The Northwest Premier League (NWPL) recently announced drastic changes to its competition format ahead of the league’s second season. Now the elite amateur adult women’s competition will feature playoffs instead of a top of the table champion. Further, the league addressed parity and balance concerns with a “strength of opponent” scheduling format. See the league announcement below.
BREMERTON, WA—The Northwest Premier League (NWPL) held a conference call on Tuesday night January 17 in which the format for the 2017 season was decided. The women’s elite adult amateur soccer league will feature playoffs this year to decide its champion.
Fewer League Games, Playoff Rounds Added
Each NWPL club will play 10 matches in the regular season in 2017 (down from 12 last year.) This will allow for rounds of playoffs for the top six finishers in the nine-team circuit.
The playoff format will commence directly after the 10 regular season matches are completed for all clubs. In the playoffs the number one and two finishers in the table will get first-round byes while three hosts six and four hosts five. The winners of the first round will travel to one and two for the semifinals in round two. The winners of the semifinals will advance to the NWPL Final (round three) at the home of the highest finishing club.
2017 Playoff Format
“This playoff format provides for a good mix of teams with the ability to make the playoffs,” says NWPL President Bill Wright. “To put this in perspective, we ran a 12 game season last year with fewer teams but the winner was decided by table standings only.”
Wright looks forward to seeing how the changes play out. “I think we will see good results from this set up. Everyone seemed to agree this was the best solution,” he says.
Schedule Format Addresses Challenge and Parity
The NWPL will run a 10-match regular season in 2017 to decide the six playoff clubs. The schedule will see clubs play opponents less or more often based on last season’s final standings.
The schedule format changes are designed to make the league more challenging for the stronger sides and allow for parity with the rest. The chart below shows the schedule groupings that were unanimously approved during the teleconference.
2017 Schedule Groupings
Each Group play a home and away within their group (for a total of 4 games each).
- Group One play home vs Group Two and away vs Group Three (for their remaining 6 games)
- Group Two play home vs Group Three and away vs Group One (for their remaining 6 games)
- Group Three play home vs Group One and away vs Group Two (for their remaining 6 games)
The 2017 Northwest Premier League season is expected to kick off in early May.