Home Canadian Soccer CIS and Amateur Annual report shows significant drop in registered Canadian soccer players

Annual report shows significant drop in registered Canadian soccer players

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Maybe those of us who call soccer “Canada’s fastest growing participation sport” need to tone it down a bit.

As Canada Soccer held its annual general meeting this past weekend, the organization also released its annual report, covering 2017. And, the registration numbers across the country are sobering.

Registration numbers are down in 12 of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. The only province to see an uptick was Alberta, and that was a slight one. In Ontario, there were more than 24,000 fewer registered players in 2017 than there were in 2016.

What’s interesting is that in the 2016 annual report, Canada Soccer published a number of 818,940 registered players in the country. In the new report, it had a participation number of 834,363. Yes, on first glance, it seems like numbers went up — but, in the new report, Canada Soccer also included coaches and referees in the participation number.

Take the coaches and referees out, and you get this: The number of registered players fell from 818,940 in 2016 to 776,176 in 2017. That’s almost 43,000 fewer players in 2017 than had been registered the year before. 

More and more kids are choosing to specialize in one sport, year-round. So, if a kid played hockey in the winter and soccer in the summer, (s)he boosted registration numbers in both sports. But more kids are choosing to play only soccer or only hockey or only (place sport here), and that hurts numbers.

What also jumps out is that the Women’s World Cup looks to have no appreciable impact on girls registering in youth soccer. In all of the jurisdictions that had data available, all showed decreased in youth female registrations. Ontario itself shed more than 8,000 girls players over the course of one year.

Manitoba’s information was not available, though The 11 has contacted Canada Soccer for some clarification on that province’s numbers.

 

Ontario

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 326,959

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 302,664 (DOWN 24,295)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 38,449  2017: 36,696

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 160,738  2017: 147,971

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 38,449 2017: 36,696

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 106,586  2017: 98,457

 

Quebec

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 179,928

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 173,879 (DOWN 6,049)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 14,705 2017: 13,471

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 99,298  2017: 97,084

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 9,647 2017: 8,201

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 56,278 2017: 55,123

 

British Columbia

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 121,828

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 114,823 (DOWN 7,005)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 13,227 2017: 11,205

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 62,426  2017: 59,131

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 8,181 2017: 8,702

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 37,994 2017: 35,785

 

Alberta

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 95,181

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 95,406 (UP 225)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 15,074 2017: 13,925

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 43,062  2017: 45,957

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 10,039 2017: 10,312

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 27,006 2017: 25,392

 

Saskatchewan

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 23,659

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 21,964 (DOWN 1,695)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 3,392 2017: 3,136

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 10,956  2017: 9,939

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 2,062 2017: 1,762

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 7,249 2017: 7,127

 

Nova Scotia

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 22,866

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 21,539 (DOWN 1,327)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 1,884 2017: 1,948

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 10,583  2017: 9,774

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 1,481 2017: 1,520

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 8,918 2017: 8,297

 

New Brunswick

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 15,057

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 13,383 (DOWN 1,674)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 1,185 2017: 978

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 7,646  2017: 6,907

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 570 2017: 547

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 5,656 2017: 4,951

 

Manitoba

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 14,161

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 13,789 (DOWN 372)

BREAKDOWN N/A: SASKATCHEWAN INFO REPRINTED UNDER MANITOBA SECTION IN REPORT (HAVE ASKED FOR PROPER NUMBERS)

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 11,339

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 11,181 (DOWN 158)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 869 2017: 1,062

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 5,732  2017: 5,516

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 579 2017: 603

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 4,159 2017: 4,000

 

Prince Edward Island

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 5,155

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 5,122 (DOWN 33)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 267 2017: 421

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 2,337  2017: 2,188

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 216 2017: 300

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 2,335 2017: 2,213

 

Yukon

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 1,360

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 1,247 (DOWN 113)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 212 2017: 257

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 715 2017: 629

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 101 2017: 74

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 332 2017: 287

 

Northwest Territories

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 1,194

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 948 (DOWN 246)

SENIOR MALES IN 2016: 281 2017: 236

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 359 2017: 355

SENIOR FEMALES IN 2016: 148 2017: 110

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 406 2017: 247

 

Nunavut

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2016: 253

TOTAL REG. PLAYERS IN 2017: 231 (DOWN 22)

YOUTH MALES IN 2016: 119 2017: 119

YOUTH FEMALES IN 2016: 134 2017: 112

 

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2 Comments

  1. Ralph

    May 8, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    It is too be expected. After the Olympics, where Canada did great, there was a huge influx of girls to the sport. That lifted the numbers for a few years. It was sort of an “ignition moment” that the book The Talent Code refers to. After playing for a few years a lot changes and more successes are needed if the initial moment is lost. Yes that would be up to the CSA but don’t hold your breath.

    Reply

  2. Kent

    May 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Disappointing to see. I wonder if unsanctioned leagues could be a factor as well? We hear a lot about a fractured system. Maybe it’s finally showing up in these numbers as people look to alternatives to the provincially sanctioned leagues, which I assume wouldn’t be counted in these numbers.

    Reply

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