Women's Professional Football Leagues WFA, IWFL, WNFC

For decades, the dream of seeing women take the field in the NFL has captivated fans. While the league has yet to officially open its doors to female players, a robust and thriving landscape of women’s professional football leagues has emerged, showcasing incredible athleticism and fostering a passion for the sport.

Women’s Leagues: WFA, WNFC, and Beyond

Several prominent leagues offer women the opportunity to compete at the highest level. The Women’s Football Alliance (WFA), established in 2001, boasts the title of the longest-running women’s tackle football league globally. It features six teams spread across three divisions, culminating in the annual National Championship Game, broadcasted live on ESPN2 and the Women’s Sports Network.

The Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC), founded in 2018, has experienced rapid growth, reaching 17 teams across the United States. Their season culminates in the Lingerie Bowl, a trademarked event not affiliated with the lingerie brand of the same name. It focuses solely on athletic competition and aims to empower women through football.

While no longer active, the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL), formed in 2000, played a significant role in paving the way for current leagues. It operated for 18 seasons, providing a platform for countless female athletes.

Women Playing in the NFL: Beyond the Sidelines

While the NFL currently doesn’t have female players, women are making their mark on the gridiron in various positions across professional leagues. Quarterbacks like Ashley Roland of the Chicago Bliss and Sallie Roggio of the D.C. Shadow have showcased exceptional skills and leadership. Running backs like Angelique Green of the Pittsburgh Passion and Delisa Martin of the Seattle Thunder have dominated the ground game with their speed and power. Kickers like Katie Sowers, who played for the Arizona Rattlers in the Indoor Football League, have defied stereotypes with their accuracy and strong legs.

Beyond the playing field, women are also making strides in coaching and officiating. Jennifer Welter became the first female assistant coach in a professional men’s football league when she joined the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution in 2017. Referees like Sarah Thomas are breaking barriers in the NFL, officiating alongside their male counterparts.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Paving the Way for the Future

The journey for women in professional football has been one of perseverance and determination. Pioneering players like Brenda Myers-Powell, a former WFA quarterback and coach, and Kia Vaughn, the first woman to officiate a college football game, have laid the groundwork for future generations. These women shattered stereotypes and defied expectations, inspiring countless others to chase their football dreams.

Fan Engagement: Join the Movement

The passion for women’s professional football is undeniable. Fans can actively support these leagues by attending games, following teams and players on social media, and engaging in online communities. By tuning into broadcasts like the WFA National Championship Game, fans can witness the incredible talent and dedication of these athletes firsthand.

The story of women’s professional football is far from over. With every broken record and shattered barrier, these leagues are not only providing a platform for exceptional athletes but also paving the way for a more inclusive future for the sport.