I’ve been playing in HASL for about ten years now and have now played in every division and recently become more involved with the league. While the league isn’t broken, as evidenced by its recent 25th anniversary, I’d like to think that things can always get better. With that said, I’ve been kicking around a few ideas in my head that others have suggested over the years that have never taken hold. I can’t take credit for these ideas. While I might not be a great idea man, I am good at execution. So I’m going to be writing these up as possible proposals to the league this summer. HASL is of course a league that is governed by the teams, so it will come down to a captain’s vote.
New divisions – Over-40 & Women’s
- Each division should be a stand alone league that has no impact on the regular HASL standings
- This could allow for players to play in two leagues if they so choose. (I know several that want to)
- I would propose that each NEW division have it’s own “commissioner” if you will, to tend to it’s needs. The other 4 divisions will still be under the direction of the league President and Vice President. All divisions would report back up the chain of command.
- Reserve the right to combine these two divisions, or take the women’s division to co-ed if not enough interest is there. I think both could be legitimate, I just think there needs to be a little time to get the word out.
FA Cup style competition
This is an idea that has been floating around for a while. This would be a separate competition from the normal HASL match play. There would be set dates throughout the year where any team from any division could play against any team. So Schurke could meet Earmuffs in the first round or the Law Dogs could end up playing Foot Clan in the first round. We play single eliminationand spread the games out over the two seasons to culminate in a “Huntsville” cup winner at the conclusion. The down side is that I am sure some teams won’t want to participate if it means playing a team that is two divisions away from them in the standings…to them I say, Suck it up! It’s only 1 match. And anything can happen in Soccer. Or to get around this we could take the top 16 teams or the first 16 who sign up. For those not familiar with this style of competition you can find a good explanation on Wikepedia
2 divisions – 1 year league Format
Go to a longer season. Having broken up a team in the top division and then reformed in the bottom, I have spent 3 seasons clawing back up to the top division. What I’ve found out is that sometimes the bottom division is the hardest to get out of, and that there is more parity in the league than teams give themselves credit for…either that, or we’re just not that good of a team. The point is that it takes too long to get to the top division from the bottom. The proposal is to go to two divisions each with 12 teams. Then you do 4 up/4 down or something along these lines. Instead of 1.5 years to make it to the top it only takes a year now. One problem I do see with teams that only last 1 season. They will mess up the standings when they drop out so you might have to charge the entire year up front. This might scare away some teams with younger players who don’t want to sacrifice beer money for soccer. They haven’t made the realization yet that the two go hand in hand. As it is right now, the format doesn’t allow for any experimentation with your lineup or your formation. If we have 10-15 games to recover from a loss, teams might be allowed to be more creative. I play the thankless sweeper position for Schurke and I know that I’m not going to get my cameo up top any time during the season because the games count so much. Yes the suspense is riveting, but I still like to think that I have a lot to learn about soccer and playing other positions can only help me as a player.
So there they are. I’ll try to work on something more formal, I just wanted to start getting it out there so people can poke holes in it and it can be a sound proposal that can be distributed to the captains ahead of the league meeting to get a vote. What do you think? Have any ideas? Think I’m trynig to fix what isn’t broken? Let me know! Leave a comment or email me at email@example.com