WISL Original LogoContact WISL:  Chip Terrill

Phone:  202-374-WISL (9475)

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Mail:  Po Box 101085
Arlington, VA 22210

History of WISL

The Washington International Soccer League (WISL) was founded in July 1980 by Delbert R. "Chip" Terrill, Jr.  WISL is an adult men's soccer league (although a few women with high level experience have played).

WISL is an independent league not affiliated with USASA.  WISL goes 40 teams deep at the highly competitive level.  WISL organizes generally weekend soccer matches in and around the Washington, D.C. metro area. The league started out as a soccer league for predominantly the many foreign embassies and international organizations prominent in the D.C. area (hence the name Washington "International" Soccer League).

Since inception, WISL has expanded to encompass a broader group of players while maintaining its international flavor. Two teams (World Bank and IMF) of the original six still remain active [although having passed through multiple generations of players and managers.]  Of the original 90 players in the WISL, only one dinosaur remains active: Chip Terrill (InterAmericans, Suomi/USA, Internationales, Replay Sports and as former coach of Fraternum Magnum). The other two senior statesmen who have been in the WISL in order of seniority are Pierre Nadji (1983: Les Miserables, Maison Blanche, CF France, Legion Francaise, MIGA, Les Bleus, World Bistrot Guys) and Giulio deTommaso (1984: Italian Embassy, Inter-Italia, World Bank, and Azzurri).  Another league stalwart deserving recognition for their long term service in support of the league is Nader Nikkhoo who has assigned referees to WISL games for a number of years and who continue to referee WISL games having started doing so in 1987.


Of the original six teams, only half of one team (8% of the overall league) was U.S. native born. During its over 30 year history, in excess of 80 different nationalities have played in WISL. Today, WISL is the largest men's adult league in the Washington metro area while sporting the best overall level of competition in this area. While the demographics of the league have changed drastically reflecting the explosion of soccer in the U.S. such that 70% of the current players are now native U.S. born.   Nevertheless, every WISL player is still today, exposed to numerous styles of play from around the world -- particularly given that many of the U.S. native born have maintained the style of their parents' homeland. As well as being a dynamic league, WISL is also a league with stable teams.  Over 20 of the current teams (or their successor teams) have been in the league for eight or more years. The WISL vision statement provides for the eventual expansion of the open divisions to 60 teams at which point no new teams will be added unless existing fold or sellout their membership.  The vision statement also contemplates the addition of an over age 35 night playing division.

The WISL was incorporated by its founder, Chip Terrill, as the Washington International Soccer League, Inc., in August 1998.  Chip is a convert to the sport having been a recruited college quarterback  --- and you know what they say about converts.  Chip brings to WISL a B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and  a B.S. in Business and Management from University of Maryland.  He has worked as an Administrative Law Judge with the U.S. government in its economic regulation of  the electric, oil and gas industries at the FERC and its international patent, trademark and copyright infringement cases at the USITC.  He retired judicial service in 2005 and from the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a Colonel on July 1, 2000, having received the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medals, among others, for his service.  In his spare time, Chip has written the history of the development of outer space law which he signed at the Paris Air Show in France in 1999 and at the Air Fete, RAF Midenhall, in England in 2000 and as a result is one of the nation's leading experts in the early evolution of outer space law.   He also lectures on the Roman influence on the development Anglo-Saxon law and the value of diversity in the marketplace and as such was recognized to give the 18th Annual Hackley Distinguished Lecture.


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