The NWHL will now officially be known as the Premier Hockey Federation.

The league announced the rebrand on Tuesday, introducing the new name as well as a refreshed logo ahead of the 2021-22 season.

In a release, the league said that the change aligns with the league’s aim to have a brand “based on the skill and talent of its athletes as opposed to their gender.” They are the first women’s sports league in North America to forgo the use of the word “women’s” in its title.

“The Premier Hockey Federation is home to some of the best professional athletes in the world who deserve to be recognized for their abilities and to be empowered as equals in sport,” said PHF Commissioner Tyler Tumminia. “This league has come a long way since its inception in 2015 and we believe that this is the right time and the right message as we strengthen our commitment to growing the game and inspiring youth.”

The name is also inspired by “empowerment, gender equity, and inclusivity with respect to differences in the gender identity of current athletes, prospective players, and league stakeholders.”

“From an opportunity standpoint, it’s huge,” said Metropolitan Riveters captain Madison Packer, a member of the league since Season 1. “I understand and appreciate not having to define ourselves as female athletes anymore. Now we are defining players based on skill and what they bring to the game. This is about recognizing that regardless of gender, athletes are talented.”

The move comes after the 2021 season saw the league set new records and reach increased visibility, so much so that they announced in April that they would be doubling the salary cap for the upcoming season. Additionally, all six teams are now privately owned.

The PHF season is set to begin Saturday, Nov. 6.