This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
During the spring, female professional football players occupy the field in one of two professional leagues: WFA and WNFC. This is how you watch women’s football this season.
In January, the Women’s Football Alliance, one of two professional women’s tackle football leagues in the United States, signed a landmark broadcast deal with ESPN2.
The deal gives the WFA Pro Division National Championship, which takes place at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, OH, the opportunity to broadcast live on ESPN2 during the 8th-10th. July.
This is a great development for the growth of women’s football, as the lack of coverage of women’s football has long limited the growth of the sport.
But before two WFA teams reach all the way to the “Mecca of football”, there is a whole regular season of women’s football to watch this spring and summer in two separate leagues: the WFA and the WNFC (Women’s National Football Conference).
Here are all the details of the two professional women’s soccer leagues in the United States with more information on how to watch matches and support local teams in your area.
What is WFA?
WFA is the “largest, longest-running and most competitive women’s football league in the world.” Although there have been several professional women’s football leagues since 1967, the WFA’s 13-year existence is a testament to the league’s non-profit business model, which “encouraged community and corporate sponsorship with revenue reinvested in its WFA teams and players.” enabled the WFA to be supported by big companies like Wilson and Secret.
Since 2009, the league has grown across the nation and currently includes 11 Pro Division teams. WFA also includes Division 2 teams, Division 3 teams and development teams. According to a map of WFA teams, there are 69 teams across all levels.
One of the most prominent WFA teams, the Boston Renegades, won the last WFA National Championship. Renegades, formed in 2015, continues a rich history of women’s football in Boston, beginning with the massacre in Massachusetts before the WFA in 2001.
Like their NFL New England Patriots counterparts, Boston-based women’s soccer teams have brought home six national championships to Titletown. Renegades has won three WFA championships in a row: in 2018, 2019 and 2021.
“All my Boston teammates who live there say there’s something in the water,” Renegade winger Adrienne Smith told FanSided. “Boston is constantly winning and you can just come up with a sport like flicking pencils in a cup. People in Boston would be the best at it.”
In 2020, Renegades was in the documentary “Born To Play”, which tells about a season with the team. The documentary premiered on ESPN and is now available on Hulu.
What is WNFC?
Although WFA is currently the longest-running professional women’s football league, it is not the only professional women’s football league. The WNFC, created in 2018, has already grown exponentially to include 17 teams across the United States.
The goal of the WNFC is to “create and promote an environment for female athletes to maintain a healthy lifestyle through playing, coaching, and participating in top-level American football.”
Holly Custis, a 16-year veteran linebacker inducted into the Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018, plays for Utah Falconz of the WNFC.
“WNFC has done a lot in just a handful of years,” Custis told FanSided. “I think it’s a difference in philosophy, but what I’ve noticed is that since WNFC came into being a few years ago, WFA also somehow increased their game. So it’s a healthy competition right now, which I think is the best I’ve seen for the sport in a while. ”
WNFC has also landed big sponsorship deals and a massive contract for their own championship game this summer. WNFC is sponsored by Adidas, Riddell and Vyre, a streaming platform that streams WNFC games. The WNFC’s 2022 IX Cup Championship will be held in another mecca for American football: The Star in Frisco, TX, which is the indoor training ground for the NFL Dallas Cowboys.
The WNFC is working to make women’s football more accessible and affordable, as the “pay-to-play” model is something that women’s football leagues have struggled with for years.
“WNFC and the teams at WNFC are working to do everything in their power to significantly reduce and ultimately eliminate the ‘pay to play’ burden,” the team’s website states.
How to watch WFA football
The 2022 WFA season started on April 9 and will continue until May 28.
Then the WFA Pro Division National Championship 2022 takes place on July 9th.
TV-broadcast WFA games can be found together on their website, while live games can be streamed on FTF Sports. Games are also available on Roku, Twitch, Xbox, NXT LVL, fios by Verizon, AT&T U-verse and DirectTV.
The WFA also produces a weekly matchup preview show called “Road To Canton,” which recently featured DC Divas wide receiver Lois Cook. Cook is one of four women’s soccer players representing Team Milk, and she opened up to FanSided in February about her love of the game.
According to the WFA, “over 150,000 fans tuned in to the Game of the Week in 2021, which was broadcast on Roku and DirecTV.”
How to watch WNFC football
The 2022 WNFC season started on April 2 and lasts eight weeks until May 21. After a farewell week throughout the league, the WNFC playoffs take place between the 9th-11th. June.
Then the 2022 IX Cup Championship Weekend is from the 24th-26th. June.
The 2022 WNFC season can be streamed on Vyre Network.
Although not all matches are televised on Vyre, over half of the teams in the league got their games uploaded to Vyre on 30 April.
How to support women’s football
The easiest way to support WFA and WNFC is to buy tickets, participate in games and buy merchandise. You can buy WFA game tickets here and you can buy WNFC game tickets here.
If you are not able to participate in a match in person, you can stream the matches live. While this may seem insignificant, any viewer means importance: The streaming numbers show the demand for women’s football and justify big broadcast deals with TV networks. If more viewers tune in to women’s soccer, then these athletes can be seen on networks like ESPN2 for more than just their championship game.
Partnerships and media coverage are an important step in promoting the game for women and bringing the game to more fans. According to the WFA, “hundreds of media outlets have written articles about the WFA in the past year, including ESPN, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, the Washington Post and the New York Times, and reached millions of readers.”
This means that for companies affiliated with these teams, it allows their brands to be seen by a larger sports audience as the game continues to grow.
For companies, sponsorship teams in the WFA and WNFC ease the financial burden that these athletes face while associating their brand with one important cause: promoting equality for women in football.
“Women’s sports need all the support it can get,” the WNFC website states. “Women’s football is the most underrepresented of all. We are always looking for organizations that want to help see women’s sports thrive. Building mutual partnerships with our sponsors is what WNFC is all about. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor / partner of WNFC, please send an email to admin @ wnfcfootball. “