League Profile: Northern Lights Women’s Softball League
GLBT + Ally
Season: May – August
The Northern Lights Women’s Softball League was created in the ’80s by women, for women. The league is committed to providing and promoting a fun and friendly environment for all women, regardless of age, ability, or sexual preference. “The Northern Lights Women’s Softball League fits nicely among all the opportunities for women to play softball in the area,” says Suze Swanson, the league’s treasurer. “It has always been important to the league to welcome women a place to play softball that is more about fun and community than it is about winning.”
While games are competitive and there is typically a tournament at the end of each season, the primary mission of the league is to offer a summer’s worth of fun playing softball. Every summer, more than 100 women gather on Sundays for an afternoon of fun, community, friendship and softball.
As Swanson says, the GLBT sports scene in the Twin Cities is alive and well. There are numerous opportunities to participate in a wide range of sports, either within GLBT-focused leagues or through many other opportunities that welcome and embrace diversity. “The Northern Lights Women’s Softball League fits nicely among all the opportunities for women to play softball here,” Swanson says. “At its core, sports are about quality of life. Sports give us exercise, get our competitive spirits going, allow us to have fun, help to build community, and when done well everyone has fun. This is what the Northern Lights Women’s Softball League aims for. We work to build community and improve our quality of life in a way that welcomes everyone interested in playing and for the fans in the stands.”
The league is a Minnesota registered nonprofit and is funded by players and local organizations wanting to support women’s softball. Games are played on Sunday afternoons typically starting the first Sunday in May, running through August. Dunning Fields in St. Paul (near Central High School) is home for the Northern Lights Women’s Softball League with all games scheduled across two fields and umpired.