Canadian Premier League announces updates to roster rules ahead of 2024 season

The Canadian Premier League announced two changes to its roster rules on Wednesday, which will be implemented ahead of the 2024 season.

Starting in 2024, the CPL will remove any age requirements as it relates to the maximum of seven international players each club is allowed to include on its primary roster. A club is no longer required to ensure at least 50 per cent of its international players meet the under-23 age requirement.

Also beginning in 2024, players signed to CPL-U SPORTS contracts will no longer count toward a club’s 23-man primary roster. Instead, a club may add up to three players on CPL-U SPORTS contracts to its developmental roster. In signing a CPL-U SPORTS Contract, university-level players can maintain their U SPORTS eligibility while earning professional experience in the CPL.

The U SPORTS subsection becomes the third subcategory on the developmental roster, joining:

  • Exceptional Young Talent (EYT): Implemented in 2023, the EYT rule allows a club to sign two additional under-18 domestic players to Standard Player Contracts outside of its 23-man primary roster. A player designated Exceptional Young Talent is eligible to remain in the category up to and including the year he turns 21 years old.
  • Development Players: Players signed to developmental contracts can be included on a club’s master roster without losing the ability to train and play with the amateur team who holds his registration. Each CPL club may sign four players to Development Contracts at any one time. Players must be under 18 to sign a Development Contract.


Primary Roster 1 – 23
Developmental Roster

  • Exceptional Young Talent
  • Development Players
  • U SPORTS Players

Maximum 2 players
Maximum 4 players
Maximum 3 players

Each club must continue to include a minimum of two goalkeepers on its primary roster.

The CPL will increase each club’s player total compensation budget by approximately eight per cent to a maximum spend of $1,212,500 in 2024, while maintaining the requirement for each club to spend a minimum of $750,000 on its player compensation budget. 

The maximum spend of $1,212,500 can be achieved if clubs implement the league’s under-21 players incentive, which was designed specifically to encourage CPL clubs to sign promising young talent. Under-21 players signed to a club’s primary roster hit the player compensation budget at 50 per cent of their total compensation, up to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per CPL club per year. 

Players signed to a Club’s Developmental Roster generally do not count towards its Player Compensation Budget.

Find more information as it relates to the CPL’s Roster Rules and Regulations here.