Women's Professional Football League



Women's Professional Football League
Enlarge picture
The WPFL logo
SportAmerican football
Founded1999
No. of teams15
Country(ies) United States
Most recent champion(s)Dallas Diamonds


The Women's Professional Football League (WPFL) is the original and longest operating women's professional American football league in the United States. Now with teams across the United States, the WPFL had its first game in 1999 with just two original teams: the Lake Michigan Minx and the Minnesota Vixens. Fifteen teams nationwide competed for the championship in 2006.

The league has been recognized in national media campaigns, has been recognized in the book Atta Girl, and even had a team (the New England Storm) that has a commercial relationship with an NFL team, the 2004 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The Storm have since been expelled from the league.

History

In the early 1960s, many women thought that sports in the US were sexist and needed to shift in another direction, moving beyond the stereotype that women were passive. This sentiment formed the background for the women's football league that was started in order to prove that women had the power to do what men did, with hopes that people would enjoy women's football as much as they did men's. In 1965, the name changed to its current incarnation. Since there were no college women's football teams in the US, most of their athletes came from basketball, rugby, and soccer. After a few years, the sport began to fade.

In 1999 two businessmen, Carter Turner and Terry Sullivan,[1] decided to research the feasibility of a professional women’s football league by gathering together top female athletes into two teams and playing an exhibition game in front of an audience. The game between the Lake Michigan Minx and the Minnesota Vixens at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota was a success and turned into a six game exhibition tour across the country[2] dubbed the “No Limits” Barnstorming Tour.[3]

The success of the Barnstorming Tour led to the first official WPFL season in 2000 with 11 teams competing nationwide.[4] This first season ended with some turmoil however; the regular season was shortened by several games, players were not given their promised $100 per-game salaries, and there were allegations regarding instability with some of the league's financial backers.[5]

The WPFL rebounded the next year completing the 2001 season after several organizational changes. Notable changes included the departure of founders Sullivan and Turner (Turner then founded the WAFL),[6] the purchase of the league by three WPFL team owners: Dee Kennerner, Melissa Korpacz, and Robin Howington,[7] changes to player/team compensation, and the moving of the start of the season from fall to summer.[8]

Effects

Fifteen teams competed in the 2006 WPFL season. The league has hundreds of players and is growing, but the league is more "semi-pro" as all of the athletes do not earn enough money to make a living. However, the league still refers to them as professional athletes. Other leagues that connect to women's football include the United Football League, the Independent Women's Football League, the National Women's Football Association and the Women's Football League. Unfortunately, these individual leagues do not see eye-to-eye, so the possibility of forming one unified league is not likely. Due to the efforts of these organizations, some women's teams are allowed to play in some of the million-dollar domes and arenas originally built for men's teams. Noted stadiums have included the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, and some of the high facilitated places in Detroit, Michigan.

Teams

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Locations of teams in the WPFL
Enlarge picture
States with WPFL AFC team (red), NFC team (blue)

American Conference

National Conference

Former teams

  • Albany Ambush (withdrew from 2006 schedule)
  • Tulsa Black Widows (withdrew from 2006 schedule)
  • Austin Rage (withdrew from 2003 schedule)
  • New England Storm (expelled)
  • Pacific Blast (withdrew from 2003 schedule)
  • Missouri Prowlers (folded)
  • Florida Stingrays (folded)
  • Wisconsin Riveters (expelled)
  • Syracuse Sting 2001-2004
  • Arizona Caliente
  • Georgia Gladiators
  • Lake Michigan Minx
  • Long Beach Aftershock
  • San Francisco Stingrays
  • New York Dazzles
  • Northern Ice
  • New England Intensity
  • Cape Fear Thunder

Championships

Year Champion Score Runner-Up
1999 Lake Michigan Minx30-27Minnesota Vixens
2000 Houston Energy39-7New England Storm
2001 Houston Energy47-14Austin Rage
2002 Houston Energy56-7Wisconsin Riveters
2003 Northern Ice47-12Florida Stingrays
2004 Dallas Diamonds68-13Northern Ice
2005 Dallas Diamonds61-8New York Dazzles
2006 Dallas Diamonds34-27Houston Energy

See also

External links

American football, known in the United States simply as football [1] is a competitive team sport known for its physical roughness despite being a highly strategic game.
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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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American football, known in the United States simply as football [1] is a competitive team sport known for its physical roughness despite being a highly strategic game.
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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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20th century - 21st century
1960s  1970s  1980s  - 1990s -  2000s  2010s  2020s
1996 1997 1998 - 1999 - 2000 2001 2002

Year 1999 (MCMXCIX
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The Minnesota Vixen are a professional women's football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota that plays in the WPFL. The team has existed since the late 1990s. The team has been known as the Minnesota Vixens and Minneapolis Vixens
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Sport American football
Founded 1920
CEO Roger Goodell (Commissioner)
No. of teams 32, divided into two sixteen-team conferences, each of which consists of four four-team divisions.
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Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL). It and its ancillary festivities constitute Super Bowl Sunday, which over the years has become the most-watched U.S. television broadcast of the year, and has become likened to a de facto U.S.
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Centuries: 19th century - 20th century - 21st century

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Their 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive.
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Feminism is an ideology focusing on equality of the sexes.[1] Feminism comprises a number of social, cultural and political movements, theories and moral philosophies concerned with gender inequalities and discrimination against women.
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Sexism is commonly considered to be discrimination and/or hatred against people based on their sex rather than their individual merits, but can also refer to any and all systemic differentiations based on the sex of the individuals.
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Stereotypes are ideas about people of other particular groups, based primarily on membership in that group. They may be positive or negative prejudicial, and may be used to justify certain discriminatory behaviors. Some people consider all stereotypes to be negative.
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Rugby football, often just "rugby", may refer to a number of sports descended from a common form of football developed at Rugby School in England, United Kingdom. Rugby union, rugby league, and, to a lesser extent, American football and Canadian football, are modern sports
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Association football, commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players. It is the most popular sport in the world.
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The Minnesota Vixen are a professional women's football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota that plays in the WPFL. The team has existed since the late 1990s. The team has been known as the Minnesota Vixens and Minneapolis Vixens
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Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, usually simply called The Metrodome or The Dome, and often nicknamed the Homerdome (even though in reality it is no friendlier to the long ball than average[3]
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The Women's American Football League (WAFL) was a women's football league that was formed in 2001. After disbanding, the teams merged with the Women's Affiliated Football Conference (WAFC), the Independent Women's Football League (IWFL) and the American Football Women's League
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The Independent Women's Football League was founded in 2000, and began play in 2001. IWFL founders began with the goal to establish a quality women's football league that would be respected as the top level of women's tackle football in the world.
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The National Women's Football Association (NWFA) is a full-contact American football league for women. The league was founded by Catherine Masters in 2000, as the two benchmark teams, the Alabama Renegades and the Nashville Dream played each other 4 times in exhibition games.
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The Women's Football League began playing in 2002.

Participating teams

  • Jacksonville Dixie Blues
  • Kentucky Force
  • Mississippi Rapids
  • Tennessee Heat
  • Clarksville Fox
  • Houston Energy

League Champions


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Harris County Domed Stadium (1965)
The Astrodome (1965-2000)
Tenants
Houston Oilers (NFL) (1968-1997)
Houston Astros (MLB) (1965-1999)
Houston Gamblers (USFL) (1984-1985)
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (1966-2003)
Houston Energy (WPFL) (2002-2006)
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City of Houston

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Nickname: Space City
Location in the state of Texas
Coordinates:
Country United States of America
State
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City of Detroit

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Nickname: Motor City, Motown, Rock City, The D
Motto: "Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus"
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