Girls Academy - FAQ


FAQ’s Regarding Girls Academy League


What is the Girls Academy League? 

Girls Academy League (GA) is composed of member clubs primarily from the former Girls Development Academy as well as admitted clubs from the GA Board of Directors. The GA is a league developed to address needs from its membership: national competitive platform, staffing, college recruiting and youth national team scouting. By unifying DA clubs from conferences across the country we have found a way to maintain several of the defining standards of the Development Academy with flexibility in two key areas; permission for all players to participate in High School Soccer and revising the substitution rules to encourage clubs to better utilize their player pools, especially when showcasing their players to college coaches. We feel by giving the autonomy to clubs to determine what’s best for their membership we can take what worked for us in the DA and erase the obstacles for our players to have a more enjoyable and diverse experience.


What are Some of the Benefits of Playing in the GA?  

In alignment with Development Academy standards. The GA’s elite training environment promotes increased technical standards and allows for greater accountability for players and coaches. Coaches can devote more time to these areas in training. The GA will continue to provide an improved environment with the proper training-to-game ratio that supports year-round periodization for proper development.


What Conference will West Florida Flames participate in and who are the clubs/teams? 

West Florida Flames will participate in the Southeast conference alongside Tophat 1 – Tophat 2 - Weston FC – IMG Academy – Wake FC – United Soccer Alliance. Also, the Southeast conference will have the opportunity to play cross-conference games with the Mid-Atlantic Conference. 


How Many Games are Played and How Long is the GA Season? 

Each GA team plays approximately 15 to 22 league games (cross-conference), with some additional games played over showcase events. The clubs will travel out of state for regular season to GA and NC. The rest of matches are all in state and mainly single fixtures requiring no hotel stays reducing cost of regular season travel.

The season will likely begin in August and commence with playoffs in June. Senior teams will break from league play for High School sports participation from November to February.


How Many Showcases are Hosted Per Year?

The GA will host 2-3 showcase events and one National Final. Also, the GA will play in local showcases or out of state showcases where appropriate by age group. 


How Many Players Does the GA allow on a Roster?

Clubs can roster up to 22 players per age group.   

Can Younger Players Compete in Older Age Groups?

Yes, it is encouraged that younger players play up based on relative age effect, talent, development needs and opponent. 


What if I Don’t Make a Girls Academy League team? 

If you are not selected for a GA team, you could be selected for an Elite team and selected as a possible Developmental Player. Elite teams (Non-GA) will follow a similar model to the GA teams with oversight from GA staff and participate in the Developmental Player League. 


How Many Days Does a Girls Academy League Team Train?

There is a requirement of 3-4 times per week. The average training cycle with games equates to 3-4 trainings per week. 


Where Will the West Florida Flames GA Facility be Located?

Our main site will be JC Handly Park in Brandon 


Will I be allowed to play school sports while in the GA? 

YES, Participation in school sports will be allowed. We are focused on the players, their development and health so we will continue to monitor during the High School break as some players may elect to not participate in school sports. Players suffer more injuries due to overuse and we want to support players with proper periodization. 


Can GA Clubs Participate in Non-GA Competitions?

YES, GA teams can play in other leagues, tournaments, State competitions, ODP or All-Star events including High School Sports. 


What is the Cost to Play in the Girls Academy? 

At West Florida Flames, the registration fee is $2170 (Includes deposit and refundable $125 volunteer fee*)   *$125 volunteer fee is refunded upon completing (6) six hours of WFF volunteer hours. 


What is the Travel Fee and Who Pays for Travel Expenses? 

GA club players are responsible for all travel expenses. (Due to COVID-19 guidelines all travel to games will be the responsibility of the player and parents, we will not be able to travel as a program)

Estimated team fees cost are between $1200 - $1500 (Cost includes, but not limited to; regular season travel for coaches, hotels, meals, transportation. Referee fees, Game Day Athletic Trainer, Home Game Filming, Showcase Fees, Coaches Showcase Travel Expenses, Equipment such as balls, cones and medical supplies). 


Are There Scholarships Available in the Girls Academy League? 

Yes, West Florida Flames offer a scholarship program to support families in need. West Florida Flames Soccer Club strives to provide an opportunity to play soccer at all levels despite financial limitations.  


How Does Someone Tryout for a West Florida Flames DPL Team?

Girls Academy Tryout Registration: 

Anyone interested in being identified can also contact the Director of Soccer, Jorge “Yoyo” Zavala, at and he will guide you where appropriate.  


For more information on the Girl Academy League: