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National Women's Soccer (NWSL)

California 15-year-old files suit against NWSL

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California teenager Olivia Moultrie is at the center of a lawsuit regarding age restrictions for participants in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Moultrie, 15, and her father filed suit in Oregon alleging antitrust violations regarding the NWSL’s requirement for players to be at least 18 years old.

Moultrie’s exploits already have earned her a nine-year endorsement deal with Nike, signed when she was just 13, and she is a regular fixture at practices and scrimmages with the NWSL’s Portland Thorns.

The lawsuit is requesting a temporary restraining order that would allow Moultrie to officially sign with one of the NWSL’s 10 teams, spread throughout the United States from Portland and Tacoma, Wash., in the Pacific Northwest, to New York and Orlando on the East Coast.

According to Sportico, the case will center on whether the NWSL is exempt from antitrust requirements. Professional leagues like the NHL, MLB, WNBA and NFL have either age or grade-level requirements.

MLS does not have an age requirement, though, and participants under 18 are often allowed in individual sports like professional tennis and on the LPGA Tour.

–Field Level Media

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