3 Women's Sports Leagues to Watch

Two hockey players skate after the puck

Riveters at Pride, photo credit: Michelle Jay

Sports fans will want to keep these up-and-coming women’s sporting leagues on their radar. Learn all about the players, teams and games schedules and help support their commitment to empower women in sport.

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National Women’s Hockey League

The National Women’s Hockey League (NHWL) is a professional ice hockey league for women located in both the United States and Canada. The league playoff champion is awarded the Isobel Cup at the end of every season. When the NHWL was established in 2015 it consisted of four teams and has since grown to six.

Toronto Six is the first Canadian professional women’s ice hockey team to compete in the NWHL and the first team to join since the dissolution of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) in 2019. Based in Toronto, Toronto Six plays its home games at the Canlan Ice Sports Centre at York University. Ticket sales for Toronto Six games can be found on the Toronto Six website or National Women’s Hockey League official website.

National Ringette League

Based on a sport that was first introduced in North Bay, Ontario in 1963, the National Ringette League (NRL) was formed following the success of the Ringette World Championships in Edmonton in 2002. The league strives to educate the public about ringette and create more opportunities to play the sport.

The NRL consists of 15 teams and two conferences which are composed of a western conference with five teams and an eastern conference with ten teams divided into two red and white divisions. The four teams from Ontario are: Ottawa Ice, Cambridge Turbos, Richmond Hill Lightning and Waterloo Wildfire. NRL players are primarily from Canada with a few from Europe and other countries. The NRL playoffs involve the knockout match, round robin and tournament to determine champions. The knockout state is a best-of-three match for east and west conference teams. The round robin is called the Elite eight, with each team playing seven games. Find out about teams and games at the National Ringette League’s website.

League1 Ontario

League1 Ontario (L1O) is a semi-professional soccer league that is the highest level of soccer for men and women in Ontario. It showcases and develops talented soccer players who want to play professionally. Some players go on to receive scholarships and may eventually take on professional positions around the world. The women’s league was created in 2015 with nine teams and encourages continual growth of new teams. The regular season runs from May to September. Each team plays one match against all other teams and playoffs are held at the end of the season. The L1O website contains up to date information about participating teams and where to watch the games throughout southern Ontario.
 

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