How do quotas work in other sports?

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Teams in the British Basketball League are allowed to field a maximum of three players from outside the European Union in a season. The remainder of the roster must qualify, through birth or by naturalisation, for British citizenship. The BBL implemented a new ruling last year to permit only two imported players per roster, only for the decision to be revoked due to the lack of available home-grown talent currently available.


A county is allowed to field one 'overseas' player at any one time, but can name more than one in their squad. These players can be replaced if they are injured, to a maximum of four in one season. Otherwise players must descend from a country within the European Economic Area of a county with an agreement with the EU (Kolpak), providing they have not played a Test match in the previous year. However, the Kolpak laws currently allow players from top cricketing countries like South Africa and the West Indies to play in England.


England Hockey League clubs can register one 'overseas' player. There are no restrictions on any player with an EU/UK passport, with a permanent right to abode or indefinite leave of stay in the UK, with an ancestry visa or contract of employment. The Kolpak agreement also applies. “These rules exist in order to achieve a balance between seeing good quality overseas players but also developing young home-grown talent,” England Hockey spokesman Steven Barlow said.


An overseas player is defined as a “non-British trained player”, and Elite League sides are only allowed ten. The Elite League relies heavily on overseas players, the majority from North America. Of the 21 players to play for 2008 champions Coventry Blaze, only 10 were British, the rest Canadian (7), American (1), Czech Rep (1), Swedish (1) and Nigerian (1).


Only British citizens are allowed to play in the Super League, and they must be affiliated to the England international netball set-up. A British-based immigrant who shows promise can apply for citizenship. Due to the part-time nature of the game foreign players can not play as they would be forced to seek further employment to register for a work permit.


A Super League club must include at least five home-grown players in their squad, at least 10 players from the club's home federation (the European Union) and a maximum of 10 from outside the federation. This changes next year to six home-grown, 10 'home-fed' and 9 from outside, and, in 2011, to 8 home-grown, 12 home-fed and 5 from outside. Each side are allowed three players from outside the EU/Kolpak, except Harlequins, who are allowed to field four as they are considered a 'non-heartland' team, and the Catalan Dragons, who are permitted to field six non-French players.


Guinness Premiership sides can field a maximum of one non EU/Kolpak players, rising to three during certain periods, notably the Autumn internationals, the Six Nations and the World Cup. Effectively it is only players from Australia and New Zealand who qualify as 'foreigners', the only other major provider of players, South Africa, coming under the Kolpak agreement. Four of the IRB World Rankings’ top ten international sides (Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Fiji) are not part of the EU, or covered by the Kolpak agreement, thus making it difficult for many of the world's best to play in the Premiership.