National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is excited to announce the 2006 schedule that will include a 48-game regular season schedule for each of the seven NPF teams including seven, four-game home series and five, four-game road series. The season will kick-off on May 31st and run through August 20, 2006. Regular season play will be followed by the Playoffs and Championships August 26-27, 2006. The seven NPF teams include the 2005 Defending Champions, the Akron Racers, the 2005 Regular Season Champions, the Chicago Bandits, the New England Riptide, the Arizona Heat, the Texas Thunder, and the two newest NPF teams, the Philadelphia Force and the Connecticut Brakettes.
The concept of playing international teams will continue with results included as part of each NPF teams overall record. International opponents include national teams from Canada, China and Chinese Taipei as well as Denso Japan, a professional team. The USA Softball Team, World University Games Team and the Michigan Ice, a candidate team for NPF membership in 2007, are also scheduled as opponents.
The NPF has made great strides this past year. The teams are excited about more head-to-head competition and hosting teams that play at the highest level of the game, said Joey Arrietta, chairperson of the NPF scheduling committee.
The continuing alliance with ASA/USA Softball and the International Softball Federation (ISF) has helped the NPF secure the international team dates.
ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Sports, will air a select number of NPF games in 2006 including the NPF All-Star Game. "National television exposure is exactly what the league and players need to continue to move our sport to the next level," stated Patrick Linden, the leagues newly appointed president. Negotiations continue with local television networks, radio broadcast and web-cast partners. A complete broadcast schedule will be released at a later date.
Major League Baseball is the Official Development Partner of National Professional Fastpitch in the category of women's professional fastpitch softball. The partnership, which began the fall of 2002, is part of The Commissioner's Initiative on Women and Baseball, a league-wide effort to help Major League Baseball and the 30 Major League Clubs build stronger relationships with female audiences.
NPF has partnered with an elite group of sponsors who will work together to develop and realize the vast entertainment and commercial potential of professional fastpitch. In addition to valuable supporters at the team level, league sponsors to-date include Majestic Athletic, Schutt Sports, JKP Sports, Adams USA, Mizuno USA, Louisville Slugger, Wilson Sports, Metal Wood Bats, The Game, Softball Today Magazine, Infinity Pro Sports and AMI Graphics.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL).
# # #
Joey Arrietta - 330-376-8188
2006 NPF SCHEDULE