The quarterback catches the spiraling football and then passes it to the wide receiver; she runs down the line and scores a touchdown! Yes, that’s right, she.
Women’s football is almost completely unheard of, but it does exist. The Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL), Women’s Football Alliance (WFA), and Women’s Spring Football League (WSFL) are all-women’s tackle football leagues.
The Women’s Professional Football League (WPFL) first introduced women’s football in 1999. There was much controversy surrounding its creation. Most thought just having men’s teams was sexist. Women all over the country were called to try-out and create teams to form the league. As the sport grew bigger, more leagues were added and more women started to play.
The IWFL—founded in 2000— is one of three full-contact women’s football leagues. There are 29 teams in the league. The IWFL is the oldest of the three leagues and the only to involve another country— Canada.
The WFA was founded in 2008 and is the largest women’s football league with 46 teams. WFA only operates in the US, and has the most team transfers into other leagues.
Founded in 2009, the WSFL is the youngest and smallest of the three leagues. Out of the 14 teams, 10 are 11-woman teams and 4 are 8-woman teams, meaning there are either 11 or 8 players on the field at a time.
Its modest start up and male counterparts have not swayed the female football community. It will only continue to grow as the sport becomes increasingly popular over time. Lauren Pringle, wide receiver for the New York Sharks comments on the game: “I played a lot of softball and track growing up but never loved a sport more than I love football.”
Featured Image: Women’s Football All-Star Game. Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN Sunday, July 26, 2009.