Q: Who can play?

A: GRSC Soccer Leagues are open to all adults over the age of 18 who are interested in playing soccer in a safe, fair and fun environment.

Q: How competitive are the leagues?

A: Although there will be a degree of variation, the idea behind the GRSC Adult League program is that it is inclusive of every player and skill level.

We strongly encourage teams to register based on their player pool’s overall proficiency to help the fairness of gameplay. And remember, we all have to go to work on Monday!

Q: How much does it cost to play?

A: The fee structure of all of our Adult Soccer programs will be slightly different based upon league variations, i.e. length of season, field costs, referees, equipment etc.

Q: Do I need a team to join or can I register as an individual?

A: Your best chance of playing is to register for an individual team. Occasionally we do get requests from teams for players, and we can connect you with a team. However, this is only once all of the individual teams are full for your chosen league.

Q: What are Individual teams?

A: Individual teams are “shell” teams created by GRSC league coordinators. They are opened up for registration, with a specific number of male and female spots available, and will close for registration once these spots have been filled. Individual teams are all recreational teams and are a great place to meet new people while playing a sport that you love!

Q: I’m not very good/I am new to the sport. Will I fit in on the team?

A: Of course! Individual teams are recreational teams and will play in the lowest division, so the focus is on having a good time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every player is new to the sport, but as the game is slower than an intermediate or competitive league, it is a great place for players to practice their skills!

Q: I have a friend who wants to register, how do I make sure we are on the same team?

A: When you register as an individual player, you will need to state your friend’s name in the comments box on your registration and vice versa when he/she registers. As long as you and your friend request to play with each other, you will be playing together. Payment is required at the time of registration.

Q: What happened if my Individual team doesn’t get enough players before the start of the season?

A: Each league is a little different regarding the minimum number of players required to make the team viable. Your team does not need to be sold out to be scheduled, but you do need, at the very least, the minimum number of players required to field one line-up. If a team is at risk of not getting enough players, you will be notified by e-mail and provided with options. If we are unable to get enough players to register, your team may fold, and your registration fee will be refunded.

Q: What if I don’t like my team, or the level of play?

A: We form teams based on the information provided by you, the participant. That being said, individual registrants sign up with the knowledge that signing up as an individual means that there is a higher chance to have a personality conflict or skill discrepancy with another member of your team and that you are signing up at your own risk. We will make every effort to assist in solving any issues that come up; however, we would call on your team captain to solve the problem internally first.

Q: What equipment do I need?

A: You’ll need a shirt, shorts, socks, shin guards and appropriate footwear for the surface that you are playing on.

Q: Do players really need to wear shin guards?

A: Yes, we require them and consider them mandatory. Shin guards must be worn and must provide a “reasonable degree of protection” and be covered by your socks.

Q: Do we need to wear uniforms?

A: All Men’s and Women’s sanctioned leagues require teams to wear matching uniforms with unique player numbers on the back of the shirt.

Co-ed leagues require all players to wear shirts of the same colour and to bring a matching secondary colour in case of shirt colour conflicts.

Q: When will games be played?

A: Game schedules will be determined once registrations close. Playing nights are posted during registration.

Q: Is Soccer cancelled due to the rain?

A: Outdoor soccer games are scheduled to play rain or shine, and will NOT be cancelled due to rain.

In the event that weather conditions make the playing fields unplayable (this is determined at the discretion of the facilities), GRSC will contact the team captains to let them know of the cancellation. If the team captains have not heard from a GRSC staff member, the teams can assume they will be playing.

Q: How does GRSC determine what division our team will play in? 

A: Some leagues may have only one division to start. For leagues with more than one division, we will try our best to initially place your team in a division suiting your team’s skill level by observing your team’s skill level relative to the other teams in the league over the course of the season and reseed teams where warranted.

Please note that, if warranted, reseeding may be done at any point during the season at GRSC’s discretion.

Q: Do Co-ed leagues have referees?

A: We actually do! Every single player is a ref of their own actions and the actions of their teammates! Self-officiated play puts the onus on each individual to know the rules and intended spirit of play, and work within that in terms of determining their own behaviour. A ref can’t know everything each individual does, but each individual knows exactly what they have done and in a self-officiated league like GRSC provides, each player has the onus squarely on them to make calls on themselves accordingly. We have found that the vast majority of participants in our leagues have embraced this system and err on the side of good sportsmanship while playing.

In our experience, a ref acting as “oversight” has the opposite effect of that which we intend to be the experience in GRSC play. It allows players to take the accountability for their actions from their shoulders and place it on the shoulders of the ref. In other words, instead of playing to the level their conscience/better judgment dictates having been asked and accepted the responsibility to understand the rules and spirit of the play, the presence of a ref allows the players to push the envelope and test the ref on how much they can get away with before being disciplined. The mindset that IF a player’s behaviour is unacceptable, the ref will call them on it, and if the ref doesn’t see it… tough luck- IS EXACTLY THE MINDSET WE DON’T WANT to perpetuate in GRSC co-ed play.

Q: Can I play for just one game to try it out?

A: No. All players must be registered with GRSC and registration fee paid before being eligible to play in any of GRSC’s Adult Soccer programs.

If you are curious about playing, stop by a local game to watch and see how much fun it would be to get involved in our leagues.

Q: How soon before the match should I arrive?

A: 30 minutes.

Q: I am going to be late. What should I do?

A: Please don’t be late. Leave your home in time to arrive 30 minutes early. Having said that, please notify your refereeing team via email or text message. If you do not know your crew’s contact information, please contact [email protected][email protected] and [email protected].

Q: I am at the field but the other referee(s) have not yet shown up. What is the protocol?

A: If it is 15 minutes prior to kick off, please inform [email protected][email protected] and [email protected]. You can call us as well, as you should have our cell numbers.

Q: I am ill and cannot perform the game. What should I do?

A: Please give us as much notice as possible to replace you in this situation. It is incredibly difficult and stressful to replace referees on the day of the match. We understand that emergencies can happen, but for all situations that are not unforeseen emergencies, please give us as much advance notice as possible.

Q: How much of the game must be played to be considered complete in the event of a stoppage due to external factors (weather, etc.)?

A: Two-thirds of the match must be completed for the score to stand. 60 minutes on a 90-minute game and 40 minutes on a 60-minute game.

Q: If we have a weather delay due to thunder as per Ontario Soccer policy, how long must we wait before the game is abandoned?

A: For a 90-minute game, if it’s impossible to play two-thirds (60 minutes) total game time before the end of the field booking, the game is abandoned. We ask you to do your best to get the game completed if possible. For example: On a 9pm game, they will usually leave the lights on an extra 10 minutes past 11pm.

Q: What happens if the lights go out?

A: Please contact Louie or Sultan if the lights go out erroneously. They can be turned back on within 15 minutes.

Q: What are game fees?

A: 2018 game fees are $60/$30/$30 (Referee/Assistant Referee 1/Assistant Referee 2). For Summer Indoor, the fee is $35.

Q: What is the method of payment? 

A: All game fees are paid via Email Transfer (Interac eTransfer) on the 15th of the next month. (Example: June games are paid by July 15th)

Q: Does Grand River Soccer need my banking information or a void cheque in order to be paid?

A: No, e-Transfers are done completely via email. Once you receive the notification in your inbox, you can follow the process to deposit into your bank. Many banking institutions allow you to set up automatic deposit for eTransfers. You will need to contact your bank about this.

Q: Do I need to claim referee fees as taxable income?

A: In all areas of life, you should claim your earnings and your expenses with Canada Revenue. Keep in mind that you can also claim your expenses, such as referee uniforms and other equipment.

Q: How do I receive games?

A: GRSC uses RefCentre (www.refcentre.com) to assign games

  1. Sign into www.refcentre.com
  2. Update your Availability monthly or as soon as you know your schedule (Games > Availability)
  3. Update your Leagues once per year (Preferences > Leagues) and be sure “Grand River Soccer League” is selected
  4. Update your Divisions once per year (Preferences > Divisions) and be sure all of the divisions under Grand River Soccer League are set to “Ref or AR” or “AR Only” (the second option is for referees aged 14-18)
  5. Update your fields once per year (Preferences > Fields). This is crucial for Level 4, 5, and 6 referees. Each of these cities and fields should be selected as “Preferred”
    1. Level 6: You need to select all of the following cities: Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Elmira, Wilmot
    2. Level 4 and 5: You need to select each field we use. Under Cambridge, select Aurora Lodge, Bill Struck Field, ComDev Soccer Park Full Field, Galt Collegiate Institute, Rogers Field, Oriental Sports Club, Portuguese Club Cambridge. Under Elmira, select Lions Park 1 – Elmira. Under Kitchener, select Budd Park 1, Budd Park 2, Centennial Park Kitchener, Woodside Park #1, Woodside Park #2, Portuguese Club Kitchener. Under Waterloo, select Bridgeport 1, Bridgeport 2, RIM Park 7, RIM Park 8, RIM Park 9, RIM Park 10, Westmount #1, Westmount #2. Under Wilmot, select Wilmot Rec Complex 1.

Q: Can’t you just override the system so I don’t have to keep my availability, etc. up to date?

A: Yes; however, it takes 3 seconds to assign a referee to a game if the referee’s preferences and availability are accurately set. It takes 5-10 minutes to assign a referee to each game if their preferences and availability are not up-to-date. Since we are assigning 32 games (96 assignments) every week while co-ordinating back-to-back assignments, it’s very inefficient to assign you to games if you do not keep your RefCentre profile accurate.

Q: If I decline a game, does that mean I can no longer accept games in that spot?

A: Correct. Referees should not be declining games unless there are extenuating or changing circumstances. Please contact the assignor in this situation. All of the assignors in the area are working together to help each other out and make sure all games are covered with an appropriately assigned referee.

Q: What brand of referee uniform should I wear?

A: The South West district association has asked that everyone purchase the 2018 Adidas kit in three colours (black, yellow, red) and we support that request, so that uniform is the preference. However, if you are unable to acquire that kit at this time due to availability or cost, we do not mind if you wear the Avanti kit, or a previous Adidas kit. Your goal should be to acquire the 2018 Adidas kit using some of your referee earnings.

Q: Where is the field?

A: All of the maps are in RefCentre. When you click your game in the schedule, the map is at the bottom of the screen. If a map is missing, contact your assignor.

Q: Can all of my assigned games be with another referee?

A: GRSC attempts to accommodate “referee teams” for purposes of transportation (example: family members in the same household). Other assignors may not be able to do this for various reasons. Even for GRSC, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

Q: Can all of my assigned games be at the same field?

A: GRSC attempts to minimize travel for all match officials, particularly youth match officials, and university-student match officials. This is not always possible. Having said that, most of the fields we use are near the expressway or the 401 (meaning sometimes it’s easier to get to the Elmira field than Woodside or Westmount!). As well, most of the games we assign are double-headers, so you get more refereeing money for your trip, minimizing your expenses.

Q: What do I do with the gamesheet after the game?

A: Fill it out with goalscorers and cards, and referee signatures. Break apart the three carbon copies. Give one copy to the home team, one copy to the away team, and the referee keeps the white copy. Scan and send the white copy to the email address on the gamesheet. Also, sign into RefCentre to enter the score, yellow cards, and red cards. There is no requirement for additional paperwork for Cautions and Dismissals.

Q: Do I need to update RefCentre after the game?

A: Yes, the referee (not the assistant referees) needs to sign into RefCentre to complete the game report. RefCentre will prompt you to do this upon signing in.

Q: I would like to advance as a referee. What steps do I take?

A: There are many things you can do to help prepare yourself for the next level.

  • Run the fitness tests each spring when they are made available on RefCentre.
  • Ask the district for an assessment. I believe they are (possibly) still free-of-charge for Level 6 and below. Accept feedback with an open mind.
  • Keep your RefCenter up to date.
  • Don’t decline games.
  • Never no-show. Never be late (always show up first).
  • Ask your assignors for more challenging assignments.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Don’t slack on the laws of the game. Know them and apply them.
  • Spend more time training than you do refereeing (education, cardio, weights).
  • Fitness is the key component of an upgrading match official…that’s just the landscape right now. Other factors can be taught, but your fitness requires your dedication and discipline.
  • Manage your relationships (with other referees, assignors, administrators, coaches, players, etc.)
  • Attend district or club education and training sessions.
  • Follow the Ontario Soccer website, particularly the section on how to upgrade.

Updated November 15, 2021

Q: Do I need to show my proof of vaccination every time I visit a facility?

A: Yes, Provincial guidelines require you to provide proof of vaccination prior to entering the facilities each time.

Q: When are registrations due?

A: Space is limited and spots will be filled on a “first registered” basis. Our programs typically sell out so we don’t have a registration cut-off date. Registration will close when programs are full. If registration is closed for the program you’re interested in joining please email [email protected] and we will offer suggestions for a suitable alternative.

Q: When are registration fees due?

A: Registration fees are due December 17, 2021 for the Winter league.

Q: How will the league/games run?

A: We have created a Return to Play Plan that is approved by Canada Soccer. It includes policies and procedures that must be adhered to for the safety of our members. It also calls for provincial and regional measures set out by Ontario Soccer, the Region of Waterloo Public Health and the Province of Ontario.

Q: What if a another “wave” hits?

A: If a program is unable to start we will offer our members a full refund. If a program has started but cannot be completed due to regulatory changes we will offer a pro-rated refund.

Q: Are there new facility rules?

A: Yes, each facility will have their own guidelines and procedures. The requirements change repeatedly and rapidly. We will provide specific information to registrants prior to the start of the season and any updates throughout the course of the season.

Q: Are masks required for games?

A: Masks are not mandatory for play but are optional. They are however, required in both facilities before and after games and any time you leave the field — ie for washroom breaks.

Q: Will water be available from water fountains in the facilities?

A: No, please be sure to bring all the water you will require during the game. Please take any empty water bottles with you when you leave the facility.

Q: Will spectators be allowed during any indoor games?

A: No. Only registered players / officials are allowed in the field area. Any other spectators or visitors may use the restaurant at Core when it is available.

Q: Have the recent changes to gathering limits impacted our league?

A: Recreational leagues in facilities with staff are ok to continue. The Government of Ontario has also stated that the new limits will not apply to events or gatherings held in staffed businesses and facilities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, convention centres or banquet halls, gyms, and recreational sporting or performing art events.

Q: Can we film our games?

A: No. There is no filming or photography allowed in either facility.

Please continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, socially distance and stay home if you are not feeling well.