League History and Milestones
LEAGUE HISTORY and MILESTONES
2015 marks the 40th Anniversary of our league,
The Golden Horse Women’s Soccer League (GHWSL) was founded in November 1975 and kicked off our first season in 1976 with 4 founding teams.
St. Andrew Reds (Strikers), St. Andrew Blues (Rowdies), Armourdale and Garry Owen.
St. Andrew Strikers won the first league championship with the St. Andrews Rowdies as League Runners up.
The league steadily grew over the next few years where in 1978 - 12 women’s teams participated.
1979, the women’s Division was such a success the League expanded to also operate
U12, U14, U16 and U18 Girls divisions along with the women’s division.
This was brought about because neither the GHWSL, Peel Halton, Scarborough or North York had enough teams to operate independently.
In 1979 The GHGSL had 39 teams participate with the following breakdown per age group,
Senior was split into East 7 teams
West 6 teams
Under 18 - 4 teams,
Under 16 – 8 teams,
Under 14 – 8 teams
Under 12 – 6 teams
The League name was changed to Golden Horseshoe Girls soccer League,
Between 1984 and 1986 the Youth district leagues had grown a large enough base to support its own youth programs, and the League became a Women’s league once again with only 19 teams participating as many senior Recreational leagues had also now started up.
In 1991 the League name was changed to the Ontario Women’s Soccer League and membership was up to 27 teams.
From 1992 through to 1995 there was a period of adjustment within the League to comply with the OSA pyramid of play, the currently operated three levels of play Provincial, Regional and Multi District divisions were formed.
2001 – Alan Southard retires after 12 consecutive years as President of the OWSL.
2002 – OWSL moved to a permanent office location in the Coffee time soccer center
2003 – Senior membership grows to 48 teams
2004 – Awarded the mandate by the OSA to operate Under 21 Regional & MJD Divisions
Senior membership was 44 teams
U21 membership was 24 teams
A total - 68 teams.
2005 – OSA awarded the OWSL the mandate to operate a Provincial U21 Division
Also our first League Administrator was hired
2006 – Membership has risen to 84 teams due largely to the U21 divisions –
First All Star game in aid of Toronto Sick Kids Hospital - $10000 Donated.
2009 – Membership at an all time high of 98 member teams
2010 - Introduction of Indoor league with 8 teams participating
2014 – League formed 40 years ago and still going strong