Saturday, December 4

NWHL changes its name to remove ‘women’ from the title | Ice Hockey


The National Women’s Hockey League is history. Welcome, Premier Hockey Federation.

North America’s first professional women’s hockey league to pay female players a salary announced Tuesday that it will adopt the new name as part of a rebranding strategy.

“The league has come a long way since its inception in 2015, and we believe this is the right time and the right message as we strengthen our commitment to growing the game and inspiring youth,” Commissioner Ty Tumminia told Associated Press. “It really reflects what we are doing. Everything in us is new as we move into this new era. “

The decision to change the names also gave the six-team federation an opportunity to make a social statement by removing gender from its title.

“We feel it is time for our players to define themselves by their talent and ability,” said Tumminia. “It’s not like they are phenomenal women. You are simply phenomenal. “

Metropolitan Riveters captain Madison Packer said the new name levels the playing field.

“Respectfully, I don’t know if men always understand, especially for me, because I find it a lot,” Packer said. “We play with the same size disc, on the same size track, the same networks. … So removing that tag, not just removing it, but erasing the ‘W’ on the logo, I think it’s empowering. “

Tumminia said the decision to use the word “federation” represented a desire to reflect the international makeup of its players. She said the change should also help better market the league globally, with most European and Asian sports governed by federations.

Anticipating a mixed reaction to the fanbase name change, Tumminia hoped it would at least open a conversation “about watching professional sports in a gender-neutral way.”

“We believe that, in time, they too will come to support him,” Tumminia said. “But facilitating this conversation is really the key here.”

In billing the “Tagless, Limitless” change, the federation also focused on making its new title more inclusive by respecting the diverse gender identities of its players and fan base.

The new season opens on November 6. The federation’s logo will be in black and white and will feature three stars forming the silhouette of a crown over the initials “PHF”.

The rebranding follows a series of changes made over the past year to the federation’s bid to achieve financial stability and move beyond the investor-based start-up model under which the NWHL first operated as the vision of founder and former commissioner Dani Rylan Kearney.

Since Tumminia replaced Rylan Kearney in October, the federation introduced a new management structure headed by a board of governors, added staff at the league office level, and completed the sale of all its franchises to private owners. Initially, the league controlled all of its teams and was essentially run by Rylan Kearney from its New York headquarters.

The influx of new owners, investors, and backers led to the NWHL announcement in April that it was doubling his salary cap to $ 300,000 for each team despite emerging from a two-week coronavirus-shortened season in which their playoffs were postponed almost two months after a COVID-19 outbreak among its players.

The PHF has teams based in Boston; Toronto; Monmouth Junction, New Jersey; St Paul, Minnesota; Danbury, Connecticut; and Buffalo, New York. After expanding to Toronto last year, the PHF has announced that it intends to add a seventh team, in Montreal, for the start of the 2022-23 season.


www.theguardian.com

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