About the Northwoods League

The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball and softball players. The 2024 season will mark the 31st season of the Northwoods League, and the first season with Northwoods League Softball.

“We have seen tremendous growth in interest in women’s softball in recent years, and we are excited to be able to provide a platform for female athletes to continue to hone their skills and compete at a high level during the summer months.”

– Kathy Radatz, Chairman/Co-Founder

Northwoods League Softball Frequently Asked Questions

Leveraging the 30-year success of the Northwoods League, the first for-profit Summer Collegiate Baseball League, Northwoods League Softball (NWLS) will be the first for-profit Women’s Summer Collegiate Softball League beginning play in the Upper Midwest in the summer of 2024.  The purpose of the League will be to develop players for their college, Olympic and future professional play.  Teams will be promoted similar to minor league baseball teams, playing games in front of fans in a fun, friendly, family-oriented environment.

All athletes that have softball college eligibility remaining.  Select graduated High School players admitted to college will also be eligible for play.

A 40-game season will begin in mid-June and run until early August, culminating in a playoff crowning a League Champion. The majority of games will be single games, often played in the evening (select day games and doubleheaders may be scheduled).

Each team will recruit a 16-person roster (typically 4 Pitchers, 3 Catchers, 4 Infielders, 4 Outfielders, and a Utility/DH).  The contract signature window will be opening soon.  Applications to play are being accepted now.  Invited players will be sent a digital Uniform Player Contract to fill out.  Click HERE to submit an application.

Each full-season player will pay $305 to play.  Players will be provided housing with host families in their respective home cities, travel to and from away games by charter bus, hotel accommodations on the road and three daily meals while traveling.  The League will also cover the cost of all uniforms, catcher’s equipment, balls, bats, and umpires.  Players may bring their own bats for in-game use.  Players are responsible for travel to and from their respective League city at the beginning and end of the season.

Typically, up and coming college coaches and former coaches will coach NWLS teams.

All NWLS games will either be streamed or viewed via network delivery using a 4-camera HD production that is available in all League venues.

Northwoods League Impact

The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball and softball league in the world with 26 baseball teams, and four softball teams (and counting), drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind.

A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires, and front office staff, more than 200 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (NYM) and World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (Retired), Brandon Crawford (SFG), and Chris Sale (BOS). As well as current MLB All-Star Pete Alonso (NYM), and former MLB All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann (Retired), and Curtis Granderson (Retired).


“It was one of the funnest experiences of my life.”


“For me, it was a time where I really got to break out and shine.”


“I credit a lot of my success to one of my pitching coaches I had in the Northwoods League. Without him doing a lot of those things for me I definitely wouldn’t be here [in MLB] today.”

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