This was an article that the OFL posted last season on their website.
How We Do Tier System (OFL)
O.F.L Continues To Grow Minor Football In Ontario Continuing its core mandate, the OFL has continued to grow in the 2017 fall season. This season we welcome to the league the Oakville Titans, Mississauga Huskies, Woodstock Wolverines, Scarborough Thunder and the Oshawa Hawkeyes, and welcome back the York Lions. The OFL now has 20 member clubs with almost 75 teams across four age divisions. One of the main goals for the OFL is to include as many kids playing youth football as possible, and the best way to achieve this is to have meaningful and competitive games that develop all our players into better football players and athletes in general. At the heart of the leagues success is the tier based system it has used since its inception. The objective of tiering each age division is to have equally skilled / experienced kids playing each other, and to give the lower level tiered teams a chance to challenge themselves against higher tier teams to see where they stack up. At the end of the regular season the league will evaluate each tier and make adjustments if necessary to ensure the playoffs are as competitive as possible. This year, with the addition of the new teams, the league will operate three tiers. Tier 1 – Rep Level Football Typically larger centers that have multiple teams at the same age group or are centers with higher caliber players looking for higher competition. Tier 2 – Rep Level Football Typically smaller centers that want a higher caliber of play but may not be at level of a bigger center, also it may consist of bigger center second teams. Tier 3 – Competitive Developmental Football Typically the second or third teams of larger centres or new clubs to the league, generally consisting of players that are new to the game looking to develop their skills against players with the same skill sets. What is the process for deciding which tier each team plays in? Once all teams have been declared to the league for the upcoming season the OFL Competition Committee will review each age division and make recommendations for each team to play either Tier 1, 2 or 3. The criteria for the recommendation include prior years record, registrations, if the club is declaring multiple teams at an age group, and whether the club has played competitive football in the summer. Once all recommendations have been made the competition committee consults with each club and makes any necessary adjustments. The league will have final say on what tier the teams play in, however this is always a collaboration between the League and the Member teams. Regular season schedule, crossover games, and playoff adjustments. The regular season schedule is developed to have the bulk of the games played against other opponents within the same tier, but also includes crossover games. The objective of crossover games is to challenge the teams from the lower tier with a game against higher level competition. At the end of the regular season the competition committee will meet and make any adjustments to the playoff tiers that are required. Lower level teams may be moved up a tier if the league decides it is in the best interest of competitive playoff games. Lower level teams may also request to be moved up if they feel they would prefer the higher level of competition for the playoffs. The competition committee has final say on all adjustments for the playoffs. We’re very excited about the growth of our league this season, and the continued evolution of our tiered structure to provide the most competitive games possible, and the best opportunity for our players to continue their development as athletes.