Women in Sports: Football

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
  • Pat Palinkas was the first woman to play in a professional football game. In 1970 she held the ball for the place kickers on the Orlando Panthers team.
  • On December 27, 1987, Gayle Sierens became the first woman to do play-by-play commentary for a National Football League game, Kansas City vs. Seattle.
  • In 2000–01, the Women's Professional Football League (WPFL) kicked off its inaugural season. The ball is slightly smaller than the one used in the NFL, but the rules are the same. Eleven teams took part in the league in its first year and by the 2004 season, the WPFL had grown to 15 teams.
  • Houston defeated New England 39–7 to win the league's first championship game on Jan. 20, 2001. The Dallas Diamonds won the championships in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
  • In the 2007 WPFL Championships, the Southern California Scorpions defeated the Houston Energy. The Scorpions' running back, Desiree Weimann, won the 2007 Howington Award, the league's MVP award.
  • In 2012, South Plantation, FL's backup quarterback, Erin DiMeglio, became the first girl in state history to play quarterback in a varsity high school football game.

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