teams to enable players to find the best environment to shine! Clubs are required to monitor playing time for each player to ensure it does not go above the 60 minutes per player limit for U8 within LTPD. As in 2019, players will not be required to have player books but MUST be included on the club U8 Festival roster in Sports Engine..
Coaches are required to have taken the Ontario Soccer Fundamentals course, Respect in Soccer, Making Ethical Decisions and Making Head Way in Soccer, in order to coach within our U8 Festival program. They are also required to have a coaches book that has been registered and approved by the District. This book MUST be presented to the TSA representative before the teams first game.
Festival calendar Summer 2021
As we are presently projected to enter Step 3 of the Provincial Re-opening Plan around July 24, the TSA has been working with our Host Clubs/ Academies to provide a schedule for U8 Festivals for summer 2021 and we are very pleased to announce that we will kick off Saturday August 7th and will provide a total of 7 U8 Festivals this summer!
The calendar for the TSA U8 Festivals 2021 has now been confirmed and can be found HERE
Important dates relating to the U8 Festival program can be found HERE
We will use the Ontario Soccer Mini Soccer Rules for our U8 Festivals, with the addition of the "Retreat Line" to assist the defending team to attempt to play out from the back.
We will allow players the option to pass or dribble in from the sideline
More details on the "Retreat Line", it's benefits and application within U8 can be found online HERE
- To register, each club MUST email our Festival Intern: SpecialProjects@torontosoccer.net on or before the registration deadline (two weeks prior to the Festival date), stating how many teams and which genders will participate. It should be noted that as space is limited, clubs are advised to "register" as far in advance as possible
- Each club must register players into Sports Engine using the "standard naming convention". Example: Etobicoke Youth M2011 Festival.
- Completed Coach books must be submitted to the TSA for completion
- Coaches MUST have the following certification: Fundamentals Coaching Course, Making Ethical Decisions, Respect In Soccer and Making Head Way in Soccer
- Festival Squad Lists must accompany Coach books.
- The TSA will email copies of all participating club Squad Lists to Festival Hosts 2 days prior to each Festival.
- Clubs should note that the "Open Roster" concept must be used for U8 Festival Squad registration.
- No game sheets will be required but all Festival Squad Lists and Coach books must be presented at the Festival Registration desk at each Festival
- Host clubs are responsible for providing referees for all Festival games.
- Should any host club require District assistance in assigning referees, please advise the Special Projects Coordinator of this via email the a minimum of 14 days prior to the required date
- Each participating team is responsible for a $10 cash payment to the referee prior to each game.
- Any club that withdraws a team after the publication of a U8 Festival schedule will be fined $100.