We've been hearing talk about how the CPL will eventually be a league that includes promotion and relegation. I thought I'd create this thread where we could discuss possible future models of the Canadian Soccer Pyramid. The USSF has standards (a copy of which can be found here: http://www.kenn.com/the_blog/?page_id=5449) that outline the requirements for a league to be Div I, 2, or 3 for men or women. Personally, I don't think a document like this is the way to go for Canadian Soccer because it's too restrictive, not flexible enough, and doesn't address the realities of the Canadian soccer landscape. Canada has a couple of obstacles to making viable soccer leagues: Large geographical distances. Flying from St. John's, NL to either Vancouver, BC or Rome, Italy is the equivalent in time and distance. Coupling that with the large distances between spread out population centres, transportation and accommodations will be an issue for any Canadian Division I league. Division 2 leagues should probably be regionalized east and west, a la USL, to save on travel costs. Div 3 should probably be under the jurisdiction of the Provincial bodies, perhaps allowing some of them to pool their resources if there isn't enough population base to sustain their own league and the distances aren't too large (the prairies and maritimes come to mind). Relatively short season window. Winter soccer is a non-starter. At most, a soccer season in Canada will have to fit within the 30 weeks between Mid-April and mid-November. A league can't have too many games in a season because you also have to include 3-6 weeks off for international breaks, 4 or 5 rounds of the Canadian Championships, and 6-12 games of Concacaf Champions League play for the top clubs. You also have to have enough home games in stadiums for clubs to turn a profit, if TV revenues are not forthcoming. Not as much financial capital available to support clubs. Teams that are competing coast-to-coast with high salary caps will need pretty deep pockets to compete sustainably. What financial mechanisms will be in place to help clubs manage the step up or the step down? Public apathy. The soccer season will overlap that of the CFL and MLB. Not to mention people drift away in the summer as other things grab their attention. Supporter Groups can only do so much. How do you keep the locals invested in the fate of their club? So how do you break down the various divisional levels? Div 1 clubs should have the funds to meet all the requirements of nation-wide play, but Div 2 teams might not. Div 2 clubs should have the ability to match their ambitions regarding level of play, but not break their budget. Likewise, a bad season for a Div 1 club should not lead to financial ruin if they get relegated. It's going to be hard to find a structure to balance the division requirements to meet these limiting parameters. I have some ideas, but I'd like to hear what the rest of you are contemplating. What is a final structure that you feel is fair, sustainable and exciting? And are there any other major factors that I missed?