The NPSL has announced a shift in its schedule, with a new season beginning in March but pausing in late April to allow the established Summer season before resuming in late August and ending in November. The Spring/Fall split season and the Summer season will be separate but both run by NPSL. Clubs which successfully apply to take part in the new split season are expected to also take part in the Summer season, although they are allowed a separate roster, presumably to allow clubs to have college players when they are available.
Clubs competing in the Spring/Fall season will have to meet increased standards for stadiums, staffing, budget, and referees but will rosters must remain amateur and it will be sanctioned under the relationship with the United States Adult Soccer Association, which is the sanctioning body for the existing NPSL Summer season.
The extent of participation in the Spring/Fall season is not yet clear, since “pilot conferences” are still being developed and the application process has not yet been announced. So far, the only real difference between the two seasons is the undefined “increased standards”.
A lot of questions remain at this early stage, including the participation of (or effect of non-participation on) the teams of the NPSL North.