by Jeff Husted

MASL Player Combine and International Challenge cap off week-long festivity

ST LOUIS (June 21, 2017) – The Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) offseason can be nearly as exciting as the regular season. Last week, the owners and executives of the member teams, along with MASL management, gathered in St. Louis, MO for the MASL Annual Meetings. After meetings were concluded, the week was capped with an MASL Player Combine and the International Challenge.

Much of the meeting was focused on continuing the growth of arena soccer and the game in general. Many items were discussed in the meeting, including team travel, player registration and bench personnel. Some of the more exciting things to come out of the meetings revolved around the league calendar for next season and beyond.

First, the league unanimously agreed to extend the 2017-2018 schedule to include 22 games for each team (11 home and 11 away). The additional home game will allow each team to further develop and excite their fanbase while increasing revenue opportunities.

The MASL has also made a shift to increase the importance of regular season games, by tweaking the playoff format. The 2017-2018 Ron Newman Cup tournament will still consist of three rounds; The Divisional Championships, Conference Finals and Ron Newman Cup Championship. The Divisional Championships will remain a home-and-home series with each team getting a chance to host a game. The higher seed will decide which game in the series they would prefer to host.

The changes occur in the final two rounds of the tournament, as the Conference Finals and Ron Newman Cup Championships will each be decided in a one-game, winner-take-all format. The higher seed will determine the date and location of each game.

Although the Annual Meetings have concluded, the league is still investigating several issues that could come to the forefront in the next few months. Some of these items include, further expansion, goal-line technology and MASL2.