City Recreational League

Jun. 25, 2024


City Rec League Born in 2021 - One of the principles of the Saskatoon Youth Soccer Inc.’s (SYSI) Strategic Plan is to create the culture and opportunity for every participant to enjoy youth soccer. We took a deeper look at what we were offering and recognized that a gap existed in the SYSI programming where there was no purely recreational option for players in the age groups of U11 and up. As such, SYSI and its Zone member clubs addressed this gap and established the City Rec League in the spring of 2021.
The guiding principles of the league are:
- Approachable - no evaluations/tryouts, no stress
- Purely recreational league beyond the U5-U9 community league
- Lower commitment with optional training opportunities
- Lower financial demand
- Fun and competitive
- League standings and final match / medals for U13 and up
- More opportunities to play with friends
- Ability to enter tournaments
- Low bounce ball (required to compensate for hard surface - indoor season only)
With these in mind, the City Rec League is a welcoming place for everyone to enjoy the game of soccer and provide an alternative experience, whether you are a new player trying out the game, a multi-sport athlete, or a seasoned player looking for a more relaxed environment, while still looking to develop their soccer skills.
City Rec Is Not Division III - Contrary to common misconceptions over recent years, the City Rec League is NOT Division III soccer. The prior structure of the SYSI League having Premier, Div II, and Div III still exists under a new naming structure Alliance A, B1, and B2 divisions. The City Rec League was ADDED as an additional recreational option. Players who select Alliance attend player evaluations and are placed on an Alliance team according to their skill level in the various divisions available. Players who select Alliance shall not be cut from Alliance and placed on City Rec teams as this is not the purpose of the City Rec League. The City Rec League consists of players of ALL skill levels and those who have simply chosen a lower commitment option of soccer.
About Alliance League - Alliance is for those who want a higher frequency of soccer training ratio to games with typically two to three practices per week. Players who select Alliance shall be committed to all training sessions and games within their season schedule. Alliance training sessions may occur in either of the two facilities with many practices taking place on hard court surfaces. Occasionally the Zone may not be able to accommodate all Alliance players on Alliance teams due to player numbers and roster sizes; if this occurs, the player has the option to transfer to another Zone; those who are U11 - U15 are to submit a Permission to Play Out-of-Zone (PTPOZ) - Form to SYSI to assist in finding another Zone who is able to accommodate the Alliance player. If the player does not wish to transfer zones, the player may request placement onto a City Rec team with their Zone.


Location - Beginning Indoor 2024-25, all City Rec League games will be based out of the Saskatoon Kinsmen Henk Ruys Soccer Centre (SKHRSC) for the indoor season. The benefits for this change are:
- Provides more consistency for game frequency, averaging one game per week, with less tournament weekend disruptions.
- Provides more consistency for location - one location and type of field surface means one set of shoes.
- The SKHRSC fields provide a developmentally appropriate option for the format of play based on the player number to field size. The optimal number of ball contacts for a team is achieved with 7v7 in a 40 x 25 field; SKHRSC fields are 40 x 28.
- There are several developmental benefits to playing the boarded game - see next page.
Game Days & Permitting - While the U11 game day will remain on Fridays, the U13 and U15-19 divisions will have their games on Sundays this coming indoor season. This is to help alleviate the challenge for finding permit players as U11 and U13 games often occurred at the same time on Friday nights in the past. To further alleviate permit challenges for the U15-U19 City League, they will be allowed to permit U15 Alliance B2 players. If a Zone doesn’t have a U15-B2 team they may request permits from another Zone’s U15-B2; and if SYSI does not have a B2 division that season, B1 will be acceptable. This is an allowance for the U15-U19 City League only due to the wide spread of age groups (U15, U17, and the odd U19 player on rosters), which create concern for permitting U13 players due to the age differences.


In 1993, Saskatoon Adult Soccer (SAS) and Saskatoon Youth Soccer (SYS) partnered in a venture to create Saskatoon Soccer Centre Inc. (SSC). The Saskatoon Soccer Centre, its two members SAS & SYS, along with donors (Kinsmen, Cliff Wright), the City of Saskatoon, and our amazing soccer family, collectively raised enough money to build the Saskatoon Kinsmen / Henk Ruys Soccer Centre. The first game was played in 1998. Our four indoor quarter fields helped continue the growth of soccer and gave us our first owner operated soccer centre home.
Developmental benefits to playing on a boarded field:
- Less stops and starts which equates to more game and playing time.
- Faster game play.
- Provide training for faster reactions and agility.
- More individual and team touches on the ball allowing for increased skill development (ball control, dribbling, passing and shooting accuracy).
- Provides a high number of in-game decisions, developing an increasing level of game understanding.
- Increased skill and ability to play in smaller/tight areas.
- Increased scoring opportunities.
- Skills learned are transferable to all types of soccer i.e. outdoor, futsal, beach, etc.

With these modifications to the City Rec League happening this Indoor Season, we are excited to bring a more consistent program and option for participants choosing to play with SYSI and being part of the City Rec League. We look forward to the potential these changes can have to the enjoyment of the game and the increased skill development the league will provide to all participants!

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