The WPSL North is still too big

I argued last year that the WPSL North is too big. It’s more than 51,000 sq miles, and it remains so, in fact with expansion into Sioux City Iowa, it’s got even bigger. So how should we/would I split it?

You could do one of three things, in my mind.

a) Split it North-South.

b) Split it East-West, essentially along the line of Highway 10.

c) You could have a Twin Cities division and an Outstate (and indeed Out of State) division.

a) The North-South split


As you can see, this would put Mankato, Rochester, Sioux City and Sioux Falls together with Thunder (in Richfield) and Joy (St. Louis Park) in the Southern half. The Northern half would be Fusion (in Fargo), Manitou (White Bear Lake), MapleBrook (Maple Grove), St Croix (Stillwater) and Salvo (who play in Roseville). This would have the benefit of splitting up the traditional powerhouses so that we can have a juicy Championship match every year. Some would see the reduction in Twin Cities derbies as a potential downside.

Re-interpreting the results from this season: Thunder’s only dropped points were against Salvo, so scratch them. Salvo dropped two points to Sioux Falls and Thunder, neither of whom they would have played. So we have a projected Championship between the two strongest teams anyway.

b) The East-West split

This arrangement would put Rochester on an island somewhat, so I’m not a fan. Mankato and Fusion are joined by MapleBrook, Thunder and Joy in the West. Again, Thunder and Salvo would face each other for the Conference.

c) The Twin Cities solution

This solution has the clear advantage of drastically reducing travel in the Metro. A split of any kinds also reduces travel for those Outstate teams too. It retains the Metro rivalries and the Zandbroz and Highway 14 Derbies. Last of all, it sets up a juicy Championship game with all sorts of Cities vs the rest atmosphere, if atmosphere is what you want. With the six Metro clubs (from NW clockwise: MapleBrook, Salvo, Manitou, St Croix, Thunder and Joy) only playing each other, Thunder and Salvo would fight for the Metro title and the Outstate title would have gone to Sioux Falls City, since their only dropped points were to Metro clubs.

Another argument for this alignment is the relative mobility of some of the Metro clubs. Salvo and Thunder both have camps across the Twin Cities, Joy of the People are based in St Paul.

If we take Thunder’s non-participation in the playoffs to be a position statement, Salvo would face Sioux Falls City for a Conference Championship and that one spot in regionals.