NWSL implements new Covid-19 related policy

Lizzy Becherano
NWSL announces new Covid-19 related policy to alleviate league-wide issues.
NWSL announces new Covid-19 related policy to alleviate league-wide issues. / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The NWSL announced the implementation of a new Covid-19 related policy allowing clubs to sign emergency replacement players in the event a team cannot 'field a sufficient roster due to Covid protocols'.

The policy will be in effect for the next 60 days, and be re-evaluated by the NWSL and NWSLPA after it expires. While current protocols allow a team to compete with as few as 14 eligible players, clubs have endured several struggles. 

Under the new rule, however, clubs can sign Covid replacement players to bolster rosters to the non-Covid minimum of 18 players, but must follow the same policies as they do with national team players.

The news comes after Covid-19 related issues plague the NWSL. Most recently, Gotham FC saw their home opener against the North Carolina Courage canceled due to protocols. 

“While we are just as disappointed as our fans, we understand and respect the NWSL’s decision,” Gotham FC said in a statement.

According to the injury report released by the team on friday, Caprice Dydasco, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Midge Purce were all set to be sidelined due to Covid-19 rules. Paige Monahan and Sabrina Flores were both listed as questionable after suffering injuries. 

On the other end, the North Carolina Courage suffered their own share of Covid-19-related absences, with Tessa Boade, Katie Bowen, Abby Erceg, Carson Pickett, Briana Pinto, Katelyn Rowland and Havana Solaun all listed as out because of protocols. 

Unable to proceed, the league called for the game to be rescheduled for a later time to protect the players and fans. 

Covid-19 has become an ongoing issue during the 2022 campaign. As teams navigate new terrain, the NWSL hopes the newest emergency ruling will alleviate certain struggles.