Top women’s hockey players form union

U.S. Women's National Team member Kendall Coyne Schofield skates during the Skills Competition, part of the NHL All-Star weekend, in San Jose, Calif., on Jan. 25. More than 200 of the world's top female players have taken their next step toward a single, economically viable professional league by forming their own players' association. The new Professional Women's Hockey Association announced on Monday that incorporation papers were filed Friday with help from attorneys from Ballard Spahr. (AP file photo)

(AP) – More than 200 of the world’s top women’s hockey players have formed a union, saying they must “stand together” if there is to be a sustainable professional league.

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA) said Monday the paperwork was filed Friday to help push for the creation of a “single, viable women’s professional league in North America.”

The women had announced earlier this month their pledge to sit out the upcoming season in North America after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League abruptly shut down this year. That leaves only the National Women’s Hockey League, which took back control of the Buffalo Beauts on May 8.

The PWHPA said in a statement the association also will help players coordinate training needs and opportunities and develop sponsor support.

“We are fortunate to be ambassadors of this beautiful game, and it is our responsibility to make sure the next generation of players have more opportunities than we had,” Kendall Coyne Schofield said in a statement.