Case Summary: Islington Rangers Soccer League v. Toronto Soccer Association

Author: Julie Gibson

Case Summary: Ontario court finds Toronto Soccer Association and Ontario Soccer Association breached standard of fairness by failing to give adequate notice of the infractions at issue and the sanctions that could be faced in dispute over player ages

The Islington Rangers Soccer League (“League”) and Ian C. Peres (“Peres”), a volunteer coach within the League, were successful on judicial review against a decision of the Toronto Soccer Association and Ontario Soccer Association, whereby the Associations had issued a decision suspending Peres from coaching for six months and fining the League $2,500, as well as causing the girls soccer team to forfeit points they earned in games throughout the 2017 season and disqualifying them from playing in the league championship game.

Islington Rangers Soccer League v. Toronto Soccer Association, [2017] O.J. No. 5647, 2017 ONSC 6229, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, November 2, 2017, M. Koehnen J.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice heard the application for judicial review on an urgent basis on Friday, September 15, 2017, because the team had been disqualified from the championship game which was scheduled to be played at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 16.

The League operates several youth soccer teams including the Islington Rangers Black 2004 U 13 girls team (“U 13 team”). The team is meant to be comprised of girls born in 2004 who are either 13 years old or turning 13 this year. Peres is their volunteer coach.

The U 13 team plays in the League under the auspices of the Toronto Soccer Association (“TSA”) which in turn operates under the auspices of the Ontario Soccer Association (“OSA”).

The issue here was that five of the players on the U 13 team were 12 year olds born in 2005. The League permits 12 year olds to play on a U 13 team as long as their coach prepares a written evaluation of each player recommending that they play on the team and makes sure those written evaluations are filed with the TSA.

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