Community Adult Recreation Leagues (CARL)

For registration dates, video assistance for ActiveWaterloo, standings, schedules and sport-specific rules, choose an activity from our sports page.

To contact CARL, call 519-884-5363 or email carl@waterloo.ca.

Below are rules and regulations that apply to all CARL leagues. In cases of bad weather, check our field conditions page for updated information. If games are cancelled team captains will be contacted.

Video assistance for ActiveWaterloo

Watch our easy to follow videos on how to register for ActiveWaterloo CARL programs on: 


CARL logo and City of Waterloo logo

Joining our leagues

The City of Waterloo offers adult sports leagues for all skill levels. Anyone 18+ can register as a team or individual free agent.

Free agents can ask to be placed with a friend. You will be prompted upon registration, and we'll do our best to fulfill this request.

When you register for your CARL season it only holds your spot for that season, not the following season or next year. When signing up your team we recommend adding subs in case some cannot attend. The sport specific rules outline what is considered a forfeit and how many registered players are allowed on a team.

You can add players until the fourth week of play in a 12 week league, and up to the 10th week of a 24 to 26 week league. Players on teams must join the roster through ActiveWaterloo.

Skill levels and division alignment

When registering as a team or free agent you will be prompted to select your skill level. While all leagues are recreational we have divisions to encourage fair play:

  • A: competitive teams/individuals that are at an advanced skill level
  • B: intermediate skill level of athletic participation within a rec setting
  • C: moderate skill level of athletic participation within a rec setting
  • D: wide range of skill levels more focused on development and socializing

Some teams have the opportunity to change divisions if it does not match their skill level. This request must be made within the first three weeks for a 12 week season, and within the first six weeks for a 24 or 26 week season. To allow for any movement once the season has begun, there must be another team from the new division that is willing to move. CARL administrators reserve the right to make the final adjustments to improve the league.

When creating divisions CARL takes into consideration a team's previous record, rosters and competitiveness in previous seasons. CARL will not move a team if they do not feel it could be competitive in the new division.

If a team finishes in the top four of their division in two consecutive seasons they are encouraged to move to a higher division. CARL administration has the right to move any team to a higher division without consultation.

When a team moves to a different division during the season, they will inherit the record of the other team whom they switched with.

Schedules

CARL staff will contact you three to four weeks ahead of the scheduled start time to confirm contact information and division requests. You will receive the full season schedule one week before the start of the season.

Playoffs

Playoffs always take place but not all teams are guaranteed a spot. Check sport specific rules and the amount of teams in your division to see your chances at making playoffs.

Officiating

Most leagues are self-officiated. Players are expected to know the rules and make their own calls during the game. Ice hockey and slo-pitch use referees and umpires.

Jerseys

Most teams are not required to wear jerseys, though we encourage teams to coordinate similar colours. All ice hockey players are expected to wear a jersey with the same number during the season. For a deposit ice hockey teams can use provided jerseys if they do not have their own. In other sports if there is a colour conflict, pinnies will be provided.

Spirit of the league

We're happy to provide adults of all ages and skill levels the chance to stay active and play the games they love, or learn new sports. While encouraging competitive game play, we want everyone to have fun.

CARL leagues are an environment for participants of all skills levels to enjoy the value of healthy living in a social gathering through sport. It is expected that all participants enter each game in the proper frame of mind to participate for the enjoyment of the game and recreation.

Team names and logo

CARL team names and logos must comply with corporate procedure. CARL will review all team names and logos.

Teams must select names and logos that:

  • do not contain messages that express contempt, ridicule, or superiority or otherwise discriminate on the basis of race, ethnic origin, ancestry, place of origin, citizenship, creed, colour, disability, gender identity, gender expression, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or family status
  • do not include profanity
  • do not include sexual innuendo or sexual messages
  • do not contain messages that are demeaning or obscene, or that reference dominance over or violence towards someone
  • do not incite criminal behaviour
  • do not promote the consumption of illegal substances
  • do not promote the irresponsible consumption of legal substances.

For further information please read our CARL team names and logos – selection, approval and use corporate report.

Sportsmanship

All players and spectators are expected to abide by the Spirit of the League. Failure to do so could result in suspension or discontinuation from the league. Captains are responsible for the behaviour of players and spectators can be held accountable for any inappropriate actions.

If you are having issues with your opponent it is expected that you discuss this matter with your opponent. If the issue persists teams are encouraged to request help from the CARL associate on-site at an appropriate time (during play along the sidelines or halftime) in a respectful manner. If you feel the issue has not been resolved upon completion of the game please report to carl@waterloo.ca by 5 p.m. the next day. All sportsmanship issues will be reviewed by CARL Administration.

When reviewing an issue we consider instigation and retaliation as the same. Sportsmanship issues may be followed up with in one of the following manners:

  • Feedback: team or player(s) will receive a written or verbal notice of their infractions during the game. Further offences may lead to suspension or possible discontinuation from the league.
  • Warning: team or player(s) will receive a written warning from CARL Administration indicating their infractions during the game or season. Further offences will lead to a suspension or possible discontinuation from the league.
  • Suspension: team or player(s) will receive a minimum (1) one game suspension sent in writing from CARL Administration for their next scheduled game(s). Further offences will lead to more suspensions and/or discontinuation from the league without refund.

A team with continual offences as a part of the CARL leagues will be taken into consideration when reviewing future issues. Any team who continually shows poor sportsmanship within CARL leagues may be reviewed and possibly denied acceptance into a CARL league.

Zero tolerance guidelines

CARL staff will ask any person to leave the facility immediately when committing any of the following:

  • swearing directly at another participant, staff or official
  • intentionally pushing, shoving or making physical contact with another participant, staff or official
  • making comments to instigate or incite an altercation with another participant, staff or official

Participants engaging in any of these acts will face a suspension at the discretion of CARL staff.

Spirit Rankings

In order to promote sportsmanlike play, all teams are required to submit a spirit ranking for their opponent following the game. The spirit ranking will be reported directly to the CARL Associate.

Each team can receive a total of five spirit points (five being the highest and one being the lowest). All teams will begin each game with a full five spirit points and ranking will be determined by the play of your team from that game. When determining ranking the following criteria will be followed:

Spirit ranking of five:

  • a few penalties/fouls should not drop the rating as long as they are unintentional and/or accidental
  • questioning a penalty/foul is allowed, as long as appropriate language and gestures are maintained
  • the flow of the game is consistent (free of intentional delays)
  • teams show consistent and outstanding sportsmanship.

Spirit ranking of four:

  • the game is played with courtesy
  • poor language is occasionally overheard.
  • some penalties/fouls are more aggressive
  • intense moments are short-lived and kept within the context of the game
  • questioning a penalty/foul is allowed, as long as appropriate language and gestures are maintained.

Spirit ranking of three:

  • the game has some intense moments
  • inappropriate language is used whether or not directed at other people
  • the odd penalty/foul is intentional/not in the flow of the game
  • the game's integrity is not jeopardized, CARL staff does not feel that extreme measures are necessary

Spirit Ranking of two:

  • continued use of inappropriate language directed at other participants
  • excessive number of penalties/fouls, including intention and flagrant offences
  • repeated scrums and pushing after the play has been stopped
  • display a lack of respect for the other team, attempt to antagonize them
  • blatant disrespect toward the referee (foul language & gestures)
  • requires a detailed report

Spirit Ranking of one:

  • team has gotten out of hand, with regards to both language and actions.
  • the flow of the play has been continually disrupted; stoppages in play are filled with pushing/arguing.
  • team's actions are severe enough to consider ejecting players and/or stopping the game.
  • a blatant disregard for the rules, opponents and the game in general is displayed.
  • a blatant disrespect towards the referee/CARL staff (foul language, gestures).
  • requires a detailed report

Any issues during a game should be discussed with your opponent throughout and/or prior to the end of the game to allow for improvement during the game. If a situation becomes escalated any person has the right to contact emergency services. CARL Associates may contact emergency service for any participant.

End of season follow-up

Following the completion of each CARL Season the administration will do a review of each team's overall spirit rankings. Any team displaying continual low spirit rankings throughout the season may be subject to any of the following:

Probation: any team who receives an average spirit ranking of 3.0-3.5 for their season will be sent a written notice placing their team on probation for the next CARL season. While a team is on probation any occurrence of issues during the season will be dealt with more severely and may lead to suspension or possible expulsion from the league without refund. CARL Administration has the right to make changes to these standards based on continual offences during a season.

Review: any team who receives an average spirit ranking of 2.5-2.9 for their season will be sent a written notice placing their team under review for the next CARL season. A team under review must submit; in writing, changes their team will make to ensure a better performance of sportsmanship within the league. CARL Administration will review this submission and has the right to deny acceptance into the league. Any team who receives acceptance into the league will be placed on probation for the next CARL season. CARL Administration has the right to make changes to these standards based on continual offences during the season

Suspension: any team who receives an average spirit ranking less than 2.5 for their season will be sent written notice of suspension for the next CARL season. All teams who are suspended for a season will be reviewed by CARL Administration and acceptance into future seasons of CARL leagues may be denied. Any player from a suspended team may receive permission to play on another team within CARL leagues. CARL Administration has the right to make changes to these standards based on continual offences during the season. Additionally, CARL Administration has the right to deny any request to continue participation within the league.

Suspensions

Any player or team receiving a suspension from a CARL league will not be refunded for games missed and will not be allowed to attend league games during the duration of their suspension. Failure to adhere to the guidelines of a suspension may lead to further discipline which may include more suspensions or discontinuation from the league without refund.

The following are possible suspensions that could be administered for offences within a CARL league. We have the right to make changes to these suspensions due to severity or repeat occurrences without notice.

  • one game: observed aggressive actions including but not limited to instigation or retaliation of inappropriate verbal or physical actions towards another individual. Continued offences during a CARL season
  • multiple games: occurrences of inappropriate sportsmanship behaviour in the league Displaying aggressive and/or inappropriate actions towards any City of Waterloo staff
  • one year: fighting at or on City of Waterloo property. Fighting will be deemed as but not limited to the throwing of any punch or fist shot towards another player whether or not making contact or dropping the gloves in hockey to instigate an altercation with another individual
  • two years: observed or confirmed fighting occurrences in one game
  • five years: noted occurrences of multiple fighting offences during a game. May include but will not be limited to serious loss of personal control, displaying intent to injure, lack of personal safety to other individuals, severe travesty of the game and/or complete disrespect for the spirit of the league

CARL staff members

CARL Associates are employees of the City of Waterloo. They are there to assist in providing a positive experience for CARL participants working to ensure a proper level of sportsmanship among all players. CARL Associates are expected to be treated with an appropriate level of respect as outlined in the ‘Zero Tolerance Guidelines'. The roles of a CARL Associate include:

Player liaison:

  • providing positive customer service to all CARL participants and general facility patrons
  • recording and reporting all scores and spirit rankings from games
  • CARL Associates have the right to question the validity of any player on a team's roster
  • CARL Associates do have the right to change any spirit ranking they feel does not meet Spirit Ranking Requirements based on their observation
  • reporting any sportsmanship issues to the CARL Administration
  • promoting CARL programs to participants
  • providing First Aid assistance when required
  • CARL Associates have the right to speak to any/all players throughout the game about appropriate behaviour

Facility management:

  • ensure all facilities and resources used by the leagues are ready for use and maintained
  • ensure all facilities are safe for participants
  • ensure all participants are following any facility protocols
  • managing the time of all games and making any adjustments to times as needed

Mediator:

  • CARL Associates have an understanding of the league rules for their sport
  • any disagreement between teams is expected to be resolved by the players. The CARL Associate will step in when necessary to assist in this process. The CARL Associates decision will be determined as final and play should resume with no further discussion.
  • enforcement of zero tolerance guidelines
  • assisting with the understanding of all league rules. Leagues are self-officiated; the CARL Associate is not a referee and will not be expected to make calls

Game management:

  • responsible for the time keeping of all games
  • CARL Associates have the right to run the clock or end a game early should they feel it is necessary
  • CARL Associates have the right to suspend a game at their discretion due to any prohibited behaviour or activity

What the CARL Associate does not do:

  • CARL Associates are not trained referees and therefore will not referee or make calls during the game

What to do if there is NO CARL Associate present:

  • there should always be one CARL Associate present during your games. Should there not be a CARL Associate present we ask that you please inform the Customer Service at RIM Park Manulife Sportsplex to inform them of the absence
  • following a game with no CARL Associate we ask that both team captains email carl@waterloo.ca with game scores and spirit rankings

Officials

Most CARL leagues are self-officiated and players are expected to make their own calls.

Some leagues have trained officials that will make calls during the game. Calls are final and players are expected to respect them. If a team has a question or concern regarding a call they may discuss it with the official as long as it is communicated respectfully. All CARL officials are part of the zero tolerance guidelines and disrespect towards an official may lead to an ejection from the current game. Further suspension or expulsion from the league may apply as determined by the CARL administration.

Weather

CARL does not cancel indoor games due to bad weather. The only time games will be cancelled is when the facility has been closed by City of Waterloo officials. Teams will be contacted in this case.

For outdoor sports, CARL is guided by the city's Field Delay and Cancellation Policy. No decisions will be made before 4 p.m. the day of the game.

Updates will be posted on the field conditions webpage. In the event of unforeseen circumstances park staff have the right to impose on-site delays or cancellations.

Alcohol

Teams consuming alcohol at or on City of Waterloo property in non-designated areas will be reprimanded as follows:

  • First offence: warning from league administration
  • Second offence: removal of team from league play without refund