MAINEVILLE, Ohio (May 18, 2022) – The Board of Directors of Buckeye Premier Youth Soccer League (BPYSL) voted unanimously to approve a merger with Ohio Soccer Association (OSA), effective May 16, 2022. BPYSL will become the third state-wide league under OSA, including the Ohio Soccer State League (OSSL) and the Ohio Soccer Developmental Leagues (OSDL).
BPYSL began in 1991 and has played a large role in Ohio’s youth soccer landscape. Originally started with just 10 teams in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas, the league has seen major expansion over its 31-year history and now includes over 650 participating teams from Ohio, Indiana, northern/central Kentucky, and West Virginia. The league caters to a wide array of talent levels, which allows teams to find an appropriate competition level.
“The BPYSL brand and name has wonderful history in Ohio. We are thrilled to be able to include them with OSSL and OSDL as one of the state-wide leagues that OSA offers its members,” remarked Gordon Henderson, OSA CEO.
With the recent merger at the start of 2021, OSA has continued to make significant strides. Over the course of the last twelve months, OSA has seen over a 12% increase in player registrations and 21% growth in full members. Henderson outlines some of the reasons why.
“OSA is committed to listening to our member leagues and clubs. It is very evident that OSA’s values, integrity, and professionalism as an organization, along with our unwavering commitment to athlete safety, are a driving force in our increasing membership.”
As we look forward to the 2022 – 2023 season, in conjunction with our other competitive member leagues, we will create clearer pathways and appropriate environments for competitive players that fit the needs of all participating clubs and teams.
One obvious reason we are excited about this development with BPYSL is that the more integrated we are, the more we can ensure that we don’t face the referee shortages that some leagues outside of OSA are facing. We can simply work more cooperatively to the benefit to all OSA members. We look forward to investing in both North and South referee associations in the state of Ohio, with a goal to have ease of assignments for all OSA league and member league games.”
The BPYSL office in Columbus will transition into a new OSA office and the league will largely continue to operate from the same location.
George Sauer, president of Buckeye Premier Youth Soccer League, shared his excitement on the integration, “BPYSL is excited to be part of OSA as we go forward into the future. OSA is a growing organization with extraordinary people working hard to make the player, club, team, and parental soccer experience the best in the state. We look forward to a bright future with all OSA and its many facets, now including the BPYSL.”
John Ruffolo, OSA Board President, remarked, “I am excited that Buckeye Premier Youth Soccer League will now be a direct program of OSA. The merger of one of the premier competitive leagues in Ohio will benefit everyone – the current participating clubs and teams as well as those who want to participate going forward. OSA wants this league to be our members’ league. Our administration will be reaching out to our clubs and teams from across the State of Ohio requesting both positive and critical suggestions to improve the league and enhance the soccer experience of our youth soccer players.
I am confident that this will be beneficial to our current competitive leagues. OSA continues to encourage cooperation between our competitive leagues as we all seek to do what’s right for the players.”
More details will follow in the coming week regarding all relevant information and pending changes for 2022-23 seasonal play. Registration for the Fall 2022 BPYSL season opens June 1.
What They’re Saying:
Mo Razack, Dublin Soccer League/Dublin Soccer Excel (DSX) Director of Coaching: “I am very excited to hear that Buckeye will now be a program of OSA. The merger provides a more streamlined pathway for competitive players to advance to the elite level and helps consolidate what has become a very fragmented league environment in the state of Ohio. This is another milestone in OSA’s mission to unite Ohio’s soccer community.
Looking forward to being part of the movement. It is long overdue.”
Dave McIver, BPYSL Board Member and Vice President of Operations/Events at Kings Hammer: “As a current board member of Buckeye Premier League, I am excited about the leagues’ integration with Ohio Soccer Association. I am hopeful current and future clubs will see the benefits of Ohio Soccer Association’s dedication to the improvement of the league through greater resource allotment and overall management of the league. I look forward to OSA Members being able to participate in a new and improved Buckeye Premier League.”
About Ohio Soccer Association (OSA):
OSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing youth soccer in the State of Ohio. Our singular goal is to support, inspire, and grow youth soccer by unlocking the potential within every community. We support clubs, leagues, teams, coaches, referees, parents, and players with resources, expertise, and programs that it easier for young people to get involved and stay in the game. We stand for innovation, integrity, teamwork, inclusion, and trust.