Frequently Asked Questions

Registration

How do I register?

Registration is done online through our Registration page on the club’s website.

How can I pay?

We accept credit cards online, and can also accept cheques or money orders.

To pay by cheque, or if you require financial assistance with the cost of registration, please contact our club administrator at admin@vafc.ca.

How do I find and print a tax receipt?

  1. Go to the VAFC online Registration tool.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your username and password (you’re looking for what’s in the image below).
    If you forget what either of these are, there are recovery options to the right of the input boxes as shown:reg_login
  3. After logging in, look for your registered player profiles under Current Registration Profiles and select Update Profile/Tax Receipts to the right of player’s name.profile_listing
  4. Click or tap View Receipt at the end of the line. The Registration Confirmation page will be displayed with all the details including payment information.view_receipt
  5. To print the receipt on the top right corner of the page there is a Printer Friendly Confirmation link which will allow you to print.

If you are able to view the receipt but it doesn’t display an amount or says “waitlisted”, it means a payment has yet to be received. To rectify this please contact admin@vafc.ca and the administration team will look into this for you. If a payment is not received in any season a player will be unable to register the following year so it is best to get the issue resolved early.


Club & Club Policies

My son/daughter hasn’t played Soccer before, can he/she join the club?

Of course! Everybody has to start somewhere.

We try to balance teams so there is an even distribution between them of players with a higher level of soccer development, those who are new to the sport and those at all levels in between on each team.

My child has a late birthday, can he/she play down a level?

In the interests of equity this is not normally possible. Kids like to play with their friends who are the same age. However, if your child has been held back a year at school this may be an option.

My child is the best player on their team can he / she play up a level?

In the interests of equity this is not normally possible, as we like players to play within their own age group.

The club will encourage your child to participate in the player development program and they may be invited to attend player development sessions with older kids.

We are always looking for ways to improve and would like to send some player development teams to tournaments.

Do I need to volunteer?

Yes, please!

Although not mandatory, all our coaches and managers are volunteers. Beyond coaching and managing, there’s a constant need for people to help set up fields, look after equipment, coordinate oranges or fruit for halftime snacks for the players, help organize photo day, and ensure that everyone gets to games, practices, and team events.

Volunteering also gains you a discount on yearly fees. For those who don’t volunteer, a small fee is charged to deal with administrative tasks associated with running the league.

Please review the Volunteer opportunities page to see how you can contribute.

What are the coaches’ responsibilities?

Each team has at least two coaches who are responsible for on-field activities for the team. For further detail please review our Volunteer page. The club supports coaches by providing courses and support from our Head Coach, Steve Weston.

What are the managers’ responsibilities?

Each team has a manager – a parent on the team who is responsible for administering the team. For more details of what is required of this position please look at our Volunteers page.

What is the VYSA?

The Vancouver Youth Soccer Association is the governing body for all youth soccer clubs in Vancouver. VYSA registers our players, and schedules games for teams that play outside our club.


Development

What is development?

All the team coaches at the club are volunteers and they form the heart of the club. The club pays a Head Coach & Technical Director (Steve Weston) to support and train the coaches and to develop additional opportunities for the kids to play under the direction of professional coaches.

These opportunities are referred to as our Development program and they are offered separately from our normal registration stream.


Teams

What are Gold, Silver & Bronze teams?

Up until U11, kids play on balanced teams which provide a community-based approach that allows players to develop the basics of the game.

At and after U11, teams are based on ability, so kids at a similar level of development, skill and commitment play together. Not all players develop and the same rate, so our boys’ and girls’ programs offer different levels of play.

Those that are more developed and committed will play on a Gold team, those at a moderate level at the Silver level, and those who are interested in playing more socially or recreationally will play on a Bronze team. The focus for the approach is to provide and encourage kids to continue to play.

How are teams formed?

The Club’s Head Coach, assisted by the Age Group Co-ordinators then forms teams based on player ability as demonstrated during coaches’ evaluations and performance at the assessment sessions.

These teams will contain kids from all of the club’s House leagues, as well as those who have joined from outside the VAFC. Other criteria may be considered for Silver and Bronze teams.


Equipment

What equipment does my child need?

For games and practices outside, all players need soccer cleats and shin guards.

For practices inside, we recommend the same runners as your child would wear for gym classes. Soccer involves a lot of running, so we would also recommend a water bottle with your child’s name on it.

The club will provide players with jerseys, shorts, and soccer socks for games.

The club will also provide balls for practice and games, but we do recommend that each player have access to a ball for fun at home.

House League

What should I expect when my son or daughter joins VAFC’s House program?

They can expect an emphasis on having fun playing soccer and developing as a player.

They will become part of team that practices one weeknight a week and plays a game every Saturday. The season starts at the end of September and finishes the week before Spring Break.

All players on a team should have roughly the same amount of playing time

All players, coaches, and parents will adhere to our Code of Conduct

Depending on the age group, their team will have up to 10-12 kids and be run by 2 volunteer coaches and 1 volunteer manager i.e. 1 in 3 parents needs to volunteer.

You will be able to register them for extra player development sessions during the season and camps (extra fees may apply for these).

This beginning in-house soccer level is local community-based.

Kids walk or have a short trip to a local park to play soccer with their friends and neighbours with the teams run by their parents.

Kids will make lots of new friends with their team mates!

What’s the difference between VAFC, Douglas Park, Grandview Legion and Vancouver Girls Soccer House clubs?

In 2012, we decided to merge, and formed a new club called Vancouver Athletic Football Club (VAFC). Douglas Park Soccer Club, Grandview Legion Football Club, and Vancouver Girls Soccer Club were all community based soccer clubs operating in the city of Vancouver.

Our younger House teams still use the names Douglas Park, Grandview Legion, and Vancouver Girls to refer to our House programs for players from U5 to U10, and our older teams play as VAFC.

Is Douglas Park Soccer the same as the Douglas Park Community Centre?

No. The soccer club is a separate community organization that is based at Douglas Park, but is not part of the community centre.

We may offer programs in conjunction with the community centre, but we function separately.

Vancouver Girls also play at fields adjacent to Trout Lake community centre, but are similarly not a part of the community centre.

Many players who are new to the club started in programs run through these community centres.

What does U6, U9, U13, etc., mean?

Just like school, the year your child is born determines which age group your child should play in.
Because the playing season overlaps the new year, the “U number” refers to the age that a player will turn after December 31st of the current season.

For example, if your daughter or son is born in 2005 and is 11 years old at the start of the 2016-2017, they will play in the U12 age group.

Kids almost invariably play with other players their own age.

What happens after my child turns 10?

After U10, players will move up to play Divisional soccer in either the BC Coastal Girls Soccer League or the boys’ 4 District League for VAFC.

Where are our games played?

The House League you sign up for will determine your home field:

  • Douglas Park: Douglas Park [map]
  • Grandview Legion: Garden[map] or Clinton Park [map]
  • Vancouver Girls: Trout Lake [map]

Some age groups only play at home against other teams within the House, while others play games against other teams in Central and East Vancouver.

Note 1: the Grandview Legion House is co-ed for U5 only and then boys only from U6 – U10, and players are grouped into two-year levels (U6, U8, and U10).

Note 2: Douglas Park Boys will play at Douglas Park until Christmas and then against other clubs in Central and East Vancouver.

What time are House League games?

All In-House games are played on Saturday. Game times will vary, depending on the age of the players.

Normally, younger teams play first in the morning and followed by older teams. For teams that have to travel, game times will depend on when our opponents have their fields available.

Where do the House teams practice?

Teams practice outside, normally either at the fields they will play games at (or at local elementary schools) until mid-October and then move inside to gyms at local elementary schools.

Your team’s coach will let you know when and where your team’s practices are.

Douglas Park U10s practice outside at Eric Hamber High School on the artificial turf field; girls on Thursdays at 5pm and boys on Mondays at 5pm.

What time and day of the week do House teams practice?

The club has booked gym times with VSB for various elementary schools between 5pm and 7pm Monday to Thursday.

Practice nights are determined with input from coaches and parents when the number of teams is known at the beginning of September. With multiple teams at each age group we are normally able to move kids between teams to accommodate scheduling conflicts.

Your team’s coach will let you know when and where your team’s practices are.


Divisional Leagues

What day of the week are Divisional games played?

Starting at U11, girls play on Sundays and boys continue to play on Saturdays. The level of play (Gold, Silver, or Bronze) will determine which league your child’s team will play in, and how much travel is involved.

When do Divisional teams practice?

Teams practice on turf or gravel; coaches and parents will have some input on practice day and time. This is always a difficult topic as with the rest of Vancouver, there is never enough turf time to take care of everyone’s requirements. This year an attempt will be made to have all teams of the same age practice at the same time. Your team’s coach will let you know when and where your team’s practices are.

Where are Divisional games played?

U11 and U12 teams play 8-aside games on half of a full-sized field. Currently, our club’s home games are played at Douglas Park, Trillium Park and Memorial South Park. We have also used Andy Livingstone Park and Van Tech High School as home fields in the past. Teams will typically alternate home and away games, although not always.

See our Fields listings for field locations and statuses.

Teams that play in the Boys’ 4 District League or the Girls’ BC Coastal Girls’ Soccer League (shown below and all teams from U13-U18) play away games against teams from other clubs in Vancouver and from outside the city as well. Teams that play in the VYSA play only against teams from other clubs in Vancouver.

Boys League

U12 Gold = 4 District League
U12 Silver = 4 District League
U12 Bronze = 4 District League
U11 Gold = 4 District League
U11 Silver = VYSA
U11 Bronze = VYSA

Girls League

U12 Girls = BC Coastal Girls League
U12 Silver A = VYSA
U12 Silver B = VYSA
U11 Gold = VYSA
U11 Silver A = VYSA
U11 Silver B = VYSA


Assessments

How are players assessed?

All current coaches from U10 up to U17 evaluate their own players during December and in February. This is used primarily to rank kids within a team.

Each age group from U11 up to U18 will then have 2 assessment sessions for all potential players at that age where they will be assessed objectively by coaches from other age groups.

The Club’s Head Coach also evaluates the players throughout the year and at the assessment sessions. The scores from these 3 sources are combined to rank all the players.

What if my child doesn’t make a Gold team?

The purpose of the assessment sessions and the evaluation process is to try to ensure that your child continues to enjoy playing soccer with their peers at the level that is most appropriate for them.

The goal is to find the right team for your child; one that challenges them as well as maintaining a sense of fun.

As a club, we do not believe in “cutting” players. Kids develop as players at different rates, and one who is a Bronze player at U11 can very well grow into being a Gold player at U13.

What’s the difference between assessments and evaluations?

There is no difference, the terms are used interchangeably.


Contact

Who do I contact if I have more questions or concerns?

Each age group (House and Divisional) has a coordinator, please contact them for further information. Contact information is listed on our club Contacts page.

BC Soccer also has made a very informative publication available called “The Educated Parent,” which can be downloaded from our site under the guides section of the Documents page.