Obviously, there has been a major drought of professional sports while the world has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. With that, sports betting and fantasy sports have also been largely dormant. Now, with the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup set to kick off on Saturday, She Plays has you covered on the fantasy sports side.
“She Plays began last February and we put out a fantasy bracket game for the 2019 World Cup,” Ashley Hart, the mastermind behind the site, told BGN. “Our motivation has always been to prove that women are worth investing in. Women in sports are just as entertaining and worth watching as men in sport. They deserve as much attention and respect as men in their industry. Before starting the company, I was just trying to think of a new way to help the fight for gender equality in sports.”
“I sort of realized early on that the arguments against equal pay weren’t going to go away easily, so I started thinking of how the engagement/viewership/sponsorship of women’s sports leagues could be amplified in a more organic way. We’ve seen that increase in men’s sports through fantasy sports and the dots just all started connecting. There is almost zero representation of women’s sports leagues in the fantasy world. We want to change that. We want to prove that investing in women and women’s sports leagues is wise, lucrative and will let you be a part of a community that is fiercely loyal and inspiring. Plus, I’m a big fan and selfishly wanted a fantasy sports solution for these leagues and amazing athletes (for) myself.”
Like a lot of other businesses, the 2020 plans for She Plays were heavily altered by the pandemic. But, they tried to make the best of it. “We had just launched a pick’em game and were about to roll out NWSL and NPF (National Pro Fastpitch) roster games when COVID hit,” Hart explained. “Since then, we’ve been able to make lots of upgrades to our site and add features we didn’t have before.”
Now, the site is ready for the return of soccer in the United States and has some fun games in store for the NWSL Challenge Cup. With a free, standard account, fans can participate in a handful of fun games including a match pick’em and a bingo-style game. Discussing the games she’s especially excited about, Ashley said, “I’m really excited about the “Assign the Line” game that we’ve come up with. It’s something I haven’t personally seen before and think it’s a fun twist on performance-based games. You pick an offense, defense and GK unit for a round of games. We’ll have 7 rounds total I believe throughout the tournament, including the final, so you get to really follow how each team is doing and make changes as you go.”
In addition to those five available games with a standard account, there is also the option of selecting an NWSL Pro Account ($5.00 per month). “With the NWSL Pro account, you get access to team-specific message boards as well as the ability to enter our more traditional fantasy games,” Hart said. “These games require you to set rosters and scores are tallied by team/player performance across the span of the tournament. The PRO games are a little more intense than the standings prediction and match pick’em games that are available with just the standard account.
While there is not currently any money involved in winning, Ashley shared with us that they are hoping to give away some merchandise throughout the tournament. Sign up now by clicking here to enjoy a summer of fun competition and the NWSL fan community.