SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — The PDL has decided that the Kitsap Pumas must forfeit their first league match against the Victoria Highlanders on May 7. The club has also been fined and deducted three points “for using an illegal player,” according to an official letter from the league.
The club is disappointed in the decision taken, in light of the circumstances surrounding the event. The referee and fourth official of the match in question also have both submitted statements to the PDL in which they support the club.
The rules in question that the Pumas are being punished for violating, Rule 1103 and Rule 1206, concern the master roster and league registration. The PDL allows a maximum of eight players over the age of 23 on any club’s active roster.
The club has been attempting to register players for the 2016 season since January, but it has struggled with the fact that the PDL only has one person tasked with actively changing players from inactive to active, and the process is often cumbersome. The club has found it difficult to register players and have them cleared to play, due to the league’s overly complex registration system.
It seems that, with 67 teams competing in the PDL, having one person responsible for the entire league’s registration process is inadequate. In the chaos, the Pumas were only issued their official player cards less than 24 hours prior to kickoff against Victoria, and the club was only asked to submit its master roster the night before the match after business hours.
Despite the club’s best efforts to remain in compliance with the league’s rules in the circumstances, the league has told the club it had 10 over-age players on the master roster for the match against Victoria. Regardless, the Pumas only placed eight over-age players, who the club believed to be active and fully eligible, on the game-day roster.
The club is also dismayed that the league has decided to announce this ruling to its members on the day of another Kitsap league match. The fact that the public was made aware of it via another club’s president on social media rather than a league statement reflects poorly on the professionalism of the PDL.
The Pumas play their second league match of the 2016 season on Friday at Lane United. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT, and it will be streamed live on LUFC’s YouTube channel.