BC Soccer officially launches League1 British Columbia

Competition for both female and male divisions to kick-off May 2022

Oct 5, 2021 – Vancouver BC

BC Soccer is pleased to announce a new level of competition in our Province. “League1 BC” is the result of journey dating back to BC Soccer’s 2016 Strategic Plan and is intended to bridge the gap between youth and professional soccer, targeting “Training to Compete” stage within Long-term Player Development (LTPD).

BC Soccer Executive Director Jason Elligott says getting League1 BC from the planning to an operations phase, is an exciting achievement: “On behalf of the BC Soccer Board of Directors, I’d like to congratulate everyone who has played a part in developing this project. This level of play has been a strategic objective since 2016.  Although the process and strategy has changed over time, I’m extremely proud that we are able to launch both a male and female division from the beginning and can’t wait to actually watch games next spring.”

Initially, the league will be operated as the designated “high-performance Adult League” from the BC Soccer office, led by Director of Operations Gabriel Assis: “This new level of competition has been identified as a missing layer in our development system, and as Association, we felt it was important to get the league up and running.  The level of interest and commitment from current, and potential license (club) holders, has been extremely encouraging. We are committed to deliver an innovative league for players, coaches and match officials on their path to professional opportunities. I have no doubt this will be a landmark in the history of our game in the Province”.” 

Over time, BC Soccer intends to scale operations of the league and develop partnerships to evolve towards a national strategic alliance for leagues of similar level.  

Three key pillars of “Community, Standards and Opportunity”, will drive the technical and operational focus in the inaugural seasons;

-The “Community” aspect will reflect the need for a semi-professional standard of play in all areas of BC, including Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Interior.  BC Soccer plans that over time, the league will expand to reach even more communities around the Province.

-Bringing a “Standards Based” approach to every aspect of the league is designed to push everyone associated with the league, to create the best possible environments.  That includes the host venues and gameday experience, training to game-day requirements, and minimum coaching certification.  As the league evolves, so will the standards and expectations.

-Creating “Opportunity” extends beyond just players, coaches and match officials.  Since the advent of a national domestic league (the Canadian Premier League) there has been a developing soccer industry, that has provided roles for administrators, sport science and physiotherapy professionals, along with marketers, operations staff and even broadcasters.  League1 BC intends to support that growing industry by providing a platform for people within our province, to shine.

Next steps for League1 BC include introducing the inaugural lineup of License Holders, and later, the League’s branding and identity.  You’ll find League1 BC on Twitter @League1BC and on Instagram @league1bc, with a temporary landing page on the BC Soccer Website.

About BC Soccer

Established in 1904, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer-specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants, consisting of registered players, coaches, referees, administrators and soccer leaders. As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most effective and appropriate way for current players, parents, volunteers, member clubs, leagues, and districts.

Safe Sport Statement

BC Soccer believes that everyone involved in soccer has the right to participate in safe and inclusive environments free of abuse, harassment, discrimination, and to enjoy the sport at whatever level or capacity they participate in.

The welfare of everyone involved in soccer is the foremost consideration and in particular, the protection of children in the sport is the responsibility of everyone involved.