National Pro Fastpitch President Pat Linden announced today that six teams and 96 players will join forces for the 2007 season to bring another exciting year of professional fastpitch to fans across the country.
The 2007 schedule will include a 44-game regular season schedule for each of the six NPF teams with additional exhibition games scheduled in various markets. The season will kick-off on May 29th and run through August 19th, 2007.
The six NPF teams include the 2006 Defending Champions, the New England Riptide, the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Rockford Thunder, the Washington Glory, the leagues newest team and the Philadelphia Force who will be operating under new ownership. The Michigan Ice will fill-in on a limited basis as the seventh team in 2007 with hopes of getting qualified investors to support the team which would allow them to join the league on a full-time basis in 2008. League games against Team China, Denso Japan, the Venezuelan National Team and the Stratford Brakettes have also been scheduled.
Four of the six teams will earn the right to play in the NPF Championship Series which will be hosted by Cardinal Youth Softball, Inc. in Kimberly, Wisconsin. The NPF Championship Series will be a double elimination format tournament with a six game guarantee. All games will be played at Kimberly's Sunset Point Park lower diamond. Two games will be played on Friday, August 24, Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26. Should the team advancing to the championship game from the loser bracket defeat the team advancing from the winners bracket, another game will be played to decide the champion.
As was previously reported, the Connecticut Brakettes are returning to amateur status in 2007. It was also confirmed at the end of January that the league would suspend play in Tucson for the 2007 season. NPF is working with the Arizona State Professional Baseball and Softball Commission and a subcommittee formed by Commissioner Jay S. Zucker to bring the team back in 2008 with new and committed investors and more talent recruited from the community's own University of Arizona Wildcats softball program. Zucker is also President/CEO of the Tucson Sidewinders, 2006 Triple A Championship team.
NPF remains committed to our players, owners, sponsors and fans to build a quality professional fastpitch product with a long-term, sustainable future, said NPF President Pat Linden. The 2007 schedule represents teams and owners who share our vision and will continue to be a strong force in our growth.
Negotiations continue with national and local television networks, radio broadcast and web-cast partners with the primary objective of having regularly scheduled games available to fans across the country. The broadcast schedule will be released at a later date along with several updated features on the league website.
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.
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).
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Joey Arrietta - 330-376-8188
2007 NPF SCHEDULE