The Indiana State Soccer Association, the governing body for adult soccer in Indiana, voted to officially merge with Indiana Youth Soccer. The decision was one of the final steps in creating a joint soccer association to service both youth and adult soccer players in Indiana. The Indiana Youth Soccer membership voted unanimously to approve the merger during its January 2010 Annual General Meeting.
Indiana Adult Soccer Association President Doug Pels is pleased that both organizations are moving forward to support the growth and development of soccer in Indiana. “All soccer players will be better served through one association that can better reflect and focus on the game,” said Pels. “All of us will be pulling in the same direction. We seek not only to develop better players, but to ensure that all players have easy access to the game they love, at the level that provides them the most fun. In the end, the fun is the one component we can least afford to lose.”
The Indiana Adult Soccer Association serves over 3,000 members with a volunteer-based organization in Indianapolis and is a member of the United States Adult Soccer Association.
“The agreement between Indiana’s adult and youth soccer associations to combine as a joint soccer association provides for a more effective approach to better serve the entire soccer community,” said Indiana Youth Soccer President Murray Clark. “The joint association will allow the strengths developed by both organizations to be leveraged for the benefit of all players. This union establishes a seamless transition from youth to adult play and creates a number of new opportunities not available as separate organizations.”
After more than a decade of discussion, a joint soccer association will be bring a variety of new benefits to soccer players of all ages and playing abilities. Indiana Youth Soccer Executive Director Dave Guthrie believes these benefits could include growth for the game through increased membership, increased community and corporate support, and a broader awareness of the game.
“I believe we will see a growth in membership as youth players are encouraged to stay in the game, transitioning seamlessly to adult play or supporting the game as a coach, referee, volunteer or eventually a parent on the sidelines,” said Guthrie.
Beginning immediately, the new joint soccer association - Indiana Soccer Association - will provide administration and support for over 140 clubs who can now host both youth and adult soccer teams and programs through a single governing body. Nationwide, Indiana joins twelve other states as a joint state soccer association providing governance and service to all soccer players, regardless of age. The joint state associations include: Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania West, North Texas, Tennessee, and West Virginia.