HISTORY OF THE METRO WOMEN’S SOCCER LEAGUE
Back in the mid 1970’s Women’s soccer had two
Winter Leagues and one summer league.
One of the Winter Leagues was called the Lower Mainland Women’s Soccer
League. This league consisted of teams from
Maple Ridge, Surrey, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Chilliwack and Mission. The
other Winter League was called the Mainland Women’s Soccer League which
consisted of teams from Vancouver, North Shore and Burnaby.
In 1979 the League consisted of 16 teams.
The Summer League was called the Greater
Vancouver Soccer Association (GVSA). The
Greater Vancouver Soccer Association had received grants from the BC Lottery
In 1979 one of the most influential women in
the sport joined the Soccer League. Leeta Sokalski started playing with the
Jericho Old Girls (affiliated with the Jericho Rugby Club). At that time the
league consisted of 16 Teams. She since
has held many influential roles in the soccer community inclusive of being on
the MWSL Board, BC Soccer Board, CSA Soccer Board and was the first ever Women
In the early 80’s youth soccer players started
graduating and wanted to continue playing.
Most of the women who played at the time were field hockey players or
their husbands played soccer.
By the early 80’s the organization had grown
the Summer League to 60 teams.
In 1981 BC Lottery changed the grant rules and
the GVSA went bankrupt. They took the remaining money they had and gave it to
the Lower Mainland Soccer League as that is where most of the GVSA teams played
in the winter. That money was used to
form the scholarship funds.
By 1981-82 the two winter leagues soon merged
and changed their name to the Metro
Women’s Winter Soccer League.
Once the summer program was in effect they
dropped the winter and in 1982 became the Metro Women’s Soccer League.
was continuous growth in the league and one of the biggest challenges the MWSL
faced was securing soccer fields. Leeta Sokalski was instrumental in securing
fields in the Vancouver area.
By 1982-83 season MWSL became affiliated with
the BC Soccer Association which at the time was led by President, Ed Ponsart.
In 1982 the MWSL League office was located in
Burnaby on McKay Ave; subsequently moved to the Douglas Road office and now
resides at Burnaby 8 Rinks.
Cup Play was in affect from the beginning of the
start of the 2 winter leagues and by 1985
there was 72 teams playing in cup play.
The League was always Non Profit and was run by
volunteers until 1985 when the first Office Administrator was hired to work
only Tuesdays and Saturdays.
the MWSL has over 6800 members, over 220 teams playing Winter and over 130
teams playing Summer. The League has
expanded to include Premier, Selects A/B, Division 1 - 5, Classics Division 1 -
3 and U21 A/B.
The MWSL Board of Directors consists of 9
Directors who represent the needs of the membership through committees that
support Governance, Finance, and Competitions. The league office has a Director
of Marketing and Communications, a League Manager, a Scheduler, a Head Referee
and a Referee Scheduler.
has seen significant growth through the years and we look forward to many more
successful years developing the game of soccer inspiring women to life-long
active and inclusive play.
Note: we are still compiling more detailed
information on our history so if you have any additional information or have
any historical photos to share we would be happy to receive them. Please forward them to Jo-Dee Stanley, League Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.