Northern Mariana Islands Football Association kicked off the Interscholastic Soccer League in the middle school and elementary divisions last week.
The competition for the elementary division (futsal) started last Tuesday and featured seven teams that were divided into two groups. Group A has Saipan Community School, Garapan Elementary School, and Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School. Mt. Carmel School leads Group B, joining Saipan International School, Koblerville Elementary School, and William S. Reyes Elementary School.
The GES Mallards and SCS Tsunamis squared off in the opening game at the TSL Sports Complex last Oct. 1, while the MCS Knights dueled The SIS Geckos in the other match and the game ended in a draw, 6-6.
The elementary futsal, which is played every Tuesday at 4pm, will follow a round-robin format in the regular season and all teams will advance to the playoffs, which will be a single-elimination affair.
The top finisher in Group A will be pitted against the No. 4 team in Group B for the first round of the playoffs, while other pairings are Group A’s No. 3 vs Group B’s 2 and Group A’s No. 2 vs Group B’s No. 3. The No. 1 finisher in Group B will get a bye in the first round and will play the winner in the Group ‘s No. 2 and Group B’s No. 3 tiff.
The playoff round will not be played until next month, as the last preliminary matches in the elementary division are set for Oct. 22.
In the ISL middle school division, five teams are battling for this season’s championship.
The list includes Hopwood Middle School 1 and 2, SIS, Francisco M. Sablan Middle School, and Mt. Carmel School.
The SIS Geckos had their debut match against Hopwood 2 last Friday at the Oleai Sports Complex Field, while the MCS Knights were slated to duel FMS in the other game in the opening week.
This Friday, Hopwood 1 will play its first game of the season against FMS, while SIS will collide against Mt. Carmel in the other Week 2 tiff.
The middle school competition will also have a round-robin format in the regular season and only four teams will advance to the playoffs. The last pair of elimination matches are tentatively scheduled for Oct. 30, while playoff dates have yet to be determined. In the playoffs, the No. 1 team will take on the No. 4 finisher after the elimination for a finals berth, while the No. 2 and 3 squads will battle for the other finals ticket.