Following about two decades of Winnipeg and area minor soccer players being told where to play and who to play for, the 2020 outdoor season will mark the first time that athletes and their parents will be free to make that choice.
Late last month, the Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association board of directors and district reps voted in favour of opening those boundaries for the coming season and doing away with the process of players having to apply to the Manitoba Soccer Association for a transfer outside of their catchment area.
Freedom of choice is a format a majority of provincial soccer associations across the country have adopted for years. And it’s also a format that has been advocated by Canada Soccer’s director of development, Jason deVos, as the best way to grow and improve the sport.
So why did it take up until now for Winnipeg Youth Soccer to give this the green light?
WYSA Executive Director Carlo Bruneau says that the somewhat historic decision coincided with some of the changes that have been a work in progress for the past 12-18 months at the national and provincial levels.
“Removing the boundaries is something that has been discussed internally over the last number of years,” said Bruneau. “The Board just felt the time was right to open up the player registration boundaries and provide a new format for our players best interests.”
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