Statewide and Regional Soccer Leagues
Director's Academy and Michigan State Premier Soccer Program (MSPSP)
GVSA is a western Michigan League. Within Michigan there is also a statewide leagues, MSYSA Director's Academy (DA) and the Michigan State Premier Soccer League (MSPSP). Michigan also participates in USYS National League. Many of our teams go on to play in these leagues, so let's take a look at them. For more information on these leagues visit www.michiganyouthsoccer.org
The Director's Academy (DA) is a statewide program of the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association. Entry to the DA is only for clubs who meet the requirements set forth in the DA application. Directed at the U11 and U12 age groups, the program focuses on club, team and player development through coaching education. With this focus in mind, DA clubs and coaches are held to a higher-than-average standard. All rostered coaches, assistant coaches, and trainers must meet minimum coaching license requirements, and head coaches must attend at least one MSYSA approved coaching education event each year. As the best environment for player development is during training sessions, coaches must submit seasonal training themes, blocks and schedules for review by MSYSA. Acceptance into the DA is highly selective. MSYSA looks at the club's structure, player programming, player development, coaching development, and history of participation in MSYSA programs and events. Based on this information, clubs are given a score at the time of their application. If a club does not receive a passing score, MSYSA will provide guidance on changes needed to obtain a passing score. Most clubs will not be accepted the first time they apply. However, if they make the changes suggested by MSYSA, they may earn DA acceptance as quickly as a year or two. Once accepted into the DA clubs will be subject to periodic reviews. The reviews may include an analysis of their Player Development Structure, Coach Development Program, their Training & Game Environment, Club Administration, the Facilities they utilize, and the Soccer Respect campaign.
The MSPSP is for age groups U13 through U19. All teams must be sponsored by an MSYSA member league. GVSA sponsors teams through our Clubs. In 2022, GVSA sponsored 100 teams from 15 different Clubs. Individual teams must be sponsored by their individual clubs. Teams are selected on merit and a willingness of their clubs to sponsor them.
Teams will be placed into divisions, based on their performance. The top two Divisions are called Premier 1, Premier 2 and Premier 3, followed by the Classic 1-4 divisions. (some older age groups may have fewer divisions). Teams move between Divisions based upon a promotion/relegation process. Teams that do not start play at the U13 age typically are placed in the lowest division and must work their way up the ladder.
Typically, good GVSA teams (better than average in the Elite Division) would be in Premier 3 or Classic 1, if they played in the MSPSP. Most teams will start in the lower classic divisions unless they have compelling league and tournament results to warrant a higher consideration.