ENPL postseason format, qualification path announced for 2018 season

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Via US Club Soccer) – The Elite National Premier League (ENPL) has announced the 2018 playoff qualification path and postseason structure for the ENPL Eastern and Western Playoffs, the ENPL National Championships and the 15-U through 17-U Boys NPL Finals.

Sixteen previously announced qualifying NPLs and Boys ECNL Conferences will compete for the inaugural ENPL National Championships in boys 14-U through 19-U age groups.

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, but all teams will be focusing on the same postseason destination: the ENPL Playoffs.

Boys 14-U, 15-U, 16-U and 17-U: 2018 ENPL Eastern & Western Playoffs and ENPL National Championship
The ENPL national champions at 14-U, 15-U, 16-U and 17-U age groups will be crowned in a two-stage ENPL postseason. First- and second-place teams from all 16 qualifiers – NPLs and Boys ECNL Conferences – will compete in either the ENPL Eastern Playoffs (Lancaster, Mass.) or the ENPL Western Playoffs (San Diego, Calif.), June 29-July 3.

This graphic outlines the playoff destination for each qualifying NPL and Boys ECNL Conference. Additional 15-U, 16-U and 17-U teams from the qualifying leagues and conferences will compete at the same postseason venue for the NPL Eastern or NPL Western Championship as outlined below.

First-round matchups will be revealed during a live draw on elitenationalpremierleague.com.

The top two teams from each ENPL playoff event will move on to the ENPL National Championship, July 13-14 at Aurora Sports Park in Aurora, Colo., to determine the ENPL national champion at each age group.

Boys 19-U: 2018 ENPL National Championship
The ENPL national champion at the 19-U age group will be crowned in a single-stage postseason. The first-place team from all 16 qualifiers will advance directly to the 19-U ENPL National Championship, which will be held alongside the ENPL Eastern Playoffs, June 29-July 3 in Lancaster, Mass.

This graphic outlines the pathway for the 19-U age group.

First-round matchups will be revealed during a live draw on elitenationalpremierleague.com.

Boys 15-U, 16-U and 17-U: 2018 NPL Finals
The NPL Finals will be held concurrently with the ENPL Playoffs, with both an NPL Eastern champion and NPL Western champion crowned in a single-stage postseason.

Champions from six NPLs across the country that are not currently qualifiers for the ENPL playoffs (Central States NPL, Great Lakes Alliance, Gulf States Premier League, Red River NPL, Southern California NPL and Washington NPL) will meet qualifying teams from the ENPL qualifiers. These teams will play a four-game knock-out competition to determine the NPL Eastern and NPL Western champions.

This graphic outlines the playoff path for each qualifying NPL and Boys ECNL Conference.

Additional graphics showing the NPL playoff structure for 13-U, 14-U and 19-U boys, as well as 13-U through 19-U girls, will be released soon.

Here is a region-by-region breakdown of the 16 ENPL qualifying competitions in alphabetical order: