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Founded in 1979, the Greater Memphis Soccer Association is the Mid-South's largest adult soccer league, and the largest for several hundred miles in any direction.  It represents approximately 1,200-1,300 men and women players of all ages and skill levels.  During the Fall 2011 season, the league consisted of 81 teams in three men's leagues (40 teams in six divisions), a coed league (28 teams in four divisions), and a women's league (5 teams in a single division, expected to split back into two divisions next season), and our new over-35 men's 7v7 "Legends" league (8 teams in our inaugural season).  For a historical retrospective of past league champions, click here.

LEAGUE STRUCTURE:

Unlike some leagues, our divisions are structured around skill level rather than age requirements, so ages vary widely throughout our multiple divisions.  The number of divisions has changed dramatically over the past 15 years, growing from just two divisions (men's teams only) from the league's inception through the early 1990s, to eight divisions (five men's, three coed) at the start of 2007.  We added our women's divisions (previously as MWSA) in Fall 2008.  Beginning with the Spring 2009 season, we have restructured our men's divisions again.  Throughout all of our changes, we have maintained our core principle of parity, by segmenting our divisions based primarily on the overall skill of each team.  Two teams are promoted and two teams are relegated from each divisions after each season.  None of our divisions are ideal for an "absolute beginner", but if you have at least a bit of background in the game somewhere in your past, we generally have a division that will be a fit for you.

MEN'S DIVISIONS:  We now have seven total men's divisions of cascading skill level, divided into three "leagues": Premiership (First and Second Divisions); Championship (First and Second Divisions); Conference (First, Second and Third Divisions).  The new Premiership Divisions are ideal for players of the highest skill level...many ex-club and ex-college players play here, and occasionally a few ex-pros.  (For example, former pros Steve Bradshaw, Tony Carbognani, and Goran Meskovic, formerly of the NASL, and Tony Kuhn, Grant Paule, Andy Metcalf and Dayton O'Brien, formerly of MLS, have each played ]or continue to play] with teams in our top division.)  The new Championship Divisions are now our "middle ground", with a good mix of players with different levels of skill and fitness.  The new Conference Divisions are a combination of what used to be our old Third & Fourth Divisions.  The Conference Divisions are currently the most recreational in nature...but there are many excellent players in this division also, including some folks who have been out of the game for a time, but are attempting to play themselves back into shape. 
NEW! "LEGENDS" DIVISIONS (MEN'S 7v7 OVER-35): Started in Fall 2011, GMSA launched its "Legends" Division, exclusively for men over 35, in a 7v7 format.  This is a new concept we are offering in addition to our regular men's league, as an opportunity for some of our men's players to get some "extra kicks" in each week, and for those closing in on retirement from full-sided play an opportunity to continue to participate competitively at a "slower pace".  Initially started with eight teams, we hope to expand to at least two divisions in the near future.
COED DIVISIONS:  Our Coed League was founded in 1993, and has grown from the original four teams, to more than two dozen.  There are currently four divisions in our coed league:  Premier, First, Second, and Third Divisions.  The talent level cascades accordingly from top to bottom; the Premier Division features the most highly skilled players, with many ex-collegiate and ex-club players throughout.  The Third Division is the most recreational in nature of the four, with the First and Second Divisions being the middle-ground with a good mix of all skill levels and fitness levels. 
WOMEN'S DIVISIONS:  Prior to the Fall 2008 season, eight teams that previously existed under the banner of the MWSA (Memphis Women's Soccer Association) came under GMSA's banner.  There are currently two divisions divided by skill level; the First Division has several former collegiate and club players throughout the division, while the Second Division is more recreational in nature.  Many of the women who play in the women's divisions, also play in GMSA co-ed divisions.  Divisions are occasionally combined, based on the number of teams participating each season.

WHEN DO WE PLAY?

OTHER INFORMATION:

ROSTERS: Maximum number of players on a team's active roster is 25. Rosters must be submitted at a date to be determined at each season's coaches meeting. Players may be added during the course of the season; rosters are subject to a freeze deadline, following completion of approximately 50-60% of the team's games that season.

SEASON DURATION: There is a Fall Season and a Spring Season each year. The Fall Season begins in late August, and is usually completed in late November or early December; each team is guaranteed at least 10 games, with as many as four tournament games also possible in our various Cup competitions for those teams that qualify.  The Spring Season typically runs from late February through early June; each team is guaranteed 10 regular season games, with as many as three tournament games in our intra-divisional Maybry Cup tournaments for those teams that qualify.

UNIFORMS:  Every player must have the exact same jersey with a unique number.  No exceptions, period!  We encourage all teams to invest in shorts and socks as well, but those are not required.  Alternately, we encourage coaches to at least get their players to wear the same COLOR shorts and socks to each game, but again, this is not a requirement to play.  Uniforms need not be elaborate in nature.  Remember, if there is a color conflict with jerseys, the HOME TEAM is required to change to an alternate color.  Every team who has a potential conflict within their division is expected to have an alternate jersey.  Alternates must also meet the color, brand, style, and numbering requirements.

AGE REQUIREMENTS All players must be at least 16 years of age, though there is no maximum age...some current players are in their 50s!!  In the co-ed divisions, it is required that there be no more than 7 men and no fewer than 4 women on the field at all times. (If there are fewer than 4 women, the team will play short by that many players, even if there are more men on the bench.)  A full team can, however, be fielded with more than 4 women. (For example, a team of 5 women and 6 men is perfectly legal.)

For a full printout of the GMSA Rules Of Competition, click here.

 

 


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