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.
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.
Cementing its status at the forefront of soccer evolution, the NISL launched its Premier League in 2003, which was a revolutionary advance for soccer competition in the Midwest. By pooling all of the most skilled teams together into a centralized location, the NISL afforded its clubs the best environment possible to develop young athletic talent without the restriction of long travel and expensive tournament/hotel fees holding them back. The NISL Premier League quickly became the epicenter in the area for scouting talent at the college and national levels and as a result, club interest in Premier has swelled in recent years.
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.
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.