FAQ English

GENERAL

Who are the Dragons? 
The Gloucester Dragons provide recreational soccer, sometimes called house league. Our focus is 100% fun soccer for children ages 4 to 18 who want to play soccer with friends and play close to home.

The Dragons are a registered member of the Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association (EODSA) and Ontario Soccer.

What is the geographic area for the Dragons?
The traditional boundaries are those of the former City of Gloucester. However, players wishing to play with the Dragons are welcome from all parts of the City of Ottawa.

EQUIPMENT

What equipment is provided by the Dragons and what does my child have to bring?
The Dragons provide a soccer uniform: shirt, shorts and socks. Players must supply their own soccer shin guards and soccer cleats (for U4 to U7 running shoes are acceptable). Should a player not wear the required equipment, the coach or referee will be within their rights to not allow the child to play until properly attired. All players must bring their own water bottles to games and practices. Team equipment includes balls, flags and cones from the Dragons.

Are there any rules limiting what a player may wear at either a practice or game?
Yes. The Dragons abide by Ontario Soccer’s interpretation of FIFA’s law 4, which deals with a player’s equipment. Please refer to the Law 4 document for more detailed information. In brief, no jewellery can be worn.

Please note that these rules apply to ALL age levels, and the consequence of not abiding by Law 4 is that the player will not be permitted to play until the offending jewellery is removed.

Please also note that while the rules do call for the wearing of sports safety glasses in the place of regular glasses, an exception is made for recreational soccer (although we highly recommend that precautions be taken).

Of special note to parents/children planning to undergo any body piercing, including ears. This should be done well in advance of the season so that any studs or jewellery may be removed prior to games or practices.

REFEREES

Are referees volunteers or paid for their work?
Referees and assistant referees are paid for each game they officiate.

What training is provided for referees?
Various training sessions are provided for referees (see referee page).

COACHES

What qualifications do I need to coach?
Certification is not a prerequisite for being a Dragons’ coach. However, the Dragons recommend that anyone interested in coaching take the available courses (free of charge) in order to be the most qualified and able to make the soccer season a memorable and positive experience for the players. See our Coaches page for more information.

What support systems exist for coaches?
The Dragons organize free coaching clinics given by certified trainers from Ontario Soccer. We also provide practice plans for all age groups that follow the Long-Term Player Development philosophy. See the coaching section of our website for more information.

How do I know that my child is safe with their coach(es)?
All Dragons’ coaches and assistant coaches at the mini and youth levels are required to undergo a police records check. Furthermore, all games and practices are conducted in open, public fields where parents are welcome and encouraged to attend. In fact, players up to the age of 12 must not be dropped off at practice. Coaches are not responsible for supervising the children when you are not around and cannot attend to emergencies without appropriate parental support.

TEAM FORMATION

Is it the birth date or the birth year that is used to determine the age group for each level
Teams are formed based on the year of birth of the player and not by the actual age at the time of registration. For example, a U-11 team will be comprised of children who turn 11 years old at any time from January to December of the year in which they are playing.

How are teams formed?
Team formation takes several factors into account, including pre-established geographic zones, the number of volunteer coaches, and the number of players registered in the respective age group. Teams are formed by the Dragons’ director of that age category and not by coaches.

My daughter is unilingual. How can I be sure that she will be coached by someone capable of communicating with her?
We do our best to assign unilingual players at the Micro level to teams that are coached by someone capable of communicating in that language. Note that we are constrained by the number of coaches who volunteer and their language abilities. We therefore encourage parents who are concerned about language capability to volunteer, wherever possible, as a coach or assistant coach.

Can my son play on the same team as his friend?
You can add one friend request on the registration form, and that friend has to request your child also. We cannot accommodate multiple friend requests. The Dragons form teams based on several factors, including geographic location and the number of volunteer coaches. At the Micro level, because of larger numbers of children and a stronger focus on geographic zones, there is already a good chance that players will know others on their team. As your child grows older, even when the teams are more broadly based, we have found that children tend to know their teammates from previous years and from other teams. Note that friend requests may not be possible for late registrations.

Can my child be traded or placed on another team during the season?
This is not a general practice encouraged by the Dragons. As noted above, teams are selected by a process to ensure fair competition and to support child development. Reassigning players could lead to the perception of 'stacking' teams or teams being formed based upon 'who you know.'

Nevertheless, we do reserve the right to make adjustments. In very limited and serious cases, we will make adjustments during the season.

Is experience required to play with the Dragons at any level?
No.

SCHEDULING

When does the season start?
The season begins around mid-May. Please check our website in early May for more details.

When can we expect to hear about the team and the schedule?
You will be contacted by your child's coach in mid-May, but certainly prior to the start of the season.

On what nights of the week will the different age groups be playing?
The schedule for both practices and games will be finalized in late April once we have the final field allocations from the City of Ottawa. See Tentative Nights of Play.

FIELDS

Where are the fields?
Our main fields are the Potvin fields located in front of the soccer office on Canotek Road, but we use many other fields throughout the former City of Gloucester area. Our fields are listed under the Dragons House League tab.

How are the fields allocated?
Fields are of various sizes depending on the age group. Once the teams are assembled, they are assigned to fields that are centrally located to them where possible. Depending upon the number of teams in each division, it may be necessary to travel to fields out of the immediate area or to the nearest field that matches the age category.