About the WPL

The Women’s Premier League (WPL) features the nation’s top women’s rugby talent and is the highest level of senior club 15s competition in the U.S. The WPL consists of ten teams from coast to coast that are split into two five-team conferences. An eight-game regular season is followed by tournament play for the USA Rugby WPL National Championship title each fall. WPL players make up a bulk of the U.S. national women’s team, the USA Rugby Eagles.

Founded in 2009, the League is completely player-run and operates in partnership with USA Rugby.

HISTORY

The Women’s Premier League was founded in 2009 as a collaboration between players and then-USA Rugby National Team coaching staff. The formation was spearheaded by Kathy Flores and Alex Williams who felt that a higher level of domestic competition would benefit the development of athletes for the women’s national team. The founding 8 teams — DC Furies, New York Rugby Club, Keystone, Minnesota Valkyries, Twin City Amazons, Beantown Rugby, Berkeley All Blues, and ORSU — were determined through a variety of criteria that included history of on the field performance, strength of the club, and geographic location. The WPL was created to serve the following goals:

  1. Increase the number of highest quality competitive matches played by women’s club teams in the United States
  2. Provide a competitive structure that offers incentive to clubs to perform well throughout the course of an entire season, as well as at the National Championships
  3. Encourage teams in all Divisions to consistently perform at a higher level of play by clearly identifying competitive requirements and expectations at each level and by creating a mechanism for promotion to a higher league, D2 to D1 and D1 to Premiership, as appropriate
  4. Support the growth and sustainability of each member club, with an ideal of a strong, long-lasting club with well-organized administration, a consistent and competitive B-side and a successful youth program
  5. Honor a key tradition among women’s rugby clubs that every player who is interested is welcome, regardless of skill level or athletic potential
  6. Promote the development of all players
  7. Support the development of the women’s game by using only National Panel referees for every League match and the National Championship
  8. Achieve these goals without significantly increasing the amount of money teams are already spending to compete

PAST CHAMPIONS

2009: New York Rugby Club
2010: New York Rugby Club
2011: Berkeley All Blues
2012: Berkeley All Blues
2013: Twin Cities Amazons
2014: Glendale Raptors
2015: Glendale Raptors
2016: San Diego Surfers