Middle School Soccer Association
The purpose of the Association is to provide middle school aged players the opportunity to continue to play the game, on a recreational level. The objective is to have fun.
The Association was originally formed in the 1980's to provide a place for kids to play who were too old to play in their local leagues. Most leagues were offering programs for kids up to the age of 12, about the age at which they enter middle school. Few, if any, leagues had enough players to establish either a U13 or U14 Division within their own league. Consequently, this association was created to provide that opportunity. All teams playing in the Associaiton must be affiliated with the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association (OSYSA). Teams, or leagues, that are not affiliated with OSYSA may do so through any league that is.
Teams are combined and formed with the 6th, 7th, 8th grades mixed in together. This allows our kids to compete with all other Middle School teams that are running the same program.
MSSA is a recreational program comprised of teams from throughout central Ohio. MSSA is NOT a "league", per se. The Association does not register individual players. Players register in their local, community leagues. The local league then registers teams in the Association. Communities that participate range geographically from London to Newark and Delaware to Circleville. The preponderance of teams are from Columbus, Dublin, Gahanna, New Albany, Newark, Pickerington, Westerville, and Worthington.
Teams may be comprised of players in 6th, 7th or 8th grades. Players are NOT allowed to play on both a select (or club) team and an MSSA team during the same season. Players who are in high school may not play in the association, regardless of their age. Some teams use the association as a training opportunity for players interested in playing high school soccer. Most teams participate for the fun of it.
The use of the term "Middle School" is somewhat misleading in that teams are not supported, nor sponsored, by the middle school they attend. Rather, the term is used to describe the organizational element of the teams; namely, middle school age players. If a team is "sponsored" by the middle school they attend, and the middle school is affiliated with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA); that team, and it's players, must abide by the rules governing OHSAA.
MSSA is considered a recreational program in that anyone wishing to play must be placed on a team; provided that a sufficient number of players are available to form a team, a coach can be secured, and space is available on the roster. Placement of players may not be made on the basis of a tryout process. As a recreational program, players should be given equal playing time. At worst, each player should play at least half of each game. Delaware usually has 2-3 girls teams and 2-3 boys team in the fall and spring.
Teams play a 10-game, Regular Season Schedule (5 Home and 5 Away) with two games per week: one weeknight (usually Wednesday or Thursday) and one weekend (usually Saturday morning). A tournament is held at the end of each season.
Sportsmanship and Fairplay
As indicated above, the purpose of the Association is to have fun. Behavior to the contrary only creates an unpleasant experience for everyone else. It should not be tolerated by participating leagues/teams. While everyone wants to win the game, that should not be the primary reason for playing it. As adults, it is our responsibility to instill a spirit of sportsmanship and fairplay in our players and parents. That goal cannot be achieved if we allow players, spectators, or our coaches to behave in a manner contrary to that. We encourage everyone to be diligent in our efforts to create an atmosphere in which everyone can have fun and an enjoy the game.
End of Season Tournament
A round-robin tournament is held at the end of each season. Teams typically play 3 Preliminary Round games within their Division Group. The team with the most points at the conclusion of the round-robin, advances to the finals to play the winner of the other Division Group. The first round games are played at one of the paired team's fields. The second and third round games, as well as the finals, are played at a common site. Due to the number of teams involved, there are usually 5-6 tournament sites.