The Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) kicks off its spring season on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22 on fields in Suffolk, Nassau and Queens. The March 21-22 kick-off is the latest start to the LIJSL Spring Season in the past three decades. Which makes perfect sense given the current wintry weather that the Northeast is experiencing. The official start of spring is March 20 so hopefully the soccer fields will have thawed out by then.

Some 1,547 travel teams - 791 boys squads and 756 girls teams - will be playing over 10,000 soccer games this spring.

The LIJSL Spring Season kicks off with the traditional curtain-raiser, the first round of the Waldbaum's Challenge cup competition.

"Waldbaum's Supermarkets have been sponsoring the Challenge for the past 16 years," said LIJSL volunteer Frank Asselta, chairperson of the Waldbaum's Challenge. "They continue to step up for the children of Long Island and Queens."

The Waldbaum's Challenge began as the Long Island Cup three decades ago, then morphed into the Chase Cup in 1982 and became the Waldbaum's Challenge over a decade later. The volunteers of the Long Island Junior Soccer League are extremely grateful to Waldbaum's Supermarkets, which provide the funds to allow our 25,000 travel team players to keep on dreaming!

The Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) was established in 1966 as a nonprofit, educational organization and is one of the largest youth soccer leagues in the United States, with 98 member clubs representing approximately 70,000 players on Long Island and in Queens. The LIJSL is operated by volunteers committed to enabling young people to Build Character Through Soccer.

The league's mission is to foster the growth and development of youths under the age of 19, at all levels of competition, emphasizing fun, respect and team-building. As an umbrella organization, the League provides a coaching academy, clinics, tournaments, special competitions, scholarships and special programs for players of all abilities.

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