Soccer Almanac

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Inaugural BCSL 1910-11 season

Aug. 4, 2022 |  Categories:  BCSL  

In March of 1910, the Albion Rovers were expelled from the California Football Association for refusing to play a CFA cup match. The Rovers immediately began organizing the Bay Counties Soccer League. The organization adopted by-laws and a constitution. Officers were elected including Captain Stopford of the U.S. Army as president. The BCSL played a handful of matched during the spring of 1910 but decided not to hold a regular competition until the next season. In July, the league was admitted to the Pacific Amateur Athletic Association.

The BCSL had a number of meetings in August and early September to get ready for the 1910-11 season. Six clubs were represented: Albion Rovers; Berkeley Buffs; a team of Presidio soldiers; Alameda F.C.; United Caledonians; and Argonauts. In September, the California Association Football League made a formal protest to the Pacific A.A. of the BCSL membership under a technical point that the admittance was made via a special meeting rather than a regular meeting. At a full meeting of the Pacific A.A. on September 20 at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, BCSL delegates uncovered that the CAFL wanted to make them become a junior league of the CAFL. A vote of the full meeting verified the admittance of the BCSL but a member of the CAFL proposed a division vote. That vote carried six or seven of the CAFL members and was defeated putting the BCSL out of the Pacific A.A.

Prior to the 1910-11 season, the team of Presidio soldiers dropped out of the BCSL and a similar team, called the United States Soldiers, joined the CAFL. The Berkeley Buffs, United Caledonians and Argonauts decided not to join as well. The three remaining clubs (Alameda, Albion Rovers and Oakland) played a double round-robin competition for the Lancaster & Lancaster cup with all games being played at the Oak Street and Clement Avenue grounds in Alameda.

In late October, as the BCSL started playing its cup matches, the Pacific A.A. met to again discuss the question of admitting the league. It was decided to allow the league to play its matches under sanction of the association pending an investigation of the powers of the CAFL. Oakland and Alameda ended the competition as the top two teams. On November 27, the two clubs met in the Lancaster & Lancaster cup final. Oakland beat Alameda 6-3 to win the inaugural cup competition.

At the end of the cup competition, the Oakland F.C. of the CAFL stated its desire to join the BCSL. The Oaks withdrew from the CAFL during the first week of December and joined the BCSL. Since the BCSL already had a team with the same name the Oaks were renamed the Corinthians.

Now with four teams, the BCSL secured a lease of one year from the Dow pump engine company for the field at the southwest corner of Clement Avenue and Oak Street. The grounds were only one block from Park Street opposite the Dow pump works.

The league season began on Sunday, December 11. In January of 1911, a month into the season, the Pacific A.A. denied all privileges of the association and asked the CAFL to use its influence to bring the barred athletes of the BCSL back into good standing.

Even while no longer sanctioned, the BCSL continued its competition. While the Albion Rovers had lost all their best players to the Pastime Club of the CAFL, the team was still the best of the BCSL squads and took the league title.

©2022 by Daniel Creel. All rights reserved.