SF Teams Participating in Leagues from Outside SF (“Travel Teams”- Approved Public Benefit Rules)

  1. Affordability/Scholarship: The team must meet one of the following requirements:
    1. No Paid Compensation: No compensation may be paid to any coaches or administrators OR
    2. Scholarships: The team must offer the following:
      1. A full scholarship shall be made available to any SF player on the team that is eligible for a 100% scholarship under RPD scholarship rules provided that a team shall not be required to make more than 2 full scholarships available to SF players. A team may require a good faith commitment payment of up to $100; and
      2. A 50% reduction in all fees for any family that is eligible for a 50% scholarship under RPD scholarship rules.
  2. Club Requirements:
    1. Applicability: If a team is part of a club, the club must separately meet the standards set forth below and submit an application (APBO Club Approval). A team will be considered part of a club if:
      1. The team is branded with a club name: OR
      2. The team’s players pay fees through a centralized organization (as opposed to a family on the team pooling funds for that team only and hiring a coach)
    2. Not for Profit: The club must be a non-profit (501c) with an IRS determination letter.
    3. Independent Board: The club must be administered by a volunteer board of directors
      1. Election of Board: Board members must be elected by a vote of the players in the club (or in the case of youth their parent or guardian)[1]. Coaches and administrators may not vote on behalf of players and safeguards must be in place to ensure independent voting.
      2. Compensation to Board and Family Members: No compensation may be paid to board members or their family members by the club or any participating teams.
        • Board Family Members: Includes parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, spouses or domestic partners (regardless of residence) and any person residing in the same home with the board member.
        • Exceptions:
          • Compensation paid to a board member or family member as a licensed or trained referee provided it is the same compensation paid to all similar referee/umpires and that the aggregate paid to any family is not more than 10% of the total
          • Compensation paid to a youth family member for summer or part-time work (office work or camp counselor) where the aggregate compensation paid in any 12 month period does not exceed $750
        • Each Board Member will be required to submit a Board Certification Form 
      3. Exception: The Board of Directors requirement shall not apply to any organization that receives specific funding from the DCYF children’s fund for its soccer program
  3. Disclosure: Clubs and teams must provide transparent, detailed information regarding fees, scholarships, costs, programs, tryouts, playing time rules and guest polices. Such information must be provided to any interested parent, posted on a website and submitted have been submitted to SFRPD prior to tryouts or registration.
  4. Good Standing: The team and any club with which it is affiliated must not have been found to violate SFRPD field permits, residency requirements, tryout requirements or any of the above conditions in the previous 12 months or been found to misrepresent information in prior APBO applications[2].
    1. First violation – loss of APBO status for the next year for the team. club and any other team in the club and any affiliated coaches or administrator
    2. Second violation – loss of APBO status for the next three years for the team and additional loss of one year for the club.
    3. Third violation – loss of APBO status for the next three years for the team, club and any affiliated coaches or administrator.
  1. Roster Eligibility and Verification: Each team must provide proof of residency for all players on its roster:
    1. Number of Nonresidents: A team may not have more than 2 nonresidents on a team for ages up to 8th grade and 3[3] nonresidents for older teams) AND
    2. Evidence of Residency: Each team will need to present a folder to SFRPD with residency information for each of its players that is not more than 12 months old.
      1. The best and clearest way to establish San Francisco residency for a player is an official communication from the child’s school to the child or child’s parent showing the child’s address and child’s name. Examples include:
        • Notice of Enrollment
        • Report Card
        • School Bill
      2. If the other are not available – you must provide 3 of the following (no more than one from any category):
        • Driver’s License
        • Voter’s Registration
        • School records
        • Welfare/child care records
        • Federal records
        • State records
        • Local (municipal) records
        • Support payment records
        • Homeowner or tenant records
        • Residential Utility bill (i.e., gas, electric, water/sewer, phone, mobile phone, heating,waste disposal) – only one of these may be submitted among the three documents.
        • Financial (loan, credit, investments, etc.) records
        • Insurance documents
        • Medical records
        • Military records
        • Internet or cable or records


You must do the following TWO Steps:

Step 1: Pre-Clearance of APBO Status: Teams may apply for preclearance of their APBO Status in order to ensure that their team fees are correct when they solicit players. If the team is part of a club, the club may submit on behalf of the team. For preclearance go to:

Step 2: Individual Travel Team Applications: After your team has been formed and pre-cleared, each team must submit an application for each season of play. Applications must be submitted by the applicable deadline for that season.   Applications must demonstrate that the team meets the eligibility criteria set forth above and also include the following information:

  1. Processing Fee: Each team must pay an APBO application processing fee per season.  (Fees may be waived or reduced for hardship for teams with all volunteer coaches and administrator but a minimum fee of $50 will be required))  This fee covers the cost of verifying information, checking rosters and allocating fees.
  2. Applications must demonstrate that team meets the eligibility criteria set forth above and include the following information:
    • Dates of Player Registration
    • League of Participation
    • Season of Play
    • Club affiliation (if any)
    • Size of field and length of game
    • Information provided to participating families regarding their fees and services in a form required by RPD
    • All fees, expenses and services
    • Method for allocating scholarships
    • Plans for covering playing games if field allocations are not adequate
    • Tryout dates
    • Any commitment to play times
    • Guest player Policies
  3. Applications must include the Filing Fee of $308
  4. Application Deadlines:
    1. Fall Season (Sept 1-Nov 30): May 24
    2. Winter Season (Dec 1-Feb 28): October 1
    3. Spring Season (March 1-May 31: December  7
    4. Summer Season (June 1-August 15): April 1
  5. Go to Travel Team Field Application to submit application once your team is formed and you have a complete roster.
    1. Applications must submit a roster of players for the team using the required form:  Roster Submission Form

[1] The Department will consider applications to provide a grace period to implement changes to bylaws needed to meet these voting requirements

[2] Violations prior to adoption of these rules on March 15, 2018 will not be counted.

[3] The Department recently reduced the number of nonresidents from 4 to 3. Existing teams with 4 nonresidents may keep those nonresidents on the team but may not replace them.

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