This month in our Affiliate Spotlight Series, we interviewed an affiliate league for the first time! We caught up with Steve Cammarata, Executive Director of the Central Maryland Soccer Association (CMSA), one of our newest affiliates.
Please describe CMSA.
The Central Maryland Soccer Association is a league created 27 years ago as an alternative league for recreational and club teams to play in other than BBSL & other recreation leagues. We have grown from a small scrimmage league of 16 teams to now over 450. Offering leagues for Saturday & Sunday in the fall. In the spring we only play on Sundays because of other sports.
We schedule teams based on skill level as we want everyone to have a fair and competitive experience. We have three divisions: A – Premier Division, B – Challenge Division, and C – Classic Division/Recreation Travel.
One main difference to leagues in these areas such as EDP and local Recreational leagues is registered teams and must affiliate through either MSYSA, US Club or SAY & all rosters are frozen as of the 13th day of the league season. We don’t handle team affiliations; teams must affiliate with either MSYSA, US Club, or (SAY) Soccer Association for Youth.
How has CMSA evolved over the years?
The biggest change is our affiliation with MSYSA and US Club, which gives more teams access to our league. Additionally, all our league staff members are paid and have previously been involved with local clubs, so we have few administrative issues.
What specific areas do you service?
We currently service Carroll County, Harford County, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, and Cecil County & Howard County.
What initiatives are in place to help further the game in Maryland?
The game is for children, so we do everything possible to give the players the best possible experience. We offer competition from U7 to U17 and 7v7, 9v9, and 11v11 leagues. We are open to expand into other counties but Programs/Clubs need to have at least 3 teams playing on the same day to get home games.
We also host 2 Tournaments. The Oldline tournament in the Spring (April) & the Columbus Classic Tournament Fall (October). All teams must be affiliated & Carded through any one of the 3 affiliates.
Our affiliation with MSYSA allows teams that normally wouldn’t play travel an opportunity to have more accessible insurance through MSYSA. Our league is a great alternative to the existing travel leagues in the area that want to spend less and have competition more relative to their level.
How has the landscape of your organization changed over the past year?
It has been difficult trying to obtain the correct information from the state and the multiple counties we serve. Different restrictions in different counties have forced teams to become independent teams. Despite Covid, our league has still been able to grow. Since last year we’ve added 25 more teams in the fall & this spring we have 28 new teams.
What changes do you envision making over the next 3-5 years?
None, except for making Soccer the sport for your children so that they will be excited to play and be as competitive as they can.