Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why the Ohio Valley Premier League?

    The OVPL was created to benefit soccer players of all ages and genders. Statistics show that US youth soccer participation has declined by nearly 500,000 kids in the last five years. A wide variety of reasons for this decline in participation but the cost of participation and travel are a big reason why people quit playing.
    The OVPL is a low-cost and low-travel league. Anybody can create a team and enter the league. The goal is to keep players playing locally so there is community support. All members of the OVPL can showcase the talent in their community with the potential to represent the region on a national level (if desired).

  • Why US Club Soccer?

    The decision for OVPL to go towards US Club Soccer instead of state associations affiliated with USYSA because the decision making and governance goes back towards OVPL member clubs. All clubs have an opportunity to have a voting member and decision-making ability in how the OVPL operates. Since the OVPL is a multi-state league, the US Club Soccer route allows for player carding on a National level instead of a state-level - this was an important step for the Senior Team league.
    The OVPL encourages participation in both USYSA and US Club Soccer events.

  • How are the leagues structured?

    Each tier within the OVPL will be in a promotion/relegation table. Depending on the season and membership, each division will have a minimum of six (6) teams and no more than ten (10) teams. Each member club can put as many teams in the tiers as they want, and the only time they would be involved in a division together is through promotion/relegation in the tier.
    Tiers:- Senior League (11v11 - 16-23+ years old)
    * Players under the age of 18, but no younger than 16 may be eligible for participation based upon the ability of the player**Women's & Youth Divisions will be announced at a later date, and participation is slated for the 2020/21 playing year.

  • What is the OVPL governing structure?

    As a league, the OVPL is governed by co-Executive Director positions (2), Founding Club members (2), and all other member clubs (1 per club). All member clubs will have an opportunity for feedback on the OVPL operations. 

  • How are players registered?

    Players are registered through US Club Soccer. The Executive Directors will register all players within OVPL unless players or Club is already registered with US Club Soccer. 
    The OVPL recognizes FIFA governance on all players, so any international players must send a formal request to the relevant Federation for the player's International Transfer Clearance (ITC). The home Federation and OVPL will certify that a player is free to play in the League. In accordance with FIFA, Federations have a maximum of 30 days until USSF and OVPL can declare provisional clearance which enables a player to play for the Club. 
    No players are permitted to play in an official League match until they have been cleared.

  • How can my club benefit from a Senior Team?

    As a member of the US soccer public, we should encourage people of all ages to continue playing. Youth clubs have forever focused on youth players, while the 18+ age group has left the game (unless they play in college). It is important to the OVPL that teams utilize a senior team to continue playing for those who have graduated out of the youth system.

    Additionally, through OVPL competition, teams can qualify for the longest-running tournament in the United States - the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. With a club's involvement in the senior team division, your club could represent your community in the biggest Cup in the US.

    Studies have shown over the last 10 years; soccer numbers are decreasing in the US. Through the OVPL, we want to engage people of all demographics to grow the game.

  • How can the OVPL help my club go to the US Open Cup?

    The OVPL is a qualifying member of US Club Soccer, which is a member of US Soccer Federation, that allows for US Open Cup qualifying. A total of $475m was awarded in US Open Cup awards and prizes. To qualify, here are the criteria for Clubs:
    1. Belong to a club or league of any Organization Member of U.S. Soccer2. Compete in a regular (i.e. on-going) league competition with at least four teams, with each team playing at least ten league games during the year3. A refundable performance bond of $1,000 must be paid by each team at the time of submitting the Entry Fee ($200).4. Provide a home field that meets tournament minimum standards for local qualifying (field at least 100 yds. x 65 yds.) for each qualifying round and identify that venue at the time of registration5. Remain as a member in good standing in the same league from the fall of 2020 to the end of the tournament in 2021

  • Rules on Amateurism

    The OVPL is sanctioned as a fully amateur league. It is important for all teams to understand the rules of amateurism. Each member Club should ensure players maintain amateur eligibility, as the Club would be held responsible for jeopardizing amateurism if there is a violation. The United States has two governing bodies on amateurism: FIFA and college (NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA/etc.).

    College amateurism and eligibility will be put in jeopardy if an athlete:
    " Receives compensation that exceeds actual and necessary expenses
    " Receives compensation for media appearances based on your athletic ability or fame
    " Endorsing commercial products or services
    " Accepting prize money beyond the actual/necessary expenses
    " Accepting money from an agent or agency
    " Participating with a player, on the same team, who is considered a professional player

    No amateur teams should ever use the terminology "professional" or "semi-professional" as the term "professional" could jeopardize amateurism. All players must sign a registration form from the Club and OVPL that reinforces if a player is amateur or professional. A player who wishes to sign with a professional team must have completed college eligibility or be advised that upon signing as an amateur player on a professional team, the player will lose college eligibility.

    A professional player may be reinstated as an amateur only with the permission of that team and the Amateur National State Association or Professional League with which the Club is affiliated. An application for reinstatement to amateur status must be made on the USSF Amateur Reinstatement Form and both the completed form and the applicable fee ($50.00) must be filed with the appropriate Federation. The Federation shall issue approval of the reinstatement to amateur status within fourteen (14) days after receipt, appropriate fees, and compliance with Federation rules. However, the player's reinstatement to amateur status is not effective until the day after the thirty (30) day time period has elapsed from the day that the player competed in his last match with his/her team as a professional player. This is in accordance with FIFA's Regulations Governing the Status and Transfer of Football Players.

    A professional player who is not currently registered as a professional player with any professional division team or league, who has not been a party to a professional player contract with a professional division team or league for a period of one year or longer, and who has not applied for reinstatement as an amateur, shall be automatically reinstated to amateur status by the Secretary-General unless the player affirmatively states in writing that he/she does not wish to be reinstated to amateur status.

    College Player Eligibility for OVPL

    " Any player signed to or enrolled in college on scholarship or as a walk-on qualifies as a collegiate player for that school.
    " Any Division I, Division II, Division III, or NAIA player, with or without remaining NCAA eligibility, is permitted to play on an OVPL amateur team.
    " College players are not permitted to train, practice or play with any OVPL amateur teams during their scheduled season.
    " OVPL amateur teams ARE NOT to promote the respective league as professional or semi-professional.
    " OVPL amateur teams cannot provide any players more than actual and necessary expenses or they will be considered a professional team.
    " OVPL amateur teams are permitted to employ college players as camp coaches for summer youth soccer camps, but no amateur or professional players on an OVPL amateur team are permitted to receive any compensation for playing.
    " College players are also not permitted to receive any complimentary equipment or apparel from OVPL amateur or team sponsors. College players must either turn in all team equipment at the end of the season or purchase it from the team at fair market value.
    " A student-athlete may compete outside of the institution's declared playing and practice season as a member of an outside team in any non-collegiate, amateur competition, provided:
    o Such participation occurs no earlier than May 1st.
    o The competition is approved by the institution's director of athletics.
    o No class time is missed for practice activities or for competition.
    o A student-athlete may compete outside of the institution's declared playing and practice season as a member of an outside team in any non-collegiate, amateur competition during any official vacation period published in the institution's catalog.
    " NO OVPL clubs may play with more than five (5) student-athletes with eligibility remaining in NCAA DI. There is no limit for NCAA DII, DIII, NAIA, or NJCAA.
    " NO NCAA student-athletes with eligibility remaining may participate with an OVPL team if there is a member of the institution's soccer team involved in any capacity, at any time with the team.


    Before initial full-time collegiate enrollment, defined as participants with a team or in fall/spring term, an individual may compete on a professional team provided he/she does not receive more than actual necessary expenses on the team.