In 1989 the Senior Ladies league was formed within Halifax Senior Soccer allowing women to continue to play after youth soccer. In November 1996 a meeting was called due to concern with the rapid growth of the Senior Ladies League and the lack of structure for such an expanding league. It was recommended the league separate and form a stand alone league to be registered within Soccer Nova Scotia with their own rules, regulations and executive committee.
On March 25, 1997 the newly separated league, known as Metropolitan Senior B Women’s Soccer League (MSWSL) began and was formally introduced by inaugural president Keith Ritchie. The league started with representatives from 8 teams and an executive was formed. The objective was to offer a more recreational option for women within HRM, with an emphasis on balancing recreational play with healthy competition. After just three years, the league doubled in size, growing from eight to sixteen teams.
In November 2001, as the league continued to expand, the rules were amended to create the 3 divisions used today (Jones, DeWolf and Ritchie). Each division was formed based on standings from the previous year and created a definitive competitive balance between teams - Jones being the highest division, followed by DeWolf, then Ritchie.
The divisions were named through submission, nomination and vote and are named after some of the original committee members who helped to shape the MSWSL to what it is today. Pauline Jones, Gordon DeWolf and Keith Ritchie were each integral aspects to forming the MSWSL, pushing for change and helping senior women soccer to grow in Halifax.
In 2018 a new recreational division was added, bringing additional teams to the league. After 30 years, the MSWSL is still continuing to grow with over 30 teams.
Written by Nicole Castilloux