ALL Sports

Independent Women’s Football News

Independent Women’s Football News


by Steve Alic, USA Football

America’s first women’s national team in football is seeded No. 1 in the six-nation field.
America’s first women’s national team in football will compete for the 2010 IFAF Women’s World Championship next summer in Stockholm, Sweden.
The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) has announced the seeding, groups and schedule for the inaugural 2010 IFAF Women’s World Championship and the six nations that will make football history in Sweden this summer.
USA Football, the sport’s national governing body on youth and amateur levels, will assemble and manage America’s first women’s national team in the sport. Forty-five (45) of America’s best female athletes will comprise USA Football’s 2010 Women’s National Team, which will compete in the IFAF Women’s World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden, from June 26-July 4, 2010. Team USA’s coaches and player roster will be announced this spring. IFAF is composed of 57 member nations on five continents with national federations dedicated solely to football.
Seeding for the six nations that will send their 45-player women’s national teams to Scandinavia was determined based on the number of female American football participants in each country established by data recorded in the 2009 IFAF Benchmarking Study:
1. United States
2. Canada
3. Germany
4. Austria
5. Finland
6. Sweden
“Women’s tackle football is growing steadily in popularity and there is definitely enthusiasm among players for an international competition,” said IFAF President Tommy Wiking, who is also the President of the hosting Swedish American Football Federation (Svenska Amerikansk Fotbollsförbundet).
“It will be interesting to discover the rate of development of the women’s game when these six countries take the field. Other sports have grown and flourished as a result of their members entering competition and over time the margin of competitiveness has narrowed. IFAF sees this tournament as a starting point for the women’s game to prosper internationally.”
American football’s female athletes will compete at the Zinkensdamms IP Stadium in Stockholm in the following groups:
United States
The 2010 IFAF Women’s World Championship will kick off on Sunday, June 27 when USA Football’s top-seeded Women’s National Team takes on Austria and host Sweden faces No. 2-seed Canada. Austria will be in action again on Tuesday, June 29 against Finland, along with Sweden against Germany.
Games featuring Canada vs. Germany and the United States vs. Finland on Thursday, July 1, will complete the group play. The top teams in each group will meet in the IFAF Women’s World Championship Gold Medal Game on Saturday, July 3 following the Bronze Medal and fifth-placed games.
USA Football’s national team program aims to add the Women’s World Championship to the world titles won by its Men’s Senior National Team and 19-and-under Junior National Team. The men won the 2007 IFAF Senior World Championship with a 23-20 double overtime win over Japan in Tokyo. The juniors defeated Canada, 41-3, to win the first IFAF Junior World Championship in Canton, Ohio, in 2009.
2010 IFAF Women’s World Championship schedule
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Teams arrive
Sunday, June 27, 2010
USA vs. Austria
Sweden vs. Canada
Monday, June 28
Rest day / Teams inactive on previous day have option to arrive
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Finland vs. Austria
Germany vs. Sweden
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Canada vs. Germany
USA vs. Finland
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Fifth Place game
Bronze Medal game
Gold Medal game
Team information:
USA Football’s Women’s National Team will represent the United States in Stockholm. USA Football’s team will be assembled and managed in partnership with the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL), which consists of more than 1,800 female athletes across 51 teams. This roster will represent the United States’ first women’s national team in America’s favorite sport.
According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, more than 120,000 American females played tackle football at least 26 times in 2008.
Selection for the Canada National Team is down to 90 players that will participate in one of two regional camps during March in Saskatoon, SK, and Oromocto, NB.The selected players will then attend the final camp in Saint John, New Brunswick, before heading to Sweden at the end of June.
Head Coach Larry Harlow, who was one of the founders of the New Brunswick Women’s Football League, the New Brunswick Jr. Girls Football League and the Maritime Women’s Football League, will lead the Canadian team. He is currently the Head Coach of the Saint John Storm, a team he has transformed from last place into undefeated Maritime Champions.
Germany has selected a provisional squad that includes nine players from the two German Ladies Bowl finalists Berlin Kobras and Nuremberg Hurricanes. The Munich Cowboys and Duesseldorf Blades have also contributed nine players, while the Hamburg Amazons provide eight and the Mainz Lady Warriors six. More than 110 players attended tryouts in Cologne.
The women’s league began in 1990 and the first official German Championship game – the Ladies Bowl – was played in 1992. Since 2008 the German women’s league has featured two divisions and for the 2010 season has 20 teams and approximately 750 players.
Women’s American Football has been played in Austria since 1997 and the Austrian Football Division Ladies features four teams from two countries: the Black Widows from Graz, Budapest Wolves Ladies from Hungary, Raiffeisen Vikings Ladies from Vienna and Rangers Roughnecks from Südstadt. The Austrian Ladies Bowl was first played in 2000 when the Black Widows won the first of three consecutive titles and since then the Vikings Ladies have won the past seven championship games.
Cameron Frickey, a native of the United States and former wide receiver for the Vienna Vikings, will coach Austria.
Women’s football has a long tradition in Finland. Women started to play 9-on-9 flag football in the late 1980s, but rules evolved towards allowing contact, which eventually led to a move to tackle football. Finland head coach Teemu Kuusisto has a long history of coaching Finland’s national teams and top club teams.
The GS Demons and Roosters, both from Helsinki, provide most of the starters for the national team and have dominated Ladies football in recent history, contesting the last seven national finals. Finland has six teams competing in their own domestic league.
Women’s football in Sweden is in its infancy with three club teams – Stockholm Mean Machines, Arlanda Jets and Limhamn Griffins – operating since the formation of a national team in 2008. The national team has twice faced neighbor Finland in friendly competition, improving in 2009 with a 36-6 loss following a 64-point shutout defeat a year earlier. Sweden’s female players have played flag football and also integrated with country’s men’s teams for the past decade.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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