The WPL aspires to be the elite, professional rugby 15s league in the United States to create a platform to uphold our common values and support athletes’ holistic development.

2023 is the first year of this intended trajectory with a focus on three, core values:

  1. Athlete Growth and Professional Development: Creating a high performance environment that supports member clubs and athletes in reaching their potential by embodying the the league’s core values
  2. Equity: Leading with an intentional strategy to remove structural barriers and foster equitable access to and within the league
  3. Community: Developing initiatives and deepen relationships within our local communities and the larger women’s rugby ecosystem that positively impact the sport’s trajectory

Currently the league is made up of 7 clubs across the country:

    • Beantown
    • Berkeley All Blues
    • Chicago North Shore
    • Colorado Gray Wolves
    • Life West Gladiatrix
    • New York Rugby Club
    • Twin Cities Amazons

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

    2009: New York Rugby Club
    2010: New York Rugby Club
    2011: Berkeley All Blues
    2012: Berkeley All Blues
    2013: Twin Cities Amazons
    2014: Glendale Merlins
    2015: Glendale Merlins
    2016: San Diego Surfers
    2017: New York Rugby Club
    2018: San Diego Surfers
    2019: Glendale Merlins
    2022: Berkeley All Blues