HASL Improvements

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 noffke@southernsoccer.net

Self proclaimed soccer nut.

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6 comments on “HASL Improvements
  1. Ryano says:

    These are pretty good ideas. I’ll have to devote a blog post to discuss these further. 🙂

  2. noffke3000 says:

    I’ll be patiently awaiting your write up. I think the Over-40, Women’s and FA Cup are something feasible this time around. I’ve also heard an idea that the format go to 6-Aside or 7-Aside to ease the field and referee situation.

  3. John Moran says:

    Good to get the ball rolling on this. You will have my vote.
    I think the over 40 and women’s league is long over due.
    There are so many female players coming out of Huntsville that we should be able to support this. If may need to start out as 7 aside for them but we need to get something started.

  4. Robzilla says:

    This bodes the question; Should we offer a women’s division in the Rocket City Invitational?

  5. John Moran says:

    Jacob,
    I was thinking that the league should have about $2600 left over in referee fees not paid due to the shortened season.

    Daryl has talked about reducing this season’s fees but I think we might be able to save the money for a rainy day fund.

    Milton Frank Stadium now has artifical turf and soccer goals and markings.
    The Huntsville City School Board owns the stadium and rents it out for $1200/day. This is way too expensive in my opinion but we could have a 2 day turf marathon where we make up 14 to 16 games in the last weekend of the season. Lights are available (important in the fall). This could prevent Merrimack form ending the season prematurely again.

    What do you think?
    -John Moran

  6. noffke3000 says:

    I’ve floated this already to Daryl actually about planning to have games there. We looked into it in the past for tournaments. He gave me the green light to pursue it and told me to contact them directly and see about using it. When you do the marathon scenario it breaks down to pretty cheap per player. Do you have a contact for this?

    In another note, the women’s and over-40 divisions are good in theory, but fields are going to be the biggest issue. The best way would be for them to use different fields all together than what the normal HASL teams use. This would prevent conflict and not take away from the already over-used resources we have.