History of the women’s game
The Women’s Contact league started in 2012 and was originally played in the 5v5 format called the Sapphire Series. As the women’s contact game grew over the years, the league was extended to a two tier system with a Division One and Division Two in 2016, each with a North and South conference. After seeing a further growth in participation in 2017/18, all divisions were moved to the 7v7 format which is the format that we play today. The league currently has 17 active clubs located across Great Britain – making the sport widely accessible to athletes across the country. In 2020, the Sapphire name was dropped in favour of a more conventional name for the league, the National Women’s Football League (NWFL), and the season was moved to the summer period to avoid a crossover with the winter sports schedules.
The National Women’s Football League (NWFL)
As well as the annual 7v7 league, the NWFL also provides women with the opportunity to compete in an 11v11 format. The NWFL Super 11s series offers female athletes the opportunity to play the more traditional version of the sport that we see in the in the NFL and NCAA. The series has had various guises over the years and has previously acted as trials for the GB National team. In its current form, the series consists of three full day training sessions, culminating with a North vs South game.
Since its inception in 2012, the Women’s Contact game has experienced incremental growth over the years. As we continue to achieve sustainable organic growth, the overall objective is to move to full field football in the near future with plans to move to the 9v9 format for the 2022 season. There are also hopes to extend the women’s league to full 11v11 in the future.
Please visit the ‘Find a Team’ page under the ‘Get Involved’ heading to search for your nearest Women’s Football team.