Roster Rules

2018 Roster Rules

 

Team Salary Cap Regulations

 

Team Salary Cap

In computing the Salary Cap, it is assumed that it is spread across a minimum of 18 Players (if a Team is carrying additional Players because of Roster Relief or Goalkeeper Replacement, these Players are also included) based on adjustments for Allocated Players. Therefore, if a Team is carrying less than 18 Players, minimum salary Player spots are added to the Team’s budget for the purpose of calculating the total Team Salary Cap (i.e. a Team cannot spread the Team Salary Cap over 11 Players).

Team Salary Cap: $350,000.

Maximum, Minimum Player Salary Budget Charges

Minimum Salary: $15,750.

Maximum Salary: $44,000.

 

Roster Limits

  • 18-20 Player Roster
  • After the roster compliance date teams may have no more than twenty (20) available Players under contract assigned to their Roster at any one time, subject to Injury, Goalkeeper Replacements, National Team Player Replacement exceptions, and in exceptional circumstances as permitted by the League.

 

Roster Compliance Date

Clubs may exceed the maximum number of Players under contract assigned to their Roster, the maximum number of international roster spots, and/or the player salary cap starting the day following the NWSL Championship and through the final Monday before the start of the regular season.

 

Roster Freeze

 No changes (including waiving Players) may be made to a Team’s Roster from the “Roster Freeze Date” until after the NWSL Championship. Teams may add a short‐term replacement after the Roster Freeze Date in cases of Goalkeeper Replacement, National Team Player Replacement and a Player coming off of the Disabled List.

The Roster Freeze Date is set forth in the Competition Calendar.

 

Player Classifications

 

Individual

An Individual is a person who is eligible to play in the NWSL but is not a Player.

Player

A Player is a person who:

  1. Is currently under contract with the League OR
  2. Is not under contract with the League, but has their rights to play in the NWSL controlled by a Team.

 

Allocated Player

An Allocated Player is a Player whose compensation is underwritten by a Federation.

 

Domestic Players

A domestic Player is either a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident (Green Card holder) or the holder of certain other special status (e.g., has been granted refugee or asylum status). There is no limit as to the number of domestic Players on a Team’s Roster within general Roster limits.

 

International Players

Each Team has four (4) international Roster spots for the 2018 season. These international Roster spots may be traded with the only condition being time (spots can be traded for one year, two years or forever). With trades, there is no limit on the number of international Roster spots a Team may have. Any Player who does not qualify as a domestic Player in the U.S. shall be considered an international Player. Any international Player must occupy an international Roster spot on a Team’s Roster (with the exception of Allocated Players).

 

MECHANISMS OF ACQUIRING PLAYERS

Teams may add Players to their Roster through one of the following mechanisms:

Distribution Process
College Draft
Trades
Discovery
Waiver Wire
National Team Player Replacement
Disabled List
Short Term Injury
Season‐ending Injury Replacement
Goalkeeper Replacement

 

In order for a Team to add a Player to its Roster, it must use one of the above mechanisms. Once it has been determined that a Player may be added pursuant to one of the above mechanisms, it must then be determined if the Player’s addition would be within the relevant Roster limits and guidelines.

 

Distribution Process

 

Purpose and Intent

The intent of the Federation Distribution Process is to provide an equitable mechanism for distributing the rights to certain Individuals to Teams in the NWSL.

 

Types of Individuals Available for Distribution

The following types of Individuals will have their rights distributed to Teams via the Distribution Process:

A) An Allocated Player whose rights have not yet been assigned to an NWSL Team

B) When a Player comes off Allocation and the Team chooses to relinquish her rights

 

Collectively, these types of Individuals will be referred to as Distribution‐Eligible Individuals. Distribution Process

Teams will be provided the opportunity to select Distribution‐Eligible Individuals on a rolling basis, in accordance with the following processes:

A) Distribution‐Eligible Individuals will be made available for selection by Teams after the NWSL is notified that a Distribution‐Eligible Individual is available for distribution, except after the Roster Freeze date, in which case the Distribution‐Eligible Individual will not be available for selection until after the completion of the current season, on a date to be determined by the NWSL.

B) If One Distribution‐Eligible Individual Available for Selection. If a single Distribution‐Eligible Individual is available for selection by Teams via the Distribution Process, the NWSL will provide formal notice to all Teams via email. Interested teams will be required to respond via email by 5pm ET on the same day. The Distribution‐Eligible Individual will be awarded to the Team that selects the Distribution‐Eligible Individual, except in the event that more than one Team requests the Distribution‐Eligible Individual, in which case the Team with the highest Distribution Ranking will be awarded the Distribution‐Eligible Individual.

C) If More Than One Distribution‐Eligible Individual Available for Selection. In the event that more than one Distribution‐Eligible Individual is made available for selection by the Teams, a “Special Distribution Draft” will be held, in accordance with the following rules:

i. The NWSL will provide Teams with a date, time and conference call number on which the Special Distribution Draft will be conducted;

ii. Teams will be permitted to select Distribution‐Eligible Individuals following Distribution Ranking Order;

iii. Teams may choose to not make any selections in the Special Distribution Draft;

iv. Teams are permitted to trade their Distribution Ranking to another Team during the Special Distribution Draft;

v. Teams are permitted to select an unlimited number of Distribution‐Eligible Individuals in each Special Distribution Draft;

vi. In the event a Distribution‐Eligible Individual is not selected by any Team in the Special Distribution Draft, the Individual will be immediately eligible to be designated as a Discovery Player by a Team.

D) Retention of Rights. Teams who select a Distribution‐Eligible Individual, but do not sign the Distribution‐Eligible Individual to a contract, will retain the Distribution‐Eligible Individual’s rights until the start of the next preseason

 

Distribution Ranking Order

 

The Distribution Ranking Order is the mechanism used to determine which Team has first priority to select an Distribution‐ Eligible Individual.

A) The Distribution Ranking Order will be determined by the reverse order of finish of the prior NWSL season, taking playoff performance into account. Specifically, the 9th Ranking will go to the winner of the NWSL Championship Game, the 8th Ranking will go to the loser of the NWSL Championship Game, the 7th Ranking will be given to the team with the highest playoff seeding that lost in a Semi‐Final Game, and the 6th Ranking will be given to the team with the lowest playoff seeding that lost in a Semi‐Final Game. The 5th through 1st Rankings will be given to the non‐playoff teams in reverse order of finish, such that the 1st Ranking will be provided to the team with the lowest position in the NWSL table. The 10th Ranking will be provided to the expansion Team.

B) Once a Team uses its Distribution Ranking to select a Distribution‐Eligible Individual, it will drop to the bottom of the Distribution Ranking Order.

C) Teams may trade their Distribution Ranking, provided part of the compensation received in return is the other Team’s Distribution Ranking. At all times each Team is assigned one Distribution Ranking.

D) The Distribution Ranking Order will reset on the day following the current year’s Championship match, as per the methodology described in Section (A).

E) Until the conclusion of the current season, each Team’s Distribution Ranking can only be adjusted through one of the following mechanisms:

i. By acquiring an Distribution‐Eligible Individual via the Distribution Process;

ii. Through a trade with another Team.

 

College Draft

 

These are Players drafted by Teams in the annual NWSL College Draft.

 

Players must be registered by the date set forth by the League to be part of the College Draft. If a Player is eligible and does not register, that Player will not be able to be on the Roster of a NWSL Team until the start of the Offseason Discovery Window – at which point that Player will become eligible as a Discovery Player.

 

The draft order is based upon the Teams’ on‐field performance during the previous year. If Teams are tied, the Tie Breaking Procedures set forth in Exhibit 6 shall be utilized.

 

Undrafted Players

 

A Player who is on the College Draft List and is undrafted may be added to a Team’s Roster via a Discovery claim on a first‐ come, first‐serve basis. If more than one Team selects the same Player on the same day, priority will be determined in accordance with the League’s Discovery Order.

 

College Protected Period and College Protected List

 

Protected Period. The rights to any college players selected in the NWSL College Draft shall be assigned to the drafting Team’s College Protected List until the end of the season immediately following the Draft (the “Protected Period”), except as noted below.  Rights to Players on a Team’s College Protected List are assets of the Team and may be kept, waived or traded, at the Team’s discretion during the Protected Period.  If waived, and not picked up off of waivers by another Team, the player becomes discovery eligible.

 

Preseason Requirement. A drafted player shall be invited to participate in NWSL preseason training by the Team that drafted her in the season immediately following the Draft.

 

Standard Player Agreement. If a player is drafted by a Team in the Draft and the Team wants to add that player to their roster, the League will attempt to sign the player to a Standard Player Agreement (SPA) at a salary determined by the League Office. There is no guarantee that a drafted college player will be offered or will agree to sign a SPA with NWSL. Once a drafted player signs a SPA, NWSL will assign the player to such Team. A player on a drafting Team’s College Protected List is not on the Team’s Roster and may not play for the Team unless and until she is offered and signs a SPA.  If a player is not offered a SPA, or does not attend her drafting Team’s preseason training, she will remain on the drafting Team’s College Protected List through the Protected Period.  If a player is offered a SPA during the Protected Period but does not sign it, she shall remain on her drafting Team’s College Protected List until the beginning of the following season’s preseason.

 

End of Protected Period. At the end of the Protected Period, except as noted above, players on Teams’ College Protected List become discovery eligible.

 

Trades

 

Players may be acquired in trades with League approval.

 

All Player trades are subject to League approval and to Salary Cap as well as Roster size and composition constraints. Player trades cannot be made for finite periods (i.e., Players may not be “loaned” by one Team to another or temporarily swapped by Teams).

 

Trades may not be conditioned upon a Player passing a physical examination or unwound because she failed to do so – it is a case of “buyer beware.” Teams are advised to undertake any inquiries regarding a Player’s medical condition before executing a Trade Agreement. It is also a case of “buyer beware” with regard to a Player failing to report to her new Team.

 

Bona fide consideration (either an exchange of Players, future draft choices) is required in each trade of a Player. No financial consideration is permitted. Teams are able to trade future draft picks and International spots as well as Players. Teams may not structure trades such that a Player may not play against her previous Team.

 

The League should be consulted early in any trade discussions so that Player salaries and other Player Agreement provisions can be confirmed, Team Salary Cap impacts can be determined, any draft positions to be traded can be confirmed, and any other matters, including the Players’ physical condition, can be discussed.

 

Teams must respond fully to all inquiries in anticipation of a trade regarding Player injuries, illnesses, or other matters, and provide copies of medical records as requested. It is anticipated that Team trainers and physicians will communicate directly on these matters. A Team’s failure to respond fully and accurately may result in sanctions imposed by the League as set forth under “Binding Agreement and Approval”. There is, however, no prohibition against Teams trading an injured Player.

 

Binding Agreement and Approval

 

A trade is binding on the Teams from the time the Trade Agreement is executed by both Teams and submitted to the League Office, but is not final until approval has been received in writing from the League office. Once the League has given approval, the trade is final except where, in the opinion of the League, egregious conduct has occurred on the part of a Team involved in a trade that was not known at the time the trade was approved.

 

The League shall disapprove any trade of a Player if the consideration is not clearly established and accurately disclosed on the Trade Agreement submitted to the League.

 

Trades of Discovery Rights

 

Teams may not trade Discovery Player spots.

 

Trades for International Spots

 

Teams may trade International spots, provided that the only condition can be the length of time the spot is traded (e.g., a spot can be traded for 1 year, 2 years or forever).

 

Trades for College Draft Picks

 

Teams trading College Draft picks may not place conditions on those draft picks.

 

Teams are only permitted to trade selections for the next College Draft. The sole exception to this is that Teams will be permitted to trade selections from the next two College Drafts during the period of time from the conclusion of a Season through the end of the subsequent draft.

 

Trades for Distribution Draft Ranking Spot

 

Teams may trade their Distribution Ranking Spot, provided part of the compensation received in return is the other Team’s Distribution Ranking Spot. At all times, each Team is assigned one Distribution Ranking Spot.

 

Trade Deadline

 

No trade may take place between the Roster Freeze and the NWSL Championship. All trades should be submitted to the League Office on an official Standard Trade Agreement Form.

 

Discovery

 

A Discovery Player is a domestic or international Player who is currently not under contract with the League. A Team may claim her rights by adding her to their Discovery List.

 

The term “Discovery Player” may refer to both Players on the Discovery List and those Players under contract with the League who have been acquired through Discovery Process.

 

A Discovery Player request must be made to the League on an official Discovery Player Request Form during the “Discovery Period.” If approved by the League, the Player will be informed and will be added to the Team’s Discovery List.

 

Teams may submit discovery forms during the following Discovery Periods:

 

  • Seven (7) in the off-season period
  • An additional four (4) in the Preseason period
  • No more than three (3) unsigned international Players may be on a Team’s discovery list in the off‐season and pre‐season period
  • An unlimited number of Players may be signed, but only two (2) unsigned discovery Players may be on a Team’s discovery list during the in‐season period
  • No more than two (2) unsigned international Players may be on a Team’s discovery list in the in‐season period

 

Once submitted the Discovery Player continues to occupy a discovery spot. An exception to this would be if another Team submits a discovery request for the same Player and after fourteen (14) days the Player is not signed with the League with her rights assigned to the original Team, she will be removed from the first Team’s Discovery List and placed on the second Team’s list who submitted the request. The Player will then occupy a spot on the 2nd Team’s discovery list.

 

Discovery Eligibility of a Foreign Minor

 

A player may be discovery eligible while a minor (under the age of 18) provided her 18th birthday occurs by the time of the close of the next transfer window immediately following the submission of the Discovery Player Request Form, enabling the execution of a Standard Player Agreement during that Discovery Period with a start date coinciding with or following the Player’s 18th birthday, and also provided the player’s international clearance transfers during that same Transfer Window.

 

Example: Player A turns 18 on May 5 (which is during the primary transfer window).  She is discovery eligible any time after the close of the previous transfer window, provided her SPA is dated May 5 or later, and provided ITC transfers during the primary window.

 

Discovery Process

  • A Player is put on a Team’s discovery list once they are in talks/negotiations (on behalf of the League) to sign the Player.
  • It is incumbent upon all Teams to notify their Discovery Players that they are on their Teams’ Discovery List in order to assure that no tampering will take place.
  • If another Team submits a discovery request for the same Player, the Team who holds the discovery rights will need to provide a Player Agreement Form within fourteen (14) days for the Player or release her rights.
  • If the Player is released or the offer is deemed to not be bona fide, the discovery rights for the Player will then be awarded to the second requesting Team.
  • If the Team makes a bona fide offer to the Player and she does not accept, the Player will not be eligible to be placed on another discovery list during that Season.
  • Players will remain on a Team’s discovery list until the end of the Season at which time she will be removed.

 

A list of Discovery Players will be available for Teams to review in order to facilitate the process. This list is for internal use only and not be publicized in any way.

 

Non‐Discoverable Players

 

Teams may not discover Players in the pool for the full U.S. Women’s National Team. The Player pool for the USWNT is as determined by U.S. Soccer (usually posted on their website).

 

Except as otherwise provided, Teams may not discover a Player who played at a four‐year collegiate institution during the college Season immediately prior to the date of discovery.

 

Discovery Period

 

The discovery period for Discovery Players is as set forth in the Competition Calendar. After the Roster Freeze Date, the Discovery List is wiped clean as only goalkeeper replacement and National Team Player Replacement signings will be made for the remainder of that Season.

 

Multiple Claims for the Same Player

 

If a Team makes a valid Discovery Player request and no other Team makes a Discovery Player request for the same Player on the same day (whether or not it’s a business day) during the Discovery Period, the Player shall be assigned to the requesting Team. In the event a Discovery Player is requested by more than one Team during the Discovery Period, the League shall award the Player to the Team per the Discovery Order.

 

The Discovery Order is determined via reverse order of the standings from the previous Season until Teams have played at least three (3) League games. If the discovery takes place prior to all Teams playing in at least three (3) League games priority shall be granted based upon the prior year’s performance according to their point totals through the end of the

Regular Season.

 

In the offseason, once a Team involved in a tie wins the tie breaker, it is moved to the bottom of the Discovery Order.

 

New expansion Teams shall be in the middle of the Discovery Order. If only one of the claiming Teams participated in the prior League Season, priority shall be granted to the Team that so participated. If neither Team played in the previous Season, priority will be granted to the Team that received the lowest 1st Round College Draft pick. If the Teams are equal in points, the League shall award the Player using the Tie Breaking Procedures for determining playoff participation and seeding.

 

Waiver Wire

 

Teams may acquire a Player that has been waived through the Waiver Wire.

 

National Team Player Replacement

 

If a National Team Player is being called up for National Team duty, a Team may add a National Team Player Replacement to count toward the 20‐Player Roster.  The National Team Player Replacement’s salary will not be charged toward the Team’s Salary Cap. National Team Player Replacements must be released when the National Team is back to full participation with the Team. This includes Goalkeepers called up for National Team duty.

 

  • The salary provided for the National Team Player Replacement player must be the minimum player salary.
  • The player must be domestic.
  • The player must complete and entrance and exit physical.
  • The player will remain under contract for the period of time the National Team player is unavailable.  Upon such time that the National Team player is no longer with her respective National Team and is able to return to play, the contract for the player will be terminated.
  • The replacement player will not enter the league through Discovery and will not exit the league through Waivers. Should a club be interested in submitting a Discovery form for any replacement player, a club may only do so after the termination of the contract under which they serve as a National Team replacement player.

 

A Player Agreement Form will be submitted and National Team Player Replacement Players will sign a Standard Player Agreement. They must be registered as a Professional Player with U.S. Soccer.

 

For each National Team Call‐up, each Team will need to submit Player Agreement Forms for National Team Player Replacements no less than five (5) days prior to the Player’s participation with the Team.

 

Disabled List

 

In the event a Player suffers a Short‐Term Injury or a Season Ending Injury, a Player may be placed on the Disabled List of a Team’s Roster.

 

Disabled List Replacement

 

In the event a Player suffers a Short‐Term Injury or a Season Ending Injury, a player may be added to a Team’s Roster as a “Disabled List” replacement as set forth below.

 

Where the League determines that a Player has sustained an injury that will prohibit the Player from participating for at least 45 days during the League Season, it may provide the Team Roster relief, provided the full amount of the injured Player’s salary is charged to the Team’s Salary Cap in the relevant Season. Therefore, the Team is given Roster relief, but not Cap relief. Disabled List Replacement Players must be signed prior to the Roster Freeze Date.

 

In the event where a Team has two (2) or more Players on its Disabled List, Salary Cap relief may be considered by the League.

 

Teams that carry or can create extra Salary Cap room will therefore be able to temporarily replace Players who are on the Disabled List. The budget number for the replacement Player will be calculated in the same manner as any other Roster Player.

 

Also, if the Player suffering the injury is an international Player, the Team may replace such Player with an international Player.

 

Any Player coming off the Disabled List following the Roster Freeze Date may be added to the Roster, but Teams must comply with the relevant Roster limits.

 

Short‐Term Injury

 

Where the League determines based on certification from a Team’s medical staff that a Player has received an injury that will prohibit the Player from participating for at least 45 days, but not the entire length of the season, she may be placed on the Disabled List.

 

Unexpected Recovery from Short‐Term Injuries

 

In the event a Player who received a Short‐Term Injury and has been replaced on the Roster by another Player, but recovers earlier than anticipated, she will not be permitted to join the active Roster prior to the end of the 45‐day period.

 

Season‐Ending Injury

 

Where the League determines based on certification from a Team’s medical staff that a Player has received an injury that will prohibit the player from participating for the remainder of the season, she may be placed on the Disabled List.

 

The League may provide the Team Roster relief, provided the full amount of the injured Player’s salary (or any settlement amount paid to that Player) is still charged to the Team’s Salary Cap in the relevant Season. In the event of such a determination, the injured Player shall not be eligible to play for the Team again during the Season in question. Therefore, the Team is given Roster relief, but not Salary Cap relief. Also, if the Player suffering the Season‐ending injury is an international Player, the Team may replace such Player with an international Player.

 

Unexpected Recovery from Season‐ending Injuries

 

In the event a Player who suffered a Season‐Ending Injury and has been replaced on the Roster by another Player, but recovers prior to the end of the Season, she will not be permitted to join the active Roster through the remainder of the Season.

 

Goalkeeper Replacement

 

It is up to each Team to structure its Roster to ensure that it has the best make‐up to field a Team throughout the year. Teams are required to carry two (2) goalkeepers.

 

In the case of an injured goalkeeper, or where a Team has less than two available goalkeepers, a Team will be able to add a goalkeeper to its Roster until its goalkeeper is back to full participation with the Team. Also, if the goalkeeper is an international Player, the Team may replace such goalkeeper with an international Player.

 

This must be done within the Salary Cap.

 

METHODS OF RELEASING PLAYERS

 

Waivers

Teams may waive Players based on performance at any time prior to the Roster Freeze date during the NWSL Season. See Waiver Request Form.

 

Players may be added to a Team’s Roster from the Waiver wire, which is distributed via e‐mail.

 

A Team wishing to waive a Player must first obtain a favorable medical examination of the Player – an “exit physical”, and then submit its waiver request to the League.

 

Once a Player on a P‐1 visa has been waived and is not picked up by another Team in the League, the League is obligated to notify the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the termination of the employment relationship. After that date, if another Team intends to add the Player to their roster, it would need to file a new petition.

 

Waiver Wire

 

Provided the League approves the Player being placed on waivers pursuant to the above, it will distribute a waiver notice to all Teams. A Team claiming the Player must notify the League of the measures it will take to remain Roster compliant, if any such moves are necessary. Notice must be received by the League from a Team claiming a waived Player within the “Waiver Claiming Period.”

 

The “Waiver Claiming Period” shall commence on the first business day (the “Waiver Period Commencement Date”) the League gives notice to Teams and shall expire at 5:00 p.m. EST on the first business day after the Waiver Period Commencement Date (the claiming period is 24 hours).

 

If a Team claims a Player and no other Team claims the same Player during the Waiver Claiming Period (having regard to the time of League deadlines, set forth in the Competition Calendar attached to this document), the Player shall be assigned to the claiming Team.

 

Waiver Order Tie Breaker

 

The waiver order is determined via reverse order of the standings from the previous Regular Season, until Teams have played at least three (3) League games. If the waiver takes place prior to all Teams playing in at least three (3) League games priority shall be granted based upon the prior year’s performance according to their point totals through the end of the Regular Season.

 

In the offseason, once a Team claims a Player from waivers, it is moved to the bottom of the Waiver Order.

A) Contract Expiration

 

When a Player’s contract expires, the Player does not count against the roster or budget of the club in question. Subject to the End of Season Process, a club retains the rights to the player until the next preseason following the expiration of a contract provided attempts were made to re‐sign the Player.

B) Buyout of Guaranteed Contract

 

A club may buy out one (1) player who has a Guaranteed Contract during the offseason and free up the corresponding budget space. Such a buyout is at the NWSL club’s expense.

 

A club may not free up room in the salary cap with a buyout of a player’s contract during the season. If a team buys out a player’s contract during the season, the buyout amount will be charged against the club’s salary cap.

 C) End of Season Process

 

A Player whose option was not exercised, no new contract was offered, or contract expired following the conclusion of the season, will be placed in the end of season waiver wire. The End of Season Waiver wire shall commence on the first business day after the League delivers notice to teams and expires at 5 p.m. ET on the second business day after the End of Season Waiver Wire commencement date.

D) Player Elected Leave

 

A Player may request a leave of absence from services required under the SPA. If approved by the League, the Player’s rights will continue to be held by NWSL and the Team for whom she last played. The Player will receive compensation per the terms of the SPA for the services provided through and including the effective end date of her servicer prior to her leave of absence. Any remaining Salary beyond the effective end date will not be charged to the Team’s salary cap.

 

Loans and Transfers

 

Inbound Loans and Transfers

 

Players Loaned or Transferred to NWSL

 

All terms of any arrangements contemplated between an NWSL Team or any related party and a Player to be loaned to NWSL shall be fully disclosed to the NWSL League office. The League office shall make a determination, in its sole discretion, as to the terms upon which it may accept such Player on loan.

 

Loans of Players to NWSL must comply with the following:

 

  • The Loan Agreement will be filled out by the Team requesting the loan and sent to the League Office for approval, along with contact information. The League Office will send the Loan Agreement to the team from which the Player is being loaned.
  • A Loan Fee will not be part of the Loan Agreement.
  • The Loan Period for the Player shall be over two (2) consecutive League seasons, as follows: for the 2018 League season from start date until the end of the season; and for the entirety of the 2019 League season unless the loaning club does not have the Player under contract for that period.
  • The NWSL Team will submit a Player Agreement form to the League.
  • The loaned Player will sign the Standard Player Agreement.
  • The loaned Player must have an entrance and exit physical with the NWSL Team.
  • The loan must fall within the Registration Windows.
  • Medical Heath benefits will be provided for the term of the loan.
  • Workers Compensation benefits will be provided for the term of the loan.
  • International Players must provide a P‐1 Visa.
  • International Players must have a Social Security Number.

 

A number of requirements must be fulfilled prior to registering a Player pursuant to a loan or transfer. These include:

  1. Negotiation and agreement with the Player’s club for her loan or transfer;
  2. Negotiation and agreement with the Player as to her personal employment terms with NWSL;
  3. Confirmation from the respective football associations that the Player can be transferred in accordance with FIFA guidelines;
  4. Confirmation that the respective football association will release the international clearance;
  5. The Player receiving a work permit (as needed);
  6. The Player passing a physical;
  7. Receipt of the Player’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

 

Outbound Loans and Transfers

Players Loaned by NWSL

An NWSL player may be loaned at any time to a club outside the League (subject to that club’s Federation’s transfer window), and subject to the consent of the player. Upon loaning a player, Clubs will receive roster relief and budget space, subject to the terms of the loan.

Players may be loaned by NWSL to overseas clubs during the off‐Season and must comply with the following:

 

  • The Loan Agreement will be filled out by the Team and sent to the League Office for approval, along with contact information.
  • NWSL will send a Loan Agreement to the Team to which the Player is being loaned. See Loan Agreement NWSL Form.
  • Loans may not include any player out‐of‐contract during the NWSL season.
  • An exit physical must be conducted prior to the loan being approved.
  • NWSL Medical Health benefits will be available only while the Player is in the U.S.
  • NWSL Workers Compensation does not apply while the Player is on loan with another League.
  • NWSL will write into the loan agreement the Team that is taking the Player on loan will be responsible for injury and guaranteed their health.
  • Per FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players: Article 10, paragraph 3 “the club that has accepted a Player on a loan basis is not entitled to transfer her to a third club without the written authorization of the club (NWSL) that released the Player on loan and the Player concerned.”

 

Loans for certain Players may occur after the conclusion of a Team’s Season and before the NWSL Championship. In this case, there may be a reduction of such Players’ salaries for salary budget purposes. Such loans are made in the sole discretion of the League.

 

Loans to Domestic Teams

Teams may loan contracted Players to domestic non NWSL teams. The loan period shall be from the initial date of the agreement through the end of the NWSL season, when the Player is not providing services to her NWSL Team. Teams will need to submit a loan agreement for the Player which will be signed off by the National Women’s Soccer League prior to any participation by a Player.

 

Transfer of Players by NWSL

A Team may transfer the services of any Player on a Team Roster to a Team outside of NWSL, subject to League approval for any such action that would remove a Player from her NWSL Team.

 

RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL

 

An NWSL club has priority over other NWSL clubs ‐‐ known as a Right of First Refusal ‐‐ to add a player to its roster in the following circumstances:

 

Out of Contract Players

 In the event a player is out of contract (including as a result of not exercising her option or loan option) and her current team was unable to re‐sign her. The player’s rights can be acquired via the End of Season Process.

 

Other Unsigned Players

 Players who were (i) on a club’s roster who that club attempted, but were unable, to resign at the expiration of their contract or (ii) on a club’s Discovery List and who that club attempted, but were unable, to sign.

In both cases, the club who attempted to sign the player maintains a Right of First Refusal to acquire the player in the event she is subsequently signed to an NWSL contract.

Holding a Right of First Refusal applies only within NWSL and does not indicate holding of the player’s International Transfer Certificate.

  • For Players whose rights a Team holds from the previous Season, the decision must be made by start of preseason. Any Player not signed at that point will become available to be claimed as a Discovery Player. The Player would then be available to all Teams through the Discovery Process.

 

RULES & REGULATIONS

 Player Registration

All Players in the NWSL must be registered with U.S. Soccer prior to participating in any competition.

 

Out of Contract Players

With respect to Players not under contract, they may be able to be registered outside the transfer windows, provided the Player was out of contract during NWSL’s immediately previous registration window. As opposed to Players that have secured a release from an existing contract or whose contracts have expired outside an NWSL registration window. In this instance, we cannot request the International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

 

College Drafted Players

Domestic Players selected in the College Draft, may be signed and registered outside the Transfer Window provided their clearance has not been transferred outside the U.S.

With respect to International Players selected in the College Draft, they may be subject to the Transfer Windows and may have potential work permit issues.

 

International Transfer Window

The International Transfer Windows – the dates between which NWSL may request the transfer certificate of a player under contract in another country – are as follows:

Primary Window – Feb. 7- May 1, 2018

Secondary Window – May 21 – Jun. 20, 2018

 

Player Tryouts

No tryouts may be conducted by a Team unless they are done pursuant to this Section. A Player tryout shall include any practice, participation, or training: (a) with any Players not under contract to NWSL; or (b) under the direct or indirect supervision of an NWSL Coach, Trainer, or other member of a Team’s management. No Team may conduct a tryout with a Player unless she has executed a Waiver of Liability Agreement.

Names of all non‐contracted Players that are practicing with Teams throughout the season should be submitted to the League in order to have a record should any workers comp or insurance issues arise.

Contracted NWSL Players are not allowed to participate in offseason tryouts as this would be considered a violation of the offseason training rule.

Teams may not try out a Player on the Roster of another Team or a College Player who has been drafted by another Team without League approval. No Team may try out a Player under contract to a Team outside NWSL without the written approval of the League Office.

 

Preseason

Teams may commence preseason training on the date set out in the competition calendar. A training session shall include any practice, participation, or training: (a) with any Players under contract to NWSL; or (b) under the direct or indirect supervision of an NWSL Coach, Trainer, or other member of a Team’s management.

Any Player that is in preseason training camp with an NWSL Team cannot be discovered by another NWSL Team until she is released by that Team.

During preseason, Teams must submit a preseason list of up to 32 Players, 25 Players and 18-20 Player rosters on the corresponding dates outlined in the Competition Calendar. This list is to include only those Players who are currently participants in the camp. The list should be resubmitted any time there is a change in participants. Forms will be provided to submit your list of Players to the League office.

A Player must be on an official NWSL preseason Roster to participate in scrimmages or exhibition games. Therefore, Non‐ contracted Players may participate in any scrimmages or exhibition games. If such a Player participates in a scrimmage or exhibition game without being added to the official preseason Roster, the Team will be subject to sanctions, including but not limited to fines.

The League will approve an unlimited number of tryout Players for a calendar year provided that the Team has not incurred more than US $5,000 in expenses in aggregate in such year in connection with such tryouts. Teams shall provide the League office with projected expenses in connection with the tryout and shall confirm actual expenses incurred after the tryout.

 

Scrimmages and Exhibitions

 Teams may hold scrimmages and exhibitions during the regular season with prior notice and approval from the League office. A scrimmage/exhibition Roster must be submitted at least 48 hours in advance to the League for approval.

Teams will be allowed to use Non‐Contracted Players in scrimmages and exhibitions in order to replace any missing Women’s National Team Players on their 18‐20 Player Roster during WNT call‐ ups. It must be a one‐for‐one swap without exceeding the maximum of 20 Players on a Team Roster. Any Non‐Contracted Player must sign a Release and Liability Waiver in advance and be at least 18 years and older to be eligible.

A Player must be on the approved scrimmage and exhibition Roster in order to participate in scrimmages or exhibition games.

 

Off‐Season Training

Teams may not commence training between the end of the season and the start of preseason. A training session shall include any practice, participation, or training: (a) with any Players under contract to NWSL; or (b) under the direct or indirect supervision of an NWSL Coach, Trainer, or other member of a Team’s management.