SoCal FAQ

For answers to any questions not listed, please visit the STAFF PAGE for contact information. 

WHY COMPETE IN THE SWPL?

We put the Clubs first! We are all about sustainability and want to support teams in coming alongside them to help them achieve their goals. Check out the other leagues, is their marketing more about their league or do they put clubs first?

We charge less, so clubs have more money to invest in their teams.

We believe in local and regional competition. We do not believe it is sustainable for an amateur club to be spending thousands of dollars to travel all across the country to determine a so-called "national champion". It costs more to travel to play these games than the prize money you would win!

We believe in US Soccer. We support the US Open Cup and ALL of our member clubs are eligible to complete in the US Open Cup. We believe that is the only competition worthy of traveling across the country for!

We believe if your team wants to travel then do it for the experience, find a tournament in another state, another country even, to compete in. Other than that, focus your efforts on growing your club, developing your business plan, spend your money on a run in the US Open Cup. We will help you!

NISA AFFILIATION

We are members of an over 400 team network through our affiliation with NISA. We have access to pro clubs leaders and owners. We have access to collaborate with other like-minded leagues across the country and even in Mexico.

Our membership with NISA guarantees us at least 4 spots in the NISA Independent Cup each year.

SOLIDARITY PAYMENTS - We have already had 4 players sign pro contracts with NISA pro teams through the 2021-22 season. All receiving solidarity payments through our partnership!

HOW LONG IS A "SEASON"

For SWPL, seasons vary by region (see other Regional FAQ's to see specifics). We believe in and it is our goal in each region to play in the traditional 10 month season that reflects world football (specifically, the European Calendar of football).

For the Spring 2022 inaugural season of the Pacific Premier region we had 8 teams. We divided these teams into two groups of 4 based on geography. Our goal was to get a minimum of 10 games. The reason for this is because that is the minimum criteria for team requirements to be able to sign up for the US Open Cup. 

Going into the 2022-23 season here is our vision for SoCal:

Men's Open Divisions

  • 1st Division 8-10 teams
    • Will play Home/Away, single table, plus the Raul Briones Cup.
    • Eligible for qualification to the NISA Independent Cup
    • Eligible for promotion to NISA Nation
  • 2nd Division
    • LA - 6 teams
    • IE - 6 teams
    • OC - 6 teams
  • 3rd Division
    • LA - 6 teams
    • IE - 6 teams
    • OC - 6 teams
  • "Season"
    • Start of season - September 2022
    • Format
      • Home/Away within your group = 10 games
      • 1 game vs other group East v West = 12 games
    • Total games per season = 18-22 league games.
    • End of season - May 2023
  • Raul Briones Cup
    • Each team will also have 3-6 Cup games in addition
  • ‚ÄčNISA Independent Cup Playoffs
    • SWPL will hold regional playoffs for all regions. The top 1 or 2 teams in each region will enter a playoff series in June to compete for a spot in the 2023 NISA Independent Cup
      • Pacific teams may have a direct qualification for the Pacific group of the NIC.

Women's Open 1st Division

  • 6-8 teams
  • "Fall Season" 
    • Start of season - September 2022
    • Format - Home/Away = 10-14 games
    • End of season - December 2023
  • "Spring Season"
    • Repeat above starting January 2023, ending May 2023

We will determine the exact format of the seasons based on the toatl number of teams registered and accepted into the league by August 1, 2023. The overall goal is to achieve 20 league games between September - May

WHAT COMPETITIONS IS AN SWPL MEMBER CLUB ALSO ELIGIBLE FOR?

We have multiple competitions. These are determined by region, conference and length of competition.

Here are some current registration dates:

WHAT DOES IT COST TO PLAY IN THE SWPL?

LEAGUE FEES & REFEREE COSTS - SoCal - 2022-23 Season

CONFERENCE DIVISION LEAGUE FEE (annual) REF FEE*
Men's Open 1st Div $2,500 $140 (4th inc)
Men's Open 2nd Div $2,000 $100
Men's Open 3rd Div $1,500 $100
Women's Open 1st Div $1,250 (Fall) $1,250 (Spring) $140 (4th inc)
Women's Open 2nd Div $1,000 (Fall) $1,000 (Spring) $100
U23 U23 $1,250 (May-July) $140 (4th inc)
Over30 1st & 2nd $1,250 $90
  • Payment plans are available to clubs as needed

  • *Ref fees - both teams pay this amount at the game

OTHER COSTS (in addition to league fees)

  • Team Performance Bond - $250

  • Player registration - $40 per player (August 1 thru May 31) - ($30 per player from June 1 thru July 31)

  • Referee fees per game / per team (see regional FAQ page for local ref fees)

  • Field fees per game (typical field fees range from $120 - $350 per game, depending on the facility)

  • Team Website = $35 / month (this is optional)

  • Included in SWPL fees above - Game Balls, League Patches, Awards, Prizes, Corner Flags, partner/sponsor discounts, NISA affiliation.

SO WHAT IS MY "ALL IN COST" TO PLAY IN THE SWPL?

Depending upon the region and division for a full year costs can range from $5,500 - $12,000 per year. 

We are happy to walk through the cost of running a club in SWPL and will create a specific budget for your team to help you plan. We have no hidden costs and everything is up front with our clubs in terms of costs.

WHEN CAN I REGISTER MY TEAM?

You can register a team at any time. While we take teams anytime we have an opening our traditional open registration period is between June 1 and July 31. You can start by filling out your EXPANSION FORM here.

HOW DOES PROMOTION/RELEGATION WORK IN SWPL?

SWPL has strategic partnerships with other local leagues across our network. It is NOT our goal to take over smaller/local leagues. If any team wants to promote up into SWPL then we will pay that league up to 75% of the annual league fee to show solidarity to that league. We will also encourage the team to become a club and form a reserve team to continue playing in the league they came from.

Within SWPL, depending on the region we have pro/rel. The division champion is promoted the following season and does not have to pay their annual league fee to help offset the costs of moving to a higher division.

Promotion is NOT mandatory. If a team wins a championship they can pass on the promotion and stay in their division. In this case the team does not get their league fee waived.

Relegation is reviewed on a case by case basis. As is true for all amateur leagues every year there are teams who come and go. We give priority to teams who do not want to relegate based on the number of teams who join the following season. 

Our ultimate goal is that each division is as competitive as possible and we review each decision amongst our staff and have discussions with each team as necessary

A club is allowed to start at a higher division if there is a vacancy and a returning team does not want the spot

PLAYER FAQ

HOW OLD DO I HAVE TO BE TO COMPETE IN THE SWPL?

A minimum of 15 years old.

CAN I REGISTER AS A FREE AGENT?

Yes, you can fill out a PLAYER INTEREST FORM which is made available to all owners and managers. Then you may register under the PLAYER REGISTRATION PAGE, where further instructions will be provided.