Post-Collegiate Women's Lacrosse League Announced
29 Jul, 2015By: Mary Helen Sprecher
UWLX Kicks Off This Summer with Teams in Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Women who played lacrosse in high school and college now have an option to continue competitive play with the formation of the United Women’s Lacrosse (UWLX) league, a semi-professional, post-collegiate women’s lacrosse league. Baltimore-based STX LLC, the maker of lacrosse, field hockey and ice hockey equipment, has partnered with Play It Forward Sport Foundation to launch the new venture.
STX will be the exclusive, official equipment sponsor of UWLX.
“There are very limited post-collegiate opportunities for elite female athletes to continue playing lacrosse. By creating this league, we hope to bring together these talented players and expand the sport,” said Digit Murphy, Co-Founder of Play It Forward Sport Foundation. “Through UWLX and our partnership with STX, our goal is to increase the opportunities for female athletes in a way that empowers them to ‘play forward’ their talents.”
The new league brings opportunities for growth in the sport, as well as in sports tourism, with the potential for a new tournament circuit. Lacrosse has been one of the fastest-growing women's sports at the high school level, and that has carried over into college.
UWLX plans to kick off with teams in Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. This summer, each team will select its first five elite-level athletes to create a UWLX All-Star Team that will compete in tournaments during the summer and fall. The four teams will draft their complete 17-player rosters before the beginning of the first season, in the spring of 2016. All operational expenses will be covered by UWLX which hopes to model its approach on similar burgeoning women’s professional team sports.
“Working with Play It Forward to develop this league is an exciting opportunity. We are proud to offer these dedicated and talented players a program that enables them to continue pursuing the game they love after college,” said Jessica Bieber, Women’s Lacrosse Category Brand Manager at STX. “When we first had the idea for Team STX, our goal was to expand the women’s game and help female athletes champion the sport. We’re thrilled to take that idea to the next level with a competitive women’s lacrosse league.”
“There are very few post-collegiate opportunities for female lacrosse players,” said Alyssa Murray, Team STX and Team USA member. “I am lucky to play on Team STX and Team USA, and now with the creation of UWLX, more players will have the opportunity to continue to play the sport they love at a semi-professional level. It’s an exciting time for female athletes to continue to grow the game!”
Murray, and six other members of Team STXhosted a girls' lacrosse clinic prior to the Division I NCAA Championship game in Philadelphia and found it well attended. Team STX members, including Liz Hogan, Josie Owen, Sam Farrell, Kitty Cullen, Nikki Boltja and Julie Gardner taught new techniques and drills to sharpen player’s lacrosse skills in time for the summer club season.
Full information on further clinics and events can be found here: http://www.stx.com/teamstx/clinics.