Roster Rules

2017 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 due or Goalkeeper Replacement, these Players are also included) based on adjustments for Federation 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 TSC (i.e. a Team cannot spread the TSC over 11 Players).

Team Salary Cap: $315,000.

Maximum, Minimum Player Salary Budget Charges

Minimum Salary: $15,000.
Maximum Salary: $41,700.

Roster Limits

  • 18-20 Player Roster
  • Teams may have no more than 20 available Players under contract on their Roster at any one time, subject to Injury and Goalkeeper Replacement exceptions.

League 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:

A) Is currently under contract with a Team
OR
B) Is not under contract with a Team, but has their rights to play in the NWSL controlled by a Team.

Federation Player

A Federation Player is a Player whose compensation is underwritten by a Federation.

Unattached Federation Individual

An Unattached Federation Individual (UFI) is an Individual who a Federation has designated as a potential Federation Player, but whose rights are not yet controlled by a Team. Unattached Federation Individuals are designated as such by one of the following mechanisms:

A) From time to time, a Federation may choose to designate certain Individuals as Unattached Federation Individuals.

B) Teams may, as permitted by the NWSL, choose to relinquish their rights to a Federation Player. Any Federation Player whose rights have been relinquished by a Team will become an Unattached Federation Individual.

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 2017 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 Federation Players).

Amateur Players

An amateur Player is any person other than a professional Player. An amateur Player may not receive or retain any remuneration for playing except expenses directly related to a game or games which have actually been incurred by the Player.

Amateur List

  • Each Team’s Amateur List will initially be allowed 10 amateur Players
    The Players listed on the Amateur List may remain there through the end of the 2017 Season.

Team

A Team is one of the following entities: Boston Breakers, Houston Dash, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC and Washington Spirit (together, the “Teams”).

Expansion Team

An Expansion Team is any Team who did not compete in the prior NWSL season.

Federation

A Federation is one of the following entities: the Mexican Football Federation, Canadian Soccer Association or United States Soccer Federation (together, the “Federations”).

MECHANISMS OF ACQUIRING PLAYERS

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

Distribution Process
College Draft
Trades
Discovery
Waivers
Loans and Transfers
Amateur Call-up
Disabled List
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.

Player Distribution Process

Purpose and Intent

The intent of the Player 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) Unattached Federation Individuals

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

Distribution Ranking Order. The Distribution Ranking Order is the mechanism used to determine which Team has first priority to select a 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 10th Ranking will go to the winner of the NWSL Championship Game, the 9th Ranking will go to the loser of the NWSL Championship Game, the 8th Ranking will be given to the team with the highest playoff seeding that lost in a Semi-Final Game, and the 7th Ranking will be given to the team with the lowest playoff seeding that lost in a Semi-Final Game. The 6th 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 11th 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 4(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.

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

A) Timing. 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 “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 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 Distribution Draft;
iv. Teams are permitted to trade their Distribution Ranking to another Team during the Distribution Draft;
v. Teams are permitted to select an unlimited number of Distribution-Eligible Individuals in each Distribution Draft;
vi. In the event an Distribution-Eligible Individual is not selected by any Team in the
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 start of preseason the following year.

College Draft

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

All Players who have exhausted their college eligibility or who will graduate in the 2017-18 year are eligible for the College Draft. Players must be registered by Jan. 2018 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 shall be utilized.

Once preseason begins, Teams must make a decision on Non-Contracted Players, whose rights they hold, within 15 days once the Player reports.

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 List

If a college Player is drafted by a Team in the College Draft, the League will attempt to sign the College Player to a contract in a salary range predetermined by the League Office.

Any college Player who has refused to sign an NWSL contract or who has refused to report to the Team to be evaluated does not need to be placed on waivers and may remain college protected.

A Player on the College Protected List is not a Roster Player and may not play for the Team, since she has not signed a Player contract.

Trades

Players may be acquired in trades with League approval. See Standard Trade Agreement Form.

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 “rights” or “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.

Standard Trade Agreement Forms

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 and sign Players 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 Offseason and Preseason 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 Inseason period
• No more than two (2) unsigned international Players may be on a Team’s discovery list in the Inseason period

Once submitted the Discovery Player continues to occupy a discovery spot. An exception to this would be applied if another Team submits a discovery request for the same Player and after 14 days the Player is not signed with the original Team she will be removed from the first Team 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 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 within 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.
• No discovery may take place from the close of the Inseason period until the start of the Offseason period

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) at the time the Player is being signed by the League.

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. If a Player has completed her college eligibility in the Season immediately prior to the date of her discovery and was not on the College Draft list, she shall not be permitted to play in the League for the current Season.

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 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.

Salary Cap of Discovery Players

A Discovery Player’s Salary Cap number will include the Player’s salary (and bonuses, camps, etc.). The resulting Salary Cap number for the Player must not exceed the maximum Salary Cap charge or cause the Team to exceed its Team Salary Cap.

Loans and Transfers

All contract and loan/transfer negotiations shall be approved by the League, consistent with the current rules. The League should be consulted at the beginning of any loan or transfer process.

U.S. Soccer will not register Player loans or transfers that take place outside of our two annual transfer windows. The Primary and Secondary Windows are set forth in the Competition Calendar.

International Transfers and Loans

With respect to international loans or transfers of Players, the Players must be registered with U.S. Soccer within the registration windows. 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;
6. The Player passing a physical;
7. Receipt of the Player’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

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.
• NWSL will send a Loan Agreement to the Team the Player is coming from. See Loan Agreement Into NWSL.
• A Loan Fee will not be part of the Loan Agreement.
• The Loan Period for the Player shall be from the start date through the conclusion of the League Season.
• The Loan Period for the Player shall be over two (2) consecutive League seasons, as follows: for the 2017 League season from start date until the end of the season; and for the entirety of the 2018 League season.
• 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.

Amateur Call-up

If a National Team Player is being called up for National Team duty, a Team may bring in a U.S. Amateur Player to count toward the 20-Player Roster. The Team is not to provide any compensation to the Amateur Player, but may cover necessary expenses as approved by the League.

An Amateur Call-up Form will be submitted and Amateur Players will sign an Amateur Player Agreement. They must be registered Amateur Players with U.S. Soccer. (See Amateur Player Agreement and Registration Process)

For each National Team Call-up, each Team will need to submit its Amateur Call-Up Form no less than five (5) days prior to the Amateur Player’s participation with the Team.

Goalkeeper Exception

In the case 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. This must be done within the Salary Cap.

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 suffered an NWSL related injury after the start of the league season that will prohibit the Player from participating for at least 45 days, but not the entire length of the season, may be placed on the Disabled List.

Unexpected Recovery from Short‐Term Injuries

In the event a Player who suffered a Short‐Term Injury and has been replaced on the Roster by another Player, but recovers earlier than anticipated, 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 NWSL related injury after the start of the league season that will prohibit the player from participating for the remainder of the season 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, 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

Clubs may waive players based on performance at any time during the NWSL season. Players with guaranteed contracts will continue to have their salary budget charge applied to the club salary budget, subject to any settlement. Players on Semi-Guaranteed Contracts can be waived prior to Roster Freeze and free up the corresponding budget space. If a player on a Semi-Guaranteed Contract is waived after July 1, her salary budget charge will continue to count against the team’s salary budget. Any settlement amount will be charged to the club’s salary budget.

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

Teams may waive Players based on performance at any time prior to the Roster Freeze date during the NWSL Season. Teams may not waive Players between the Roster Freeze and the NWSL Championship. See Waiver Request Form.

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 offer the player a contract, 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

The waiver order is determined via reverse order of the standings from the previous Season, taking playoff performance into account, 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 claiming order.

Transfers and Loans

All contract and loan/transfer negotiations shall be approved by the League, consistent with the current rules. The League should be consulted at the beginning of any loan or transfer process.

An NWSL player may be transferred or 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.

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

Primary Window – Mar. 9 – May 31, 2017
Secondary Window – June 5 – July 5, 2017

Loans and Transfers of Players by NWSL

Transfer of Players by NWSL

A Team may transfer or loan 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.

Loans of Players by NWSL

Players may be loaned by NWSL to overseas clubs during the off-Season.

Loans of Players by NWSL 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.

Players Loaned 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. Any loan must be extendable to a second (2nd) year which will allow for the option year to be exercised. The loan agreement will include a proviso to this effect. 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 TO WPSL – Teams may loan contracted Players to a WPSL Team. 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 an amateur Team which will be signed off by the National Women’s Soccer League prior to any participation by a Player.

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.

Buyout of Guaranteed Contract

Clubs may have the ability to buy out one player who has a Guaranteed Contract. Details follow below:
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. In the case a team buys out a player’s contract during the season, the buyout amount will be charged against the club’s salary cap.

End of Season Process

A club must place a player in the Re-entry Wire, whose option was not extended, no new contract was offered or contract expired, at following the conclusion of the season at which point she is made available to all other clubs. The Re-Entry Claiming Period 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 Re-entry Wire period commencement date.

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 / Options Not Picked Up

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 cane be acquired via the End of Season Process.

College Protected

A player who was selected in the College Draft, provided her club offered her a contract and the contract offer was refused by the player.

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.
• Once preseason begins, Teams must make a decision on Non-Contracted Players, whose rights they hold, within 15 days once the Player reports (Example: college drafted Players)
• If another Team puts in a Discovery claim to sign a Player on another Team’s amateur list to a Standard Player Agreement the club will have 48 hours to make a decision.
RULES & REGULATIONS

Player Registration

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

Transfer Windows/Registration Period

The registration windows – the dates between which NWSL may request the transfer certificate of a player under contract in another country.

Out of Contract Players

With respect to Players not under contract to any club, 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

With respect to U.S. Players selected in the College Draft, they 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.

Transfer Windows/Registration Period

The registration windows – the dates between which NWSL may request the transfer certificate of a player under contract in another country.

Out of Contract Players

With respect to Players not under contract to any club, 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

With respect to U.S. Players selected in the College Draft, they 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.

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 and received an entrance physical.

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.

Once preseason begins, Teams must make a decision on Non-Contracted Players, whose rights they hold, within 15 days once the Player reports.

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.

Any violations of these guidelines subjects a club to aforementioned tampering rules.

Preseason

Teams may commence preseason training on date set out in the competition calendar, but Players may report for off-field activities no more than three days before 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.

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.

Once preseason begins, Teams must make a decision on Non-Contracted Players, whose rights they hold, within 15 days once the Player reports.

During preseason, Teams must submit a preseason list of up to 32 Players, 25 Players and 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.

In addition to Amateur Player Call-ups, 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.