Competition Rules and Policies

All matches within this League shall be conducted under rules set forth in the FIFA Laws of the Game and the rules recognized by this League. Matches sponsored by USSF, USASA and/or matches sponsored by the state associations in which this League is domiciled, shall take precedence over matches of this League.

Abandoned Matches:

  • If a match in progress is stopped by the referee because of bad weather, or for any other reason independent from either team’s behavior, and it is not resumed, the match shall be considered incomplete and it shall be completed by the two teams at another date/time to be determined by the league office with the score and the discipline decisions taken up to the moment of the interruption with the following principles applying:
  1. The line-up sheet for the resumed match may only contain the eligible players who were on the line-up sheet of the abandoned match.
  2. Any sanctions imposed before the match was abandoned remain valid for the remainder of the match.
  3. Single yellow cards imposed before the match was abandoned are not carried forward to any other matches before the abandoned match is completed. 
  4. Players sent off during the abandoned match cannot be replaced and the number of players in the starting line-up remains as it was when the match was abandoned.
  5. Players who were suspended following a match played after the abandoned match in question can be included on the line-up sheet of the resumed match.
  6. The teams can make only the number of substitutions to which they were still entitled when the match was abandoned.
  7. The match must restart on the same spot where the abandoned match action occurred (i.e. free-kick, throw-in, goal kick, corner kick, penalty, etc.). If the match was stopped during the normal flow of the game, a dropped ball on the spot where it was abandoned shall be used to restart.
  • Notwithstanding the above, by mutual agreement of the two participating clubs and the league office, the abandoned match can be deemed complete with the score and discipline decisions at the moment of interruption.

Club Bond:

  • All clubs must deposit a bond of $1,000 with the League at the time of admission, which shall serve as a security for the fulfillment of all obligations, financial or otherwise, towards the League.

Club Social Media Policies:

  • All clubs must have an active website and social media presence.
  • All clubs must adhere to the social media policy of this League and any state association with which they are affiliated. 
  • No club or club official shall publish or posts any comments disparaging to the League on any social media platform.

Conference Championship and League Playoffs:

  • The champions of all of the conferences shall be determined by a point system. 
  • With regard to league playoffs, the determination of which team shall represent the conference shall be made based on the determination of criteria set by the teams of the conference. The top six teams of the Northeast Conference are eligible for League playoffs. The top four teams of the Metropolitan Conference and Mid-Atlantic Conference are eligible for League playoffs. The top three teams of the Delaware River Conference are eligible for League playoffs.

Determination of Standings:

  • When there is a tie in the number of points among the teams that have played each other an equal number of times, the standings shall be determined by:
  1. Head-to-head competition defined as the better win/loss record in current regular season matches against all other teams equal in points.
  2. Goal differential defined as goals for minus goals against scored in regular season matches against all other teams equal in points.
  3. Goal differential defined as goals for minus goals against scored during the regular league season against all other teams. 
  4. Higher number of goals scored during regular season matches against all other teams.
  • When there is a tie in the number of points among the teams that have not played each other an equal number of times, then only tie-breakers (3) and (4) above shall apply.

Home Grounds:

  • All clubs must provide the league office with the name and location of their home ground prior to the start of the season. The league office may request a copy of a permit or other proof of control of the field.
  • All fields must be of a minimum dimension of 110 by 65 yards and must be enclosed to prevent access to non-players or club officials.
  • All fields must have team and coaches/managers benches. Only rostered players and coaches and managers may have access to the field and benches.
  • All fields must have restroom facilities at or near the field.
  • Under extraordinary circumstances, the league may waive any of the above rules and allow matches to be played at a field that meets the minimum FIFA standards. 

Match Day Requirements:

  • The home club shall be responsible for visible, correct and clear markings of the playing field; properly secured goal nets; the providing of match balls; and the placement of corner flags. If a home club fails to have the field properly marked, have proper goal nets, have at least six match balls and have corner flags placed after the referee has given the team the necessary time, the club may be punished by losing the match, fined, or both at the determination of the Arbiter or Arbitration Board.
  • The home club shall be responsible to have a medical kit and physio at all scheduled matches.
  • Both competing clubs shall have a coach present with a minimum "D" coaching license except a new club may have a coach with a minimum "Grassroots" coaching license for the first six months of its league play.
  • After a match, clubs need to report goal scorers on the league website. A fine of $25 may be issued if no scorer is reported within 24 hours of a match. 

Notification of Matches:

  • The schedule of matches and start times being published on the league website shall serve as official notice to all clubs. However, subsequent revisions to the schedule and starting times sent out by the league shall supersede those published on the league website.

Passes & Roster Forms:

  • This League uses a paper player pass system where the player pass is part of the computer-generated match day roster form.
  • All teams must submit a match day roster form with clear, colored player pictures before the start of any league or cup match. If a player picture is unclear, the referee has the authority to ask for an additional form of identification.
  • To be eligible to play in any and all matches under the jurisdiction of this league, each player's name and picture must appear on the match day roster form. Any player whose name and/or picture does not appear on the match day roster form is ineligible to play.
  • Teams must use only the designed computer-generated roster form for all matches. The roster form must be printed within 48 hours of the match, i.e. Friday for a Sunday match. Failure to submit the league designated roster form will result in the offending team forfeiting the match. Submitting a roster form dated prior to the time set forth by the League, shall subject the offending team to a fine of $25.00.
  • Prior to the commencement of any match, each team must present a match day roster form to the referee and a copy to the opposing team. If a properly completed line-up form cannot be submitted to the referee before the matches commences, the match may be started at the discretion of the referee, with the agreement that the line-up form be submitted before the start of the second half.

Playoffs, Extra Time, Fees:

  • If a playoff match is tied at full time, there shall be two 15-minute extra time periods (no golden goal) followed by kicks from the mark.
  • Except for conference final matches, the referee fees are evenly split by the two competing clubs. The league will cover all referee fees for conference finals.
  • The league will cover all referee fees for league wide playoffs.

Player Limits:

  • All teams may sign up to 30 players at one time. Additionally, teams may also utilize players from their club's lower tiered teams, such as a reserve team.
  • Each team must sign at least 18 players.


  • Unless required because one of the competing teams is playing a national or state cup match, no scheduled match shall be postponed without the consent of the League office and both clubs involved.
  • Any club wishing not to play a match on a bona fide religious holiday must advise the League month before the start of the season.

Prize Money:

  • Delaware River Conference: 1st place - $2,500; 2nd place - $1,500; 3rd place - $1,000.
  • Metropolitan Conference: 1st place - $7,500; 2nd place - $1,500; 3rd place - $1,000.
  • Mid-Atlantic Conference: 1st place - $2,500; 2nd place - $1,500; 3rd place - $1,000.

Referee Fees:

  • Center referee: $115; ARs: $75 each; 4th official (if utilized): $50.
  • The home team is responsible for all referee fees.
  • If a match is postponed or canceled with less than 48-hour notice, the club responsible of the postponement or cancellation is responsible for the referee fees.

Registration of Players - General:

  • All registration documentation including a completed online registration form, photograph, identification and waivers must be provided one hour before the close of the League office to be eligible to play the following day.
  • A club with an outstanding balance to the League of more than $500 for more than 30 days may be prohibited from registering any additional players.
  • A player may only register for one EPSL club at one time.
  • A player registered with an EPSL club may not register for another club within an EPSL feeder league division which has an EPSL club's reserve team.

Registration of Players - Professionals:

  • Clubs may register professional players; however, the professional contract must be for ZERO dollars. All professional registrations are through the US Soccer Federation.

Registration of Players - Minor (Under-18):

  • As per US Soccer policies, any team wishing to register a player under the age of 18, must have all coaches, managers and adult players on the team complete SafeSports training and be SafeSports certified.

Registration of Players - Not Previously Registered with a League Club:

  • New players are eligible after proper registration.
  • Notwithstanding the above, a club may only register an amateur player who is currently or has been registered with another club outside of this League after the club obtains a proper release or loan agreement if so required by the player’s current or former state or national association. A club may only register a professional player who is currently or has been registered with another club outside of this League after the club obtains a proper release or loan agreement as required by the USSF or other national association.

Registration of Players - Previously Registered with a League Club (Transfers):

  • A club may only register an amateur or professional player who is currently or has been registered with another club within the League after that player has been properly released, as appropriate, by the current or former club.
  • Players changing their clubs within this League during the current season are eligible to play immediately if both the player's first and second clubs agree to the transfer or 10 days after the player's second club's next match if the player's first and second clubs do not agree to the transfer. The player's first club is deemed to have consented to the transfer if no objection is received by the league office within 72 hours of the transfer request, Players are only permitted to change clubs once during the season.
  • A player currently under suspension cannot be granted a release.

Registration of Players - Final Dates:

  • No player registered for a club of this League may transfer to another club of this League after March 1 in each season.
  • No club may sign a player previously registered in the United States or Canada during the seasonable soccer year after April 15 unless the player's former club is dissolved or the registration is made only for the purpose of playing a friendly, exhibition or national or state cup match.
  • Players not previously registered in the United States or Canada during the seasonable soccer year may be signed through the end of the regular season. No player may participate in any divisional, conference or league playoff or championship match, unless he was registered for his respective club's last regular season league match.


  • Once a league conference has reached 12 teams, then the last place team at the end of the regular season is relegated to a feeder league if the winner of a feeder league or winner of a feeder league promotion playoff accepts promotion. As per the agreement with the Cosmopolitan Soccer League (CSL), any team originating from the CSL that self-relegates, shall be placed in the CSL 2nd division.

Reserve or Lower Tiered Teams:

  • If a club wishes to utilize players also registered for its reserve or lower tiered team, that reserve or lower tiered team must play in designed EPSL feeder league.
  • Under agreement with the CSL, any EPSL team originating from the CSL wishing to have another open fall to spring team, must have that team play in the CSL.

Starting Times:

  • The League office shall schedule all matches. Unless otherwise agreed to by the competing teams, matches scheduled on Sunday shall start between 11:00 am and 9:00 pm and matches scheduled on a Saturday shall start between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Make up matches scheduled midweek (Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays) shall start between 8:00 pm and 9:15 pm. As a general rule, make-up matches should be played within 14 days of the orginally scheduled date.


  • Each team may dress up to 18 players for each match. Substitution is governed by the FIFA Laws of the Game for high-level amateur competition, namely each team may use seven substitutes without any reentry allowed. 
  • Substitutes should present an EPSL substitution card to the 4th official or center referee.


  • Teams shall appear in proper uniform attire for all league and cup matches. All players of a team must wear matching jerseys, shorts and socks. Players who, in the judgment of the referee, are not properly attired will be ordered off the field. In addition, the referee must order any players off the field if, in the referee’s opinion, their dress could lead to an error in judgment.
  • The home club shall always wear their "home" jerseys (except white) and the visiting club shall wear either white jerseys or jerseys which do not clash with the home club’s jersey colors. The visiting club must change jerseys if there is any color clashing or conflict.
  • Clubs must enter their team colors on the team page of the league website.
  • Team captains shall wear an armband on the upper left sleeve of their jersey. 

Withdrawal Before End of Season:

  • If a team does not complete its regular league schedule, the following rules shall apply:
  1. If at least one half of the full schedule of matches has been played, all scores shall stand. The points from the remaining matches shall be credited to the opponents and the team shall be assessed the penalties for forfeiting matches under league policies for each match not played. 
  2. If at less one than half of the full schedule of matches has been played, all matches shall be considered void. 

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