NWSL Announces Plans for Expansion Teams, Use of VAR

The National Women’s Soccer League board of governors announced a slew of updates for the league after meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, including plans for expansion teams. It intends to expand the league to 14 teams.

Both Angel City FC and San Diego Wave FC debuted this season in California, finding quick success with the former fifth in the standings while the Wave leads with a 6-3-3 record. 

Additionally, NWSL plans to implement Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology for the 2023 season. Essentially, it is a fifth referee for games and is used in all Premier League competitions. They will analyze several screens and have the ability to use slow motion to review plays, helping advise on-field referees. 

“This week’s meetings have underscored what I have believed from my first day on the job; the NWSL will be the tip of the spear in driving transformational change in the professional sports landscape in this country,” NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said in the announcement. “I’ve spent the first three months of my tenure with the league on a listening tour speaking with hundreds of stakeholders, from owners to partners to players to fans. The overwhelming theme was that while we have challenges to address, we have infinite opportunities to unlock our potential that will serve our players and the millions who support them around the world. 

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