More professionals are taking to the ice with sticks in their hands: six teams are now active in the new Professional Women’s Hockey League. The inaugural season began on Jan. 1, and games are now being played in five states and two Canadian provinces.
With the ladies in action in the latest pro hockey league, it begs the question: when will bettors be able to place wagers on this new league?
As of now, wagering on the PWHL is not permitted in any state with legal sports betting. But that’s likely to change. The leagues and/or sportsbooks must first apply for the league play to be added to a sports wagering catalog in a jurisdiction.
States use an official Sports Wagering Catalog to list approved sports leagues and events eligible for wagering. Once a league/sport is in a catalog, it’s up to a sportsbook to decide whether it wishes to offer odds.
When and if states add the PWHL to their list of approved sports, bettors can expect to see wager types like moneyline, totals or Over/Under, game and player props, and possibly parlays. In Canada, some provinces allow betting only on single games, with no futures bets.
With the popularity of betting on the NHL, it’s likely some bettors will wish to play the odds on another pro hockey league.
Six Teams to Play 24-Game Schedule in PWHL
The PWHL is the latest iteration of a professional league featuring female hockey players. It replaces the Premier Hockey Federation, which operated for six seasons until 2021. A few owners and officials of that league are still in place, but the league itself was dissolved when many of its assets were purchased by a group led by Mark Walter and former tennis champion Billie Jean King. Both Walter and King are minority owners in the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Three teams will compete from Canada and three from the US in New York (with home games split between NY and Connecticut), Boston, and St. Paul, MN. The Canadian teams will represent Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. Three of the teams are coached by women.
Each team will play 24 games, for a total of 72 games on the league schedule, running from January to June. Many of the players are members of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association. Walter owns all six teams.
The first game in PWHL history was played on New Year’s Day at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, pitting New York against Toronto. With 8,318 fans, the game set an attendance record for a women’s professional hockey game played in North America.
One rule difference in the PWHL is noticeable: a shorthanded goal immediately eliminates a power play. That rule has long been discussed as an option in the National Hockey League. It provides an incentive to the shorthanded team and can prove to swing momentum in a game.
Although the league does not have a major broadcast deal in the US, select games can be seen on YouTube. In Canada, games will be televised via The Sports Network, CBC, and Sportsnet.