Launched in 2014 with the 2001 age group, the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) is one of the province's first standards-based, youth high performance league that combines top level competition with strict high performance training standards. This innovative exciting youth high performance program is an important component of the overall movement to adopt the core principles of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) across soccer at large in Ontario and Canada. OPDL encompasses the U13 to U17 age categories, for both males and females.
OPDL represents young players' early graduation to a genuine high performance training environment, targeting the top athletes in the province from age groups U13 to U17, constituting the highest level of competitive youth soccer in Ontario. OPDL operates more as a high performance training program than merely a league.
The Talented Pathway was created to provide opportunities for the top players in the province to develop and advance. The licensing cycle for organizations wishing to operate an OPDL program is every two years. The OPDL is the primary avenue within the Talented Pathway model for players to be detected into future Provincial Screening Competitions which can then lead to Provincial Team opportunities. For those players who are not competing within the OPDL, they may enter into the Player Talented Pathway via Talent on Location Days by following the Player Recommendation Process outlined below.
The technical vision derived from Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) is: Lead the development of a unified soccer family where the needs of the player are always put first; ensuring every player has the best chance to reach their potential whether that potential is playing recreational soccer or being called up for Canada.