Women's Soccer in D.C. since 1982


Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions About the League

How can I sign up?

The month prior to every season the league holds New Player Practices for players who want to join the league. The league works to ensure a spot on a team for all players who attend a practice. Please visit our How to Join page for more information on upcoming practices.

After the season begins, you can fill out our new player form to be placed on the waitlist for the current season and to be notified of the new player practices for the next season. 

When are the games?

Games are originally scheduled for Saturdays. They can start at any time of the day -- as early as 8:00am, and as late as 4:30pm. The Spring Season begins in late March, and runs through the mid to late June, with Memorial Day Weekend (and occasionally Easter weekend) as holiday weeks (no games originally scheduled). The fall season begins in late August and runs through early to mid November, with Labor Day Weekend as a holiday week. 
Though we build rainout weeks into the end of our regular season, sometimes the rain wins and we run out of field space for make-up games on Saturdays. In these cases, and on the rare occasions we may have a field conditions or scheduling issue, we may need to reschedule your game for a Sunday or weeknight evening. We do everything we can to accomodate players' schedules when this happens, but you may need to be flexible once in a while.


Where are the games?

Games are most often played in Washington, DC or Montgomery County, MD. The league spends a great deal of time securing usage of anywhere from 5 to 10 different fields, depending on the season and area field availability. For a full list of WAWSL fields, click here.

PLEASE NOTE: We do NOT use every field on this list every season! This is a master list of all the fields WAWSL may or may not have at our disposal. The actual facility list changes from season to season, depending on availability, cost, condition, and any number of other factors out of WAWSL's control.


I don't have a car.  Are the fields metro-accessible?

Most of the fields are accessible by metro or bus, but some are not.  However, most players easily find rides with their teammates each week.



I identify as trans*, genderqueer, or gender non-conforming. Can I join?

Yes, we'd love to have you play!

Can a player switch teams in mid-season?

A player can switch teams at any time before the registration deadline, which is usually 1-2 weeks into the season. After this deadline, players cannot switch teams.

Can a player be on two teams in different divisions?

No, players may only play for one team. A team that uses a player not registered on their team will forfeit any games in which they used that player.  The only exception is for the Masters Division, where dual-registration is allowed under some circumstances.

I've never played before.  Can I still join?

Yes!  The league really wants players that are new to the sport.  It's part of the league's mission to encourage new players to learn soccer.

How many teams are there?

The number of teams varies slightly each season but the league usually has about 35-40 teams any given season. Each division usually has between 6 to 8 teams.

When are practices for other teams?

WAWSL does not set up practices for existing teams, nor do we have available field permit time for team practices.  However, many of our teams coordinate optional weekly practices on the national mall or other area fields, where space is available on a first come basis. 

Is the league affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation?

WAWSL is the only USSF-affiliated women's soccer league in the Washington area. WAWSL also is a member of the Metropolitan DC-Virginia Soccer Association.  Players in affiliated leagues are entitled to secondary medical insurance and are eligible for state and national tournaments.  We also pay dues to support soccer at the national level.  To learn more about affiliation, click here.

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 What are the Skill Levels in the League?

What is the skill level in the Premier Division?

The Premier Division is for players of high competitive ability: generally, ex-college players. Many Premier Division teams compete in national tournaments.

What is the skill level in the First Division?

The First Division is for players of competitive ability: Many have played high school and/or college soccer. Many First Division teams compete in regional tournaments.

What is the skill level in the Second Division?

The Second Division is for semi-competitive and recreational players. Many women have played high school soccer, but some are playing soccer for the first time.

What is the skill level in the Masters 1 Division?

The Over-30 Masters Division is for experienced players.  Most women have played soccer for many years and many are dual-registered in the Premier or First divisions.

What is the skill level in the Masters 2 Division?

The Over-30 Open Division is for recreational players. Some players have played their whole lives, some are returning to soccer after a long break, and some players are new to the sport.

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What Costs Are Involved?

What are the fees to register in WAWSL?

The base cost per player is $100 for a 9-game season. In addition, teams are required to supply a certified referee for five league games each season or face a $15 per player fine.  Fines can also be imposed for forfeited games. For a detailed description of WAWSL fees and credits, click here.

When are the registration fees due?

Registration fees are due by the registration deadline, usually 1-2 weeks into the season. Games are subject to forfeiture if a team plays with an unregistered player.

What other expenses should players consider?

Cleated shoes cost $30 to $100, and shinguards are $10 to $45. Shinguards are mandatory and cleats are HIGHLY recommended.  Your team may also collect additional money to purchase team jerseys. 

What other expenses should teams consider?

Each team must have a game ball (cost from $10 to $50), and should have goalie gloves (cost around $15). Also, most teams buy new jerseys every few years.

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Where Can I Find Soccer Equipment (Jerseys, Shoes, Etc.)?

Some of our sponsors offer soccer equipment: for a list, click here.
Or ask your Team Representative or a teammate for a recommended local specialty store.


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General Questions About Soccer

What are the rules of soccer?

Here are some sources you can check out:


What is Offside?

A player must be in an offside position and also commit an offside offence. 

Offside Position
It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position. A player is in an offside position if:
    * he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent.

A player is not in an offside position if:
    * he is in his own half of the field of play; or
    * he is level with the second last opponent; or
    * he is level with the last two opponents.

   A player in an offside position is only penalized if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:  
    * interfering with play; or
    * interfering with an opponent; or
    * gaining an advantage by being in that position.

No Offence
   There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:   
    * a goal kick; or
    * a throw-in; or
    * a corner kick.

For any offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred. 



Are Slide Tackles Legal?

Slide tackles are legal in WAWSL and FIFA rules are in effect.

Things to look out for regarding slide tackles:
  * make sure that contact is made with the ball first - not with any part of the player.

  * the slide must be executed with the studs (cleats) flat or pointed down - never up toward the player, and the legs must stay generally together - never flailing up toward the player.
  * a tackle made from anywhere outside of the field of vision of the offensive player is rarely executed without a serious foul being committed.
  * a slide tackle from the rear is very serious and can warrant red card.

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 Indoor Soccer 



Does WAWSL sponsor an indoor soccer league?


No. In fact, most outdoor soccer league operate completely independently of indoor soccer leagues. Each indoor soccer facility usually sets aside 1 night for women's play, 2 nights for coed play, and 4 nights for men's play. 



Are there indoor soccer facilities in the Washington area?

Yes. Click here for a list of area indoor soccer facilities.


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Other Leagues


Are there other leagues in the DC Area?


They aren't as cool as WAWSL, but there are some other leagues nearby.  Click here for a list of USSF-affiliated soccer leagues in the DC area.


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