For more information about ECNL, go to EliteClubsNationalLeague.com.
2009-2010: Inaugural ECNL Season
The inaugural ECNL season (August 2009 - July 2010) included 40 of the top girls’ soccer clubs throughout the country, with more than 2,000 players participating in ECNL competition in the U15, U16, and U17 age groups, competing in two divisions for the ECNL National Championship, the ECNL Club National Championship, and promotion and relegation between the divisions. Each team played nine regular season games within their division for placement going into the ECNL National Championship. Games were played at five different ECNL National Showcase Events held throughout the country, and all participating teams came together for the first annual ECNL National Championship in Seattle, WA in July 2010.
In its second year, the 2010-11 ECNL season, the ECNL saw several changes. The ECNL added twelve of the top girls clubs from around the country, bringing the total number of ECNL member clubs to 52, and expanded to include the U18 age group. Each of the 52 member clubs had an ECNL team in the U15 through U18 age groups. In total, each team (in each age groups) played roughly 16 games. By adding more age groups and more high-quality ECNL games, the ECNL took steps that allowed the member clubs to increase the quality of games played while reducing the overall number of games on their calendar, increase the training time for their players, and expand the developmental opportunities provided by this platform into more age groups.
Entering its third year, the 2011-12 ECNL season, the ECNL has again expanded, now to include the nation’s elite 66 female soccer clubs, an enhanced scouting and player identification structure, accessible club administrative, coaching, and scouting education opportunities, and an improved season structure that includes the U14 age group. Most importantly, the ECNL expanded the competition platform to approximately 30 games per team. By focusing solely on the elite competition within the ECNL, these clubs will be able to provide an improved environment with a better training-to-game ratio and more demanding and consistent competition. The 2011-12 ECNL season has three parts which provide the competitive platform for over 5,000 games to be played:
1- ECNL Conference and Cross-Conference Competitions;
2- ECNL National Event Competitions; and
3- ECNL National Championships.
The Elite Clubs National League, Inc. (“ECNL”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit member-based organization founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of the female youth soccer players in the United States through:
- Improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league with multiple flights;
- Improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players for the U.S. Soccer youth national teams through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and
- Improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs.
The goal of the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) is to change the landscape for elite female soccer players in the United States through innovative, player-centered programming and to enhance the overall experience by creating a better, more enjoyable, and more successful player, coach, and club development model. In addition, the ECNL strives to:
- Create a Competition Structure
- Create a Player Identification Platform
- Create a Resource Sharing Structure
- Create a Standards, Guidelines, & Incentives Structure
ACTION PLAN (Summary):
To accomplish this goal, the ECNL developed a common organizational structure, composed of individual clubs operating collectively under the direction of a commissioner. Because the ECNL exists to promote the common interest of its member clubs, the ECNL operating model is unified and comprehensive and values accessibility and sustainability. The ECNL utilizes four primary delivery mechanisms, or platforms, for “Changing the Daily Environment:
* The ECNL is a tax-exempt 501c(3) organization.