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STRUCTURE OF YOUTH SOCCER IN MICHIGAN 

Highest to Lowest Level

 

PREMIER COMPETITIVE LEVEL YOUTH SOCCER

Organizations and Leagues

  • State Wide
    • Michigan State Premier Soccer Program (MPSPS) - MSPSP  
      • State-wide league begins play at U13 and concludes at U18. Multiple divisions available within each age group: Premier 1 (top), Premier 2, Classic 1, Classic 2, Classic 3, Classic 4 (lowest). Teams are placed in appropriate divisions based on results from previous years. Each season the top teams in each division are promoted up a division and the lowest teams are relegated down a division.  Coaches are paid professionals and teams playing in Premier 1 and 2 divisions are required to have a minimum “D” State-coaching license or a NSCAA National Diploma. All head coaches of teams playing in any Classic divisions shall be required to have a minimum “E” State-coaching license.
         
    • State Cup  
      • State-wide tournament to crown State Champions, part of the National Championship Series. It's  organized like the World Cup - teams play three games to determine a group winner, and the group winners advance to the quarterfinals. State Cup champions advance to a Regional tournament, with winners advancing to the National Cup.
         
    •   Midwest Regional League (MRL) - MRL
      • Region-wide league begins play at U14 and concludes at U18. Teams must qualify for participation based on State Cup and league performances (MRL or MSPSP). Two tiers of play (Premier and First Division) with multiple brackets at each level. Only eight total teams in Michigan per age group qualify for play in MRL.

 

 

COMPETITIVE CLUB BASED SOCCER

Organizations and Leagues

  • Greater Detroit Area (Eastern & Mid-Michigan)
    • Michigan State Developmental Soccer League (MSDSL) - MSDSL
    • Michigan Youth Soccer League (MYSL) - MYSL
    • Western Suburban Soccer League (WSSL) - WSSL 
       
  • Greater Flint Area
    • Mid-Michigan Youth Soccer League (MYSL) - MMYSL
       
  • Western Michigan Area
    • Grand Valley Soccer Association (GVSA) - GVSA
    • West Michigan Youth Soccer Association (WMYSA) - WMYSA
       
  • Northern Michigan Area
    • Traverse Bay Area Youth Soccer (TBAYS) - TBAYS

 

Coaches are a cross-section of paid and volunteer staff. Team commitment (training frequency, tournaments, etc.) increases from the community level teams.  Some of the leagues listed above have both competitive and recreational divisions.

 


COMPETITIVE COMMUNITY BASED SOCCER

Organizations and Leagues

  • High School
    • Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) - Girls Soccer
    • Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) - Boys Soccer
  • Greater Lansing Area
    • Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) - CASL  [SJSC TEAMS PARTICIPATE IN THIS LEAGUE]
  • Greater Central Michigan Area
    • Central Michigan Soccer Association (CMSA) -   CMSA


Competitive community-based, low cost medium commitment, parent/volunteer coaches, games played against other communities, some tournament participation. This is when quality players start to separate themselves and begin to look for more ways to be challenged above recreational soccer. Many youth players (U8-U12) find this is an excellent feeder league for premier clubs.



RECREATIONAL SOCCER

Organizations and Leagues

  • Clinton, Gratiot, Ionia and Shiawassee Counties
  • Greater Lansing Area

Recreational community-based, very low cost and minimal commitment, parent/volunteer coaches, games played against other local teams and some nearby communities. This is the typical starting point for most players entering the sport of soccer.