On Tuesday the Philly Force announced that the team has re-signed Barbara Sullivan for the 2018 season of the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX).
The defender from Notre Dame wrote on Twitter that she was happy to sign the dotted line, but didn’t quite understand why she had to choose between two women’s professional lacrosse leagues. Since the UWLX blew the inaugural whistle in 2016, U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee Michele DeJuliis decided to launch another pro league called the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL). The WPLL will kick off will kick off in the summer of 2018.
Disappointed & confused as to why we need to divide our talent, resources, & community into two leagues, but excited to stick w/ the UWLX https://t.co/MzqePqGf5o
— Barbara Sullivan (@thisisbarbie) September 25, 2017
The formation of the WPLL did not come without drama. In fact, DeJuliis was the former commissioner of the UWLX before she left after its first season.
“Seeing this other league come up, to me, it’s insanity,” UWLX founder Digit Murphy told ESPNW. “The fact that in the second year you’re going to try and add another league, it’s another mistake that women’s sports are going to make. I chuckle at it, because everyone wants to get in it, but people don’t understand there’s a lot of work involved and it’s a lot of educating and changing social norms.”
“Women’s professional sports is in its very, very young level and time in our society,” she added. “Everyone wants everything to happen quickly, and it can happen quicker if everyone lifts up the sport and we don’t try to detract from it or separate it.”
[More from Excelle Sports: Women’s Professional Lacrosse League to field five teams in inaugural season]
While the WPLL and UWLX continue to fight to attract the best players in the world, we are left with one question: Is there room for two women’s pro lacrosse leagues?