Stockholm will welcome six teams from two continents to the Zinkensdamms IP Stadium when history is made on the gridiron from June 26 to July 4, 2010.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2010 - PARIS, FRANCE - The International Federation of American Football (IFAF) has announced the seeding, groups, and schedule for the inaugural 2010 IFAF Women's World Championship and the six nations that will make history in Sweden this summer.
The world's best female American football players will converge on Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, for the historic first-ever international competition for women.
Seeding for the six nations that will send their 45-player women's national teams to Scandinavia was determined based on the number of female American football participants in each country established by data recorded in the 2009 IFAF Benchmarking Study.
"Women's tackle football is growing steadily in popularity and there is definitely enthusiasm among players for an international competition," said IFAF President Tommy Wiking, who is also the President of the hosting Swedish American Football Federation (Svenska Amerikansk Fotbollsförbundet).
"It will be interesting to discover the rate of development of the women's game when these six countries take the field. Other sports have grown and flourished as a result of their members entering competition and over time the margin of competitiveness has narrowed. IFAF sees this tournament as a starting point for the women's game to prosper internationally."
American football's female athletes will compete at the Zinkensdamms IP Stadium in Stockholm in the following groups:
The 2010 IFAF Women's World Championship will kick off on Sunday, June 27 when number one seed USA takes on Austria and host Sweden faces number two seed Canada.
Austria will be in action again on Tuesday, June 29 against Finland, along with Sweden against Germany. Games featuring Canada vs. Germany and USA against Finland on Thursday, July 1 will complete the group play.
The top teams in each group will meet in the IFAF Women's World Championship gold medal game on Saturday, July 3, following the bronze medal and fifth place games.
Each of the six teams will face group opponents for the first time in history in women's American football, but international competition within the women's game is not without precedent, since two previous games have been played in Scandinavia.
Finland hosted Sweden in 2008, winning 64-0 in Helsinki, and again in 2009 when the Swedes played host to their neighbors as Finland triumphed again, this time by a score of 36-6.
The United States will aim to complete a unique IFAF tackle football treble by adding the Women's World Championship to the world titles won by their Men's Senior National Team and 19-and-under Junior National Team.
The men won the 2007 IFAF Senior World Championship with a 23-20 double overtime win over Japan in Tokyo.
The Juniors defeated Canada 41-3 to win the first ever IFAF Junior World Championship in Canton, Ohio, in 2009.
2010 IFAF Women's World Championship Schedule
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
USA vs. Austria
Sweden vs. Canada
Monday, June 28
Rest day / Teams inactive on previous day have option to arrive
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Finland vs. Austria
Germany vs. Sweden
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Canada vs. Germany
USA vs. Finland
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Fifth place game
Bronze medal game
Gold medal game
USA Football's Women's National Team will represent the United States in Stockholm. USA Football's team will be assembled in partnership with the Independent Women's Football League (IWFL), which consists of more than 1,800 female athletes across 51 teams.
This roster will represent the United States' first women's national team in America's favorite sport. According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, more than 120,000 American females played tackle football at least 26 times in 2008.
Selection for the Canada National Team is down to 90 players that will participate in one of two regional camps during March in Saskatoon, SK, and Oromocto, NB. The selected players will then attend the final camp in Saint John, NB, before heading to Sweden at the end of June.
Head coach Larry Harlow, who was one of the founders of the New Brunswick Women's Football League, the New Brunswick Jr. Girls Football League, and the Maritime Women's Football League, will lead the Canadian challenge. He is currently the head coach of the Saint John Storm, a team he has transformed from last place into undefeated Maritime Champions.
Germany has selected a provisional squad that includes nine players from the two German Ladies Bowl finalists Berlin Kobras and Nuremberg Hurricanes.
The Munich Cowboys and Duesseldorf Blades have also contributed nine players, while the Hamburg Amazons provide eight and the Mainz Lady Warriors six.
More than 110 players attended tryouts in Cologne.
The women's league began in 1990 and the first official German Championship game—the Ladies Bowl—was played in 1992. Since 2008, the German women's league has featured two divisions and for the 2010 season has 20 teams and approximately 750 players.
Women's American Football has been played in Austria since 1997 and the Austrian Football Division Ladies features four teams from two countries: The Black Widows from Graz, Budapest Wolves Ladies from Hungary, Raiffeisen Vikings Ladies from Vienna, and Rangers Roughnecks from Südstadt.
The Austrian Ladies Bowl was first played in 2000 when the Black Widows won the first of three consecutive titles and since then the Vikings Ladies have won the past seven championship games.
Cameron Frickey, a native of the United States and former wide receiver for the Vienna Vikings, will coach Austria.
Women's football has a long tradition in Finland. Women started to play nine-on-nine flag football in the late 1980s, but rules evolved towards allowing contact, which eventually led to a move to tackle football.
Finland head coach Teemu Kuusisto has a long history of coaching Finland's national teams and top club teams.
The GS Demons and Roosters, both from Helsinki, provide most of the starters for the national team and have dominated ladies football in recent history, contesting the last seven national finals. Finland has six teams competing in their own domestic league.
Women's football in Sweden is in its infancy with three club teams (Stockholm Mean Machines, Arlanda Jets, Limhamn Griffins) operating since the formation of a national team in 2008.
The national team has twice faced neighbor Finland in friendly competition, improving in 2009 with a 36-6 loss following on from a 64-point shutout defeat a year earlier.
Sweden's female players have played flag football and also integrated with country's men's teams for the past decade.