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44 Years serving the communities in the Chicagoland Area

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FOunded in 1975

Competitive Youth Soccer League for Boys and Girls

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The Northern Illinois Soccer League / N.I.S.L. was founded in 1975 as a competitive youth soccer league for Boys and Girls ages U8 through U19.

It provides the day-to-day organizational structure for more than 1,000 teams in over 97 Chicago area communities.

It is one of the largest youth soccer leagues in the state of Illinois.

Our Mission

Our mission is that all soccer related decisions should be made with the player in mind. We are interested in the development of youth soccer, not the politics. Our office staff consists of players and coaches that believe in creating and maintaining a league that is focused on the development of the players at various levels and providing a competitive and equal playing field. We believe the NISL should be governed by simple administrative procedures which provide players, teams and clubs flexibility in the player development process. The NISL will create, develop, and foster the growth of club and community soccer programs throughout the Chicago Metropolitan Area and surrounding states.

Our Vision

NISL will provide a fun, safe and supportive environment, which nurtures and guides children to develop their talents, knowledge and appreciation for the game of soccer.

NISL will provide an equal opportunity to all soccer players, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators and officials to participate in youth soccer competitions.

NISL will provide an equal opportunity to all soccer players to participate in a competitive soccer environment that encourages good sportsmanship, principles of fair play, and the building of good character.

NISL will provide leagues and divisions so all soccer players, etc. can reach their highest level of competition.

League Managment

The NISL is owned and operated by Northern Independent Soccer League. Participation in the NISL is governed by the rules adopted by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the United States Soccer Federation (US Soccer), except where modified below.
All competition in leagues/divisions affiliated with the NISL is governed by regulations approved by the NISL and the league office.

Premier League


Elite Clubs

US Club Soccer and the Elite Clubs National League are collaborating to create a new national competition and development platform for 14-U through 18/19-U boys beginning in August 2017. The Elite National Premier League (ENPL) will provide local and national regular-season competition, national showcase events and postseason playoff competition for top teams across the country.

League conferences

The ENPL will include both member Elite Clubs National League conferences (ECNL conferences) and member National Premier Leagues (NPLs), providing multiple entry paths into the competition. ENPL competition will include 14-U, 15-U, 16-U, 17-U and 19-U boys age groups, and will include participating teams from two independent qualification paths: (i) qualifying teams from designated National Premier Leagues across the country; and (ii) qualifying teams from ECNL club-based conferences across the country. These teams will come together to compete for the ENPL National Championship in a two-stage postseason event in 2018.

ENPL Playoffs

The inaugural ENPL Playoffs will be held in June 2018 in two locations – East and West – where teams will be seeded based on their regular season performance. Playoff winners will advance to the ENPL National Championships in early July.

No teams are guaranteed entry into the ENPL Playoffs. Whether qualifying through an NPL or an ECNL conference, all teams will earn their place into the ENPL Playoffs through a full season of regular league play.

Best Boys Players

By providing qualification paths for both team-based and club-based competitions, the ENPL will feature the best boys players in US Club Soccer. The regular season competition within each NPL and Boys ECNL Conference are unique and independently structured; however, consistent technical and competitive standards will apply, and all teams will be focusing on the same postseason destination.

Who We Are

Starting in 1975, the Northern Illinois Soccer League was initiated with the sole purpose of giving a few local athletes a place to play soccer, which was still considered a niche sport in the US at the time.

NISL’s Early Adoption

Through the NISL’s early adoption of forward-thinking methodologies, the league’s clubs have the opportunity to develop talent through player movement, small-sided games, and various other approaches that proactively enable development, instead of hampering their progress with cumbersome rules and regulations. One of the NISL’s greatest triumphs has been to create an environment where clubs have the freedom to be all that they can be.      

Standard of Excellence

With its Premier League as the standard of excellence in the region and soccer clubs flourishing under the league’s umbrella, the NISL will continue its legacy of providing the most innovative and competitive soccer platform possible for many years to come.

Embracing Soccer

By embracing soccer innovations from around the world and empowering its membership to develop club programs without the intrusion of complex bureaucracies, the NISL has grown over the last 42 years into one of the largest and most elite soccer leagues in the United States, with a staggering membership of 18,000 players from over 1,200 teams across 170+ individual clubs.

Club / Conference League


Peter Richardson

Why Choose Us?

The NISL’s reputation of creating the greatest possible competitive environment has been well established throughout the years. Our Team Ranking System, when in cooperation Directors of Coaching, has proven itself to be the most effective method of placing teams into the best surroundings possible for player talent and enjoyment of the game to flourish.

US Soccer
US Soccer has begun taking a more active role in the development of new Standards and Technology to help our Soccer Community, and the NISL is enormously excited and grateful to share in this progress. US Soccer and the NISL are now both aligned onto the same “US Soccer Connect” registration platform that will streamline processes between the Federation and our members’ organizations.
Coaching Education
US Soccer has also recently evolved their Coaching Education programs and they have provided the NISL with the opportunity to start teaching their NEW Grassroots Pathway Initiative. Eight new Grassroots Licensing Courses have been created that focus on Coaching Fundamentals with respect to US Soccer’s Player Development Initiatives and the NISL now has the ability to teach these courses directly at minimal cost.
Right Level of Play
For our 8 years of age and under groups, the league has recognized that finding the right level of challenge for these children in particular, most of whom are learning Soccer for the first time, has become increasingly difficult as the number of players participating has grown. It is also coincidentally the time when it is most important for players to be introduced to the game properly.
Premier League
The jewel in the crown of the NISL is our Premier League program, which is the only locally played National Premier League. Widely regarded as one of the most competitive environments in the USA, the Premier League is centralized in location, which eliminates long distance travel and the expensive hotel and transportation fees that normally come with the search for quality games in the Midwest.

Northern Illinois Soccer League

We’re Special, We’re Different.

The NISL began primarily as a Coed league and as the female players slowly began to be segregated into their own exclusive leagues, many clubs have noticed that their Girls programs have not been as competitively challenging as they were than when they were playing Coed. Recent scientific studies and social changes have only reaffirmed our belief that young men and women should learn to respect each other as equals at as young of an age as possible, and there is no healthier way to cultivate this respect than to participate as teammates in the spirit of athletic competition.

Our Addreess

545 Consumers Ave, Palatine Illinois, 60074




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National Cup

The National Cup is US Club Soccer’s cup-based national championship competition open to members. Qualifying 13-U through 18/19-U teams from National Cup XVIII Regionals and qualifying state cups advance to the National Cup XVIII Finals.

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Largest & Most Competitive
Youth Soccer Leagues
in the United States
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