Communications Manual


It is the duty of the public relations / communications staff of the 12 teams in the National

Women’s Soccer League to follow these guidelines. All PR staff should understand that their goal is to promote the sport of soccer and the league, and to provide the media with the best environment in which to perform their professional duties. Responsibilities of a public relations / communications department vary from club to club, but this manual represents the league’s general guidelines and policies that all MUST abide by.


1.1.1 Media Guides

Each NWSL team is required to produce a regular season media guide. Teams may produce a printed version but will only be required to produce an electronic version that will be submitted to the league office in .pdf file format. The deadline for submitting media guides will be March 18, 2023.

Required contents for the media guides will be the following (in no particular order):

  1. Regular season and playoff schedule

  2. Table of contents

  3. Team history/overview (“About us”)

  4. Bios and headshots of team executives

  5. Staff listing

  6. Bios and headshots of technical staff and players

**Headshots are critical for broadcast and crew**

  1. Rosters

  2. Alphabetical

  3. Numerical

  4. Broadcast and streaming video information

  5. League media policies

  6. Training site information

  7. Stadium information

  8. Ticket pricing and information

  9. League Information

  10. NWSL Comms directory

  11. Rules and Regulations

  12. NWSL logo must appear on the cover of the media guide


All player bios must include the following information:

Name: Emily Brady

Pronunciation: em-UH-lee bray-DEE

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5’9”

Jersey Number: 10

Date of Birth: January 24, 1993

Age: 30

Hometown: Normal, Ill.

Citizenship: USA

College: UCLA

Last Club: Perth Glory (W-League)

How Acquired: Signed two-year contract as a discovery player on March 12, 2017

In addition, each player’s biography shall follow this general outline:

a. All professional performances

b. National Team performance where applicable

c. College performance

d. High School performance where applicable

e. Youth club information, preferably with names of key coaches, club name

f. Personal information and other interesting off-field facts

Rosters and bios on and team sites must be completed for every player by the start of the NWSL season.


1.2.1 News Releases

Each team is required to provide local media with regular (weekly) updates about the team. Required news releases include, but are not limited to, match results, practice schedules, injury reports, team and individual player news and roster changes.

1.2.2 Player Transactions

All teams involved must contact the league office before announcing any player transaction, including but not limited to, all loans, transfers, trades, retirements, season-ending injuries and signings must be reviewed and approved by the league office. The league office will review the announcement and notify the teams of approval/non-approval as soon as possible.

Releases regarding player and team transactions must follow these general guidelines:

  1. Teams must release the dollar amount of allocation money involved in trades.

Ex: Kansas City has acquired a 2022 draft pick and $50,000 in Allocation Money from the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for forward Kristen Hamilton, the two teams announced today.

  1. Teams must mention allocation money was involved in a transfer but WILL NOT release dollar amounts.

Ex: The Houston Dash acquired defender Erin Simon through a transfer with West Ham United in exchange for allocation money, the club announced today.

  1. Teams must state the length of a player’s contract when announcing signings.

Ex: The North Carolina Courage have signed defender Carson Pickett to a two-year contract, the team announced today.

1.2.4 Game Notes

Teams will provide games notes (printed and/or PDF/online format) to media in advance of a match to provide media members with background and relevant information regarding the upcoming match.

Below are the basic requirements for Game Notes:

  • Gameday info

  • Date, time, location

  • Match preview

  • Matchup vs. opponent

  • Player Availability Report

  • Team/player notes

  • Biggest storylines

  • Catchy headlines

  • Matchup notes, season stats, milestones

  • Examples: goal/assist streaks; defensive unit earns second shutout, win streaks, NWSL debut, first shutout, etc.

  • Transactions

  • Trades, signings, loans, transfers

  • 2022 Complete Team Schedule/Results

  • Goalscorer and time of goal

  • Categorical win-loss-tie

  • Individual single-game highs

  • Scoring breakdown (by min)

  • Set piece goals

  • Goals scored via freekick, corner kick, penalty kick, etc.

  • Goals conceded via freekick, corner kick, penalty kick, etc.

  • Penalty kicks (made/missed)

  • Misc. Stats: Quick goal for/against, game-winning goals, game-tying goals, etc.

  • Honors (POW, POM, ROM, GOW, SOW, etc.)

  • Current Roster

  • Alphabetical (pronunciations included)

  • Numerical

  • 2023 mini bios

  • Current season info (not media guide bio)

  • Updated international caps/goals

  • Player game-by-game log/stats/participation

  • Note: WNT absences, excused absences

  • Player Injuries

  • Date of injury

  • Type of injury

  • Length of injury/number of games missed

  • 2023 summary of all injuries to date (either separate or in mini-bio for each player)

  • 2023 Team statistics

  • 2023 game-by-game box scores and starting lineups

1.2.5 Player Availability Report Procedures

Each team is required to submit a team player availability report no later than 24 hours prior to a match. Player availability reports will then be shared with media and made available to fans at

These reports must be accurate. Players listed as “OUT” should not be included in any probable starting lineups and teams must list all players as “OUT” who aren’t otherwise eligible to play.

Status: Players are to be listed in one of three categories: OUT, QUESTIONABLE, INTERNATIONAL DUTY. They are defined below.

Reports should provide information in this order: STATUS (OUT/QUESTIONABLE/INTERNATIONAL DUTY): Player (reason for being out).

OUT: Definitely will not play

QUESTIONABLE: 50/50 chance will not play

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Players competing with national teams during open FIFA windows

Reasons for being OUT or QUESTIONABLE should be selected from the list below or as approved/directed by the league:

  • Injury (specified by body part – ankle, hip)

  • Illness (non-Covid related)

  • Under Covid protocol

  • Note: teams may not list a player as QUESTIONABLE (Under Covid protocol). If testing for a suspected Covid case has not concluded prior to the required submission of player availability reports, teams must list players as QUESTIONABLE (illness) until testing is complete. If confirmed positive, the player will be downgraded to OUT (Under Covid protocol) and the team will notify the league communications office of a positive result. If confirmed negative, no changes are needed.

  • Maternity leave

  • Excused absence



OUT: Jane Smith (knee), Christine Perkins (ankle) Cheyna Wright (hamstring), Veronica Perez (excused absence)

QUESTIONABLE: Allysha Pearson (foot), Jodie Simpson (illness)

Changes to the Player Availability Report:

Injuries or other events that occur after an availability report has been submitted, is the club’s Public Relations representative’s responsibility to report such information to the opposing team’s Public Relations representative, NWSL Communications and match broadcast talent as soon as such developments occur. In addition, the updated game status information must be released to the league and club’s televising network/broadcaster prior to starting lineups being released and to local media prior to the start of the game.

If an injury or other event occurs during a game, the home team PR department should communicate information about in-game injuries to broadcasters and other media as promptly as possible. The information provided should be limited to the nature of the injury and whether or not the player will be returning to the game (if she is still on the sideline and has not already been substituted). The team’s medical staff may not supply information to media representatives directly.

In a circumstance where a player injury or illness requires a complex medical explanation (e.g. to review a surgical procedure), the team general manager may authorize the team physician or head athletic trainer to provide medical information directly to the media, after consulting with the player. The information provided is to be limited to the nature of the injury or illness, the prescribed treatment or rehabilitation, and the expected timing of the player’s return to action. In addition, the team physician and/or athletic trainer may be made available to the media from time to time to discuss an injury or type of injury in general terms, but not as it relates to a specific player.

1.2.6 Awards

Player of the Week: NWSL shall announce the NWSL Player of the Week during each week of the regular season via social media and For NWSL Player of the Week, select representatives will vote following the last game of the week. Players will be judged on overall performance during the week.

Save of the Week: NWSL shall announce the NWSL Save of the Week during each week of the regular season via social media and For NWSL Save of the Week, NWSL fans will be able to vote via social media.

Rookie of the Month: NWSL shall announce the NWSL Rookie of the Month during the course of each season via news release, social media and on The NWSL Media Association will distribute ballots to their members after the last game of the month. Players will be judged on overall performance during the month.

Player of the Month: NWSL shall announce the NWSL Player of the Month during the course of each season via news release, social media, and on The NWSL Media Association will distribute ballots to their members after the last game of the month. Players will be judged on overall performance during the month.

Team of the Month: NWSL shall announce the NWSL Team of the Month during each month of the regular season via news release, social media and For NWSL Team of the Month, the NWSL Media Association will distribute ballots to their members after the last game of the month. Players will be judged on overall performance during the month.

NWSL Year-End Awards

  • MVP

  • Golden Boot

  • Defender of the Year

  • Goalkeeper of the Year

  • Rookie of the Year

  • Coach of the Year

  • Best/Second XI

  • Nationwide Community Impact Award

*Season Awards and End-of-Year Awards subject to change depending on sponsor commitments.

1.2.8 Media Information Documents

Teams are required to create a standard media information document to regularly provide media members upon credential approval and prior to each match. This information should also be outlined on your team website. The document should include, but is not limited to, media check-in location, training session media availability/open practice routine, press box access, post-game media availability, PR staff contact information, and any other relevant information to help the media cover your team.

1.2.9 Quote Sheet

Each Home team will assign a full-time/part-time staff, intern, or volunteer to produce a printed and/or digital post-game quote/notes sheet with highlighted stats from the game and postgame quotes from the Home and Away team players and coaches. This must be distributed to media as soon as possible in the press box/media workroom and/or via email or on your team’s media website after every game.

1.2.10 Team Websites

All NWSL teams are required to have a website, which includes at the minimum the following information: team news, schedule, roster, stats, staff, ticket information, media policies and other relevant information. All websites should include a link to the NWSL website and logo of all league sponsors.


1.3.1 Credentials

The teams shall supply season passes or day passes to qualified accredited members of the media. Media shall consist of the following categories: writers, photographers, radio and television broadcasters and their crews. Photographers and/or videographers must be attached to a legitimate media organization to gain credentials. Credentials are not transferable and must be worn in a visible location at all times.

Team employees, other than media relations staff and broadcast personnel, shall not receive media credentials. All media, visiting team, and home team personnel shall exhibit professional decorum in the press box, and press box announcements shall be made during the game indicating there shall be no cheering or favoritism displayed. Violators may be asked to leave the press box area or have their credential privileges suspended or revoked.

Any unauthorized use of a credential subjects the bearer to ejection from the stadium. Resale or attempted resale is grounds for seizure and cancellation.

The following actions may result in seizure of credential and/or ejection of its wearer from the stadium or training facility:

  • Requesting autographs at any time

  • Taking photographs with players/coaches

  • Using credential for family or friends of a working media member

  • Conducting of unauthorized interviews

  • Unprofessional behavior (cheering in the press box, consumption of alcoholic beverages, failure to abide by posted rules, etc.)

1.3.2 Slack Platform Messaging

All team PR will be added to various internal and external channels via the instant messaging forum Slack. In addition to email and wire communications, teams shall utilize Slack for regular communication with media regarding information including but not limited to, approved roster and schedule changes, matchday materials and updates, pre- and post-game requests, press availability details, and other relevant media information.

Teams should regularly communicate information via the #general and #pressconferences Slack channels and should also create a team-specific Slack channel to communicate with local and beat writers. Teams should distribute recordings/quote sheets from media availabilities to these Slack channels in addition to email and wire communications. Access requests and questions regarding Slack policies should be referred to NWSL Communications.

1.3.3 Media Access to Training Sessions

Teams are required to make every training session at least partially open (15-minute minimum) to the media for b-roll and photos. Additional interview requests will be accommodated following every session.

1.3.4 Matchday-1 and/or Matchday-2 Media Pressers

Teams are required to make both the head coach and 1-2 players available to media at a pre-match press conference on MD-1 or MD-2. Any additional interview requests and availability will be accommodated to the best of the PR staff's ability following each presser.

1.3.5 Post-Game Media Access

Following every match, players and head coaches from BOTH teams will be made available in a press conference format (subject to current NWSL MTF protocols). Home teams must provide in-person access to attending media in addition to Zoom press conferences. Visiting teams are permitted to hold Zoom press conferences but should similarly make every effort to provide access to in-person media.

At least two players will be made available starting approximately 10 minutes after the final game whistle and head coaches will be made available approximately 20 minutes after the final game whistle. Locker rooms will not be open to the media at any point.

Team PR directors will highlight players from the match and consider requested names from attending media, or media in the ‘NWSLMedia’ Slack channel, when deciding on available players. Selected players should be confirmed prior to the end of the match and clearly communicated to attending media as soon as possible. Team PR staff must be present to indicate the beginning and end of media access to players and coaches. All regulations about post-game media access should be clearly communicated to team staff and security to ensure a secure environment.

1.3.6 Broadcast Interviews

Teams and players must accommodate all league broadcast requests including pre-game, halftime and post-game interviews. All efforts should be made to meet the broadcast timelines and these requests should be treated as mandatory.

1.3.7 Pool Reporter

To provide media with adequate access to PRO officials, the league has instituted a Pool Reporter policy to be followed when requesting comment or clarification regarding any on-field matters related to officiating.

The pool reporter shall be a member of the working media who is designated 30 minutes prior to the match. The name of the pool reporter and the alternates must be displayed in the referee locker rooms at each venue.

The pool reporter will notify the home team’s public relations staff no later than five (5) minutes after the match’s final whistle that the media have questions for the officials. The pool reporter will write a maximum of three (3) questions and one (1) follow up question for the officials on paper, sign it, and give it to the home team’s public relations staff.

No later than five (5) minutes after the final whistle, the home team’s public relations staff will deliver the written questions to the referee liaison outside the officials’ locker room and confirm that he/she will return in fifteen (15) minutes to collect written answers from officials. If delivering in person, the staff member will follow current Medical Task Force guidelines.

If an official is uncomfortable with any media question, he or she should contact the Director of PRO2 Match Officials. If the Director of PRO2 Match Officials is unavailable, he or she should then contact the Head of Coaching, Education and Evaluation or their respective coach.

If the home team’s public relations staff encounters difficulty receiving an answer to a media question, staff should communicate with NWSL Communications immediately.


1.4.1 Stadium Access and Press Box Seating

Accredited media members will have access to the stadium, professional workrooms and stadium seating, if available. During the match, accredited media will have access to the press box which will be restricted to only those accredited media members. In addition, each stadium should have a press box capable of seating no less than TEN (10) people, with separate areas for working press and electronic broadcasters, and sufficient power outlets for all needs. Every effort should be made to ensure all accredited media members have a seat in the press box.

All credentialed media shall be seated in media seating areas, consistent with treatment afforded to comparable media. In addition, all members of the media are to be provided with equal treatment and access to facilities and personnel, regardless of sex.

When the press box is fully occupied by working media, referee assessors or in-stadium observers shall be provided seating with a desk or table shielded from the weather and a vantage point to view replays (if available) from any telecast. The specific location may be determined by the home team but must provide these minimum accommodations.

In order to maintain the integrity of the working press box, seating is specifically reserved for media members. All other individuals (including player agents, VIP’s and administrators) should be seated in overflow booths/suites or assigned stadium seats.

1.4.2 Traveling Media

The home team shall provide seating for traveling media members at each game in the press box and should keep in mind the needs of media members traveling from the visiting team’s area. The PR department of the visiting team should advise the home team no less than 48 hours in advance of how many members of traveling media plan to attend the game.

1.4.3 Post-Match Press Conferences Area

The home team shall provide one (1) space designated solely for the visiting team to conduct post-game interviews with head coach and players following the match. The space must be made available prior to the end of the match through the duration of the visiting team’s press conference. The space must have working outlets and internet access to accommodate visiting team equipment. The home team may not use locker rooms as press conference locations unless previously approved by the league.

1.4.4 Press Box Supervision and Responsibilities

At least one member of the home team’s PR full-time, part-time staff, intern or volunteer must be in the press box at all times, including halftime. In addition, a full or part-time staff member, PR full time, part-time staff, intern, volunteer or security must be present in the press box to watch all unattended equipment during postgame activities. The press box supervisor shall be responsible for the following:

  • Press Box Staffing: In addition to field runners, each team shall have a minimum of ONE (1) runner specifically stationed in the press box and under the direction of the press box supervisor. The runner shall (a) distribute lineups, game programs, statistics and other information; (b) assist in bringing information to the press box prior to the game; (c) coordinate press box interaction with the field and locker room; (d) help ensure all media and guests are supplied with food and beverage; (e) help close the press box following the game; and (f) assist the press box supervisor in any other manner.

  • Opening the Press Box: The press box shall be open and available to media TWO (2) hours before kickoff and shall remain open until the last working media has left. If the press box has television monitors that show the TV feed, they should be in operation during the game.

  • Relaying Game Information: The press box Supervisor shall relay information as needed and requested to the press box and PA announcer, including goals scored, goal scorer, assists, cautions, send-offs, time of goals, substitutions, injuries, attendance and other helpful information.

  • Assisting the PA Announcer and TV/Radio Broadcasters: The press box supervisor shall provide information and rosters with pronunciation guides to the PA announcer, TV and radio broadcasters and the TV truck as needed and requested. Updates on concurrent NWSL Games shall be relayed whenever possible.

  • Two-Way Communication: The press box supervisor shall have a two-way radio and remain in contact with the field manager or other designated “spotter” at field level. On this channel shall be other production personnel such as the timekeeper, PA announcer, day of game producer, official stats, etc.

  • Press Box Announcements: The press box announcer shall announce all pertinent game information for the media with the information broadcast in the press box only. The PA announcer may also serve as the press box announcer.

1.4.5 Press Box Security

At least ONE (1) staff person shall be posted at the entrance to the press area to check all incoming persons for proper credentials and to control press box traffic.

1.4.6 Press Box Facilities

Coaches and others in attendance to scout the game shall be given available and suitable grandstand seating or a separate box, but not seating in the same area as working press. The press box area is a neutral zone; both home and visiting team management and personnel shall refrain from bipartisan comments or cheering.

1.4.7 Computer Equipment, Copy Machine, and Internet

At a minimum, the PR director shall have ONE (1) computer (one specifically for NWSL official stats) and ONE (1) printer in the press box. Furthermore, high-speed wireless internet access for photographers in the stadium is required to assist the media and visiting team PR staff in filing their stories. Wireless internet service should be provided free of charge. A reliable photocopy machine shall be located near or in the press box to readily supply the media with rosters, starting line-ups, halftime and final statistics, and other information deemed necessary or requested.

1.4.8 Statistics Crew

The home team must provide a statistics crew of at least one (1) person and ensure they have adequate seating whether they will be in the press box or not. If the statistics crew is not seated in the press box, the home team must ensure media members have access to statistics. In addition, the home team will be responsible for ensuring the accuracy of these statistics.

1.4.10 Official Game Attendance

The ticket manager shall provide an accurate attendance count to the PR staff NO LATER THAN THE 70TH MINUTE of the game. Official game attendance shall be given to the media and Opta, but it is at the team’s discretion whether it shall be announced over the public-address system and on team social accounts.

1.4.11 Match Report Submission

Following each match, the league will distribute final boxscores to its national media list. Teams are responsible for pulling boxscores from Press Box Live and distributing to local media.


The official NWSL statistics provider will be Opta Sports. All teams will provide online support via Skype to Opta staff in all relevant game statistics and print starting lineups, halftime and final stats. Teams must send the league your club’s Skype name for Opta prior to the start of the regular season.


1.7.2 Still Photography

Credentialed still photographers are permitted to shoot matches from behind the field signboards in either end zone. At events where space allows, photographers may also shoot behind the field signboards on the sideline opposite the benches between the end line and the 18-yard line. At no time are photographers allowed on the field and/or around the team benches unless approved by the league. Guidelines for Photographers and Camera Operators

All photographers and television camera operators must stay behind the field boards at all times, unless released by the on-site photo marshal. Exceptions to the field board rule will apply to a staff/league photographer, national rights-holder or NWSL crew present at a match. These entities will be allowed to shoot from the area between the field boards and the touch lines in the area bounded by the top of the 18-yard box and the end line unless additional access is approved by the league.

Each photographer will be permitted to use one monopod — but no tripods. No seats other than “lawn-type” photographer seats will be permitted.

Stand-alone remote units will not be permitted at any time on or around the goal posts. Units mounted on the top of field boards behind the end line will be permitted at the stadium’s discretion, provided the equipment does not interfere with the clear display of the field board and does not impede the operation of broadcast equipment.

Live television crews located on the baseline or sideline will be limited to two (2) people — a camera operator and a cable-puller — and ENG crews will be limited to one (1) person. In either case, the crew must maintain actual possession of the camera and any other equipment during all game action. Cameramen and cable-pullers from all television crews must remain off the playing field and behind field boards at all times. Photographer Access to Field

Photographers and camera operators shall be permitted behind the field boards in the area bounded by the top of the 18-yard box and the end line (a C-shape that extends from the top of the 18, back behind the goal, and to the top of the 18 on the opposite side of the field).

Once situated, no movement between the two halves of the field shall be permitted until halftime. Changes in this policy will be allowed in cases where stadium facilities dictate alterations. No photographers shall be allowed to move from end to end on the bench side of the field. Photographer Identification

In addition to their regular credential, it is strongly recommended that photographers and camera crews be issued with colored bibs or armbands. This will necessitate a special area in or near the stadium where they can pick up their bibs, on presentation of their accreditation, either the day before the match or on game day, at the time media gates are opened. If they are not to be allowed to keep the bib, then it should be exchanged for a press card to be picked up following the game, or else signed out. Photography Work Area

A work area should be provided for photographers, near the field where appropriate, with high-speed internet access. The size of the room may vary, but it should be sizeable enough for at least 5 – 10 people to work on desktops/tables. Like the press section of the stands, the photographers’ work room should have sufficient electrical sockets and compatible with the equipment being used for transmission. Accreditation

Care should be taken when processing credential requests for photographers shooting for commercial agencies. NWSL does not permit the accreditation of photographers shooting specifically for commercial agencies. However, since many agencies offer editorial and commercial sales options (Getty Images, AP, Reuters, etc.) this must be handled on a case-by-case basis.

1.7.3 Non-Rights Holder Video Guidelines Video Footage

All rights to match footage including all applicable copyrights belong to NWSL. For the 2023 season, CBS is the sole US rights holder for broadcasting matches. If an organization is interested in recording video footage at an NWSL match for non-news gathering purposes they must contact NWSL Communications. Television Broadcasters

Game Action: Television broadcasters can use footage of NWSL events obtained either via 1) their own recording or 2) action dubbed from a NWSL rights holder broadcast (CBS) with credit only in connection with its regularly scheduled news programming within a week of the game. This footage should not exceed two (2) minutes. Highlights aired as part of a continuous news program should not be longer than one (1) minute per 30-minute segment. Credits: NWSL, LLC.

Filming – Game Action: For televised events, non-rights holders / ENG cameras may record the first 15 minutes of each half (from 00:00 to 15:00 and 45:00 to 60:00 on the game clock). For non-televised events, non-rights holders / ENG cameras may record the entire game but are still subject to the aforementioned limits. This includes events that are streamed live online.

Filming – Interviews and Scene Sets: There is no limit to the gathering of footage pre-game, at halftime and post-game. All footage gathered is subject to the usage guidelines indicated in this document.

Filming – In Seating Area: Video cameras looking to shoot in the concourse or seating area must contact home team and NWSL in advance of the event for approval.

Previews or Advances: In advance of a NWSL event, television broadcasters can use two (2) minutes of archival game action to preview an upcoming event. In the local/regional markets, broadcasters should mention the time and location of the game along with their report. Outside of the local markets, broadcasters should mention the time and broadcast information.

Television Broadcasters’ Web Sites: Video produced for air as part of regular programming that is simulcast or archived online must be accompanied by a link to Content produced exclusively for the Internet is subject to the guidelines for Online Video. Online Video

Game Action: Online organizations (including print publications that post video online) are not permitted to film or use game action video without prior written approval by NWSL. Game action includes any footage of the field, teams, etc., following the beginning of the television broadcast window. Only video of off-field activities (i.e. interviews, training sessions) may be recorded.

Non-Game Video: Any video posted online that is recorded as part of media access is limited to the use of eight (8) minutes per day/activity date. Online video may not incorporate integrated advertising and must be accompanied by links to

Professional Presentation: Online video is expected to be recorded, edited and presented in a professional manner. Video must be presented/hosted on an organization’s website, and not solely on a site provided by a third-party (i.e., YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, etc.).

Online Video Sites: Organizations who regularly post video to online video sites (i.e., YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) may not include advertising with video gathered as a result of media access. Allowing users to embed these videos is not permitted, and the description of any video must include a link to