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North Canton Soccer Club

North Canton Soccer Club

Youth Soccer Club Levels

Youth soccer can be a confusing sport to understand to place your child in the correct program.  Soccer, unlike other sports, does not have a direct school affiliation until the high school level.  That means there are area clubs and programs that fill the void.  Each club and program is different in the expectations of the families, players, and quality of coaching.  To help our soccer families, we will break down the different types of programs: recreational, travel, and premier.

A recreational program is for fun with no standing or championships.  The teams change each season or session based on who signs up.  Normally, practices are one day a week with one game on the weekends.  The coaching is typically from a parent of one of the players with limited training from the program.  Players are there to learn about the game in a fun, non-competitive environment.  Examples of recreational programs are NCSC’s Vikings Academy and Community Soccer.  NCSC’s Academy is a bit different from traditional recreational programs in two ways: our coaches are all former high school players who are learning to be coaches with club-developed practice plans and we split groups by experience to create similar skill levels to maximize development potential.  We will expand on this in a later piece on our Academy. 

A travel program is the next level of commitment for a family and player.  Travel is a multiple-times-a-week practice and league schedule where standings are kept.  Coaches are trained by experience or formal certification.  Teams maintain the consistency of players and are divided by talent.  Players are expected to commit to practice, develop skills on their own time, and be prepared for competition. Players are normally given almost equal playing time. Leagues are a group of communities or clubs that play in multiple divisions.  Leagues vary in the region and teams comply with their league policies and national affiliations.  Team travel is regional and normally limited to 30-60 minutes between host cities. Teams can play in tournaments throughout the year based on their skill level and commitment.  Our Traveling Vikings is an example of this type of program. 

The top level of soccer competition is premier.  Premier has multiple levels based on the league they play in.  Practice is multiple-times-a-week, league schedule where standings are kept, and multiple tournaments per season.  Coaches are well-trained and have formal certifications from US Soccer of level D or higher ( Teams are created based on try-outs and can be influx based player development.  Players are expected to be committed to only soccer for a full year-round commitment and work on their skills regularly outside of practice.  Leagues can span multiple states depending on the level.  Games are highly competitive and playing time is based on skill to win the game.  Travel can be long distances and require overnight stays for tournaments or Midwest regional games.  Examples of premier programs include: Canton United/Cleveland Force, Cleveland Internationals, and Jackson Furry. 

What does this mean for NCSC?  We are a travel club that promotes and works with players who also play at a premier level.  We are a community-based club that is player development focused.  Being a community-based program we do not cut players if there are roster spots on the team.  Our Academy is the foundation and feeder of our travel program. We are a feeder program to the North Canton High School programs and work closely with the school but are not affiliated officially with them.


North Canton Soccer Club
PO Box 242 
Greentown, Ohio 44630

Email: [email protected]

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