For over 30 years, the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association has brought the game of soccer, one of the world’s most popular sports, into the lives of youth players of all ages throughout the state of Maryland. MSYSA began as a vision, which was conceived by Tom Bailey in 1976. His dream was to organize and create a state-wide association that encompassed more than the traditional focus of soccer. One of MSYSA’s primary goals remains; to provide, promote, and support activities and events that advance the stature and recognition of the game.
Prior to 1976 there was no formally organized youth soccer association in the state of Maryland. Bailey found an assembly of youth leaders to begin the process of organizing a state association. The Baltimore Beltway League, organized Bailey in 1969, became the first league to register as a full affiliate, followed by the Mid-Maryland League. The benefits of being an MSYSA affiliate are: access to professionals with extensive soccer coaching and administrative experience; the opportunity to be recognized through the MSYSA website and eNews; access to MSYSA sanctioned leagues; insurance coverage for players and coaches; and a seamless transition from recreation to travel play. The first annual MSYSA meeting was held the following year and the “Constitution and By-Laws” were read for the first time. This document, which declared that the state youth association would be self-governing and would establish its own board of officers and treasury has become the foundation of MSYSA.
MSYSA had approximately 2,500 registered players and only a few affiliates during its inaugural year, but now is approaching 60,000 registered players and over 140 affiliated clubs. MSYSA has become a dominant force in fostering youth soccer development throughout the state, thus fulfilling the vision behind Bailey’s dream.