The Future of Women’s Professional Football: According to Oscar Lopez
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
The Women’s Football League Association (WFLA) is committed to launching a league in 2021 where lady football players will be paid and invited to play in order to achieve the league's vision of bringing the sport to a professional level, according to Gridiron Beauties founder Oscar Lopez.
Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) and Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC) are currently the two top leagues in the United States which are on a pay-to-play basis wherein players or teams or required to pay a certain fee to join in the league and to participate in it.
“No league is considered professional because [they are] pay-to-play leagues, it’s [semi-professional] in some instances based on [the] arrangement with certain teams and leagues, but most of the time, it’s pay-to-play,” said Lopez in the 40th episode of The Globally Ballin Podcast.
The WFLA has announced that they formally do want to kick-off an 8 to 10-week season in May of 2021 at the LA Coliseum; this will be the only league wherein a paid player model is used.
This league will be slightly different as compared to men’s football as there will be modifications and alterations with the rules, pacing, recruiting, and coaching.
Earlier this year, the women's indoor football league originally titled "The Lingerie Football League," later changed to "Legend's Football League" (LFL) was rebranded, again, as the Extreme Football League or X League.
It is a distinctly different league from WFA because it is indoor football and does not use the same rules as 11 on 11 style football but, instead, 8-on-8, 9-on-9, or 7-on-7. The league also targets audiences in a different way; they attempt to draw in a crowd by having the players wear quite revealing uniforms like bikinis.
In a step towards making the sport professional, fan base is considered as one of the huge challenges of women’s football as it does not draw much crowd; this is why good players are often left unnoticed.
“I really think exposure is one thing we lack in the sport. We don’t have the exposure, we don’t have the capability of the exposure because we don’t have funding for it,” Lopez said.
In addressing this challenge, Lopez strongly recommends people come and watch the strongest teams play, such as the Boston Renegades in Massachusetts, Texas Elite Spartans in Dallas, and the Utah Falconz in Salt Lake City, just to name a few.
“Every good team at some point will draw about 2,000 fans so the goal is to try to get that five to seven thousand mark,” Lopez told Globally Ballin.
“The sport is growing beyond the borders of the United States, the opportunity that is now afforded to women to play American football can be taken advantage,” he added.
Gridiron Beauties is an outlet that spotlights the best women’s tackle football as well as the sport’s best athletes. It is also a platform where opportunities are revealed to female youngsters who dream of playing the sport.
The entire interview of Oscar Lopez of "The Gridiron Beauties" (Episode 40 of The Globally Ballin Podcast) can be found with the links below.
More about this topic can also be found in episode 25 of The Globally Ballin Podcast, wherein we interview Nicole Pelham of the Seattle Spartans of the WFA links directly below.
This piece was written by Carla Molina, a common contributor for Globally Ballin check out the link below to see all the articles by Carla Molina that revisit past episodes of the network in bring the story of the guests to article form as well.