I discussed this topic a bit in a previous post I did about women in sports but in this post I am hoping to get a little more in dept about women/Girls in the sport of Football specifically. As a young girl I was a tomboy and not like most girls I was by no means afraid to play “Boys Sports” and play them hard. I loved playing football and was pretty good at it. I had speed and agility that even some boys I played with didn’t have. Throwing and catching the ball both felt natural to me.
I recall the first time I played football with my cousin and his friends. None of the other boys wanted me on their team. One boy even asked my cousin why would you bring a girl to play Football and my cousins response to him was “because she can play DUH!”
Not to brag or anything but after that day there was never again question as to why I was there. In fact, they even sometimes argued over whose team I would be on.
It felt good playing football. The feeling I got when I would get a touchdown was exhilarating.
Girls don’t play Football.
Let’s speed up a few years to when I was in high school. I lived across the street from the school I attended so I would frequently walk to the school and watch the Football team practice. Oh how I dreamed of being on that field.
One day the coach walked over to me and said ” I see you here all the time which one of my players are you dating”
No, I am not dating any player I just like to watch. Then I got the nerve up and said hey coach how could I get on the team?
His response. With a laugh Girls don’t play football why don’t you try out for cheer leading and just cheer on the boys. What a disappointment. Thing is I knew I could have done it or at least I would have given it my best. But I was never even given the chance. I know now that his remark was a bit sexist but back then I just excepted the disappointment and went on.
From that day every time I went to watch the team practice the coach would just wave to me. I wanted so bad to just go out on that field grab a ball and throw it or run with it just to show him I could.
Sadly I never got the chance to play football and if I have but one regret in my life from my youthful years it is that I never pushed and fought for the chance to play. And no, I never tried out for cheer leading.
There is no rule that states girls cannot play football with the boys on a high school team or the NFL or should we say NO WRITTEN RULE? There may not be anything in writing that states girls cannot play football in high school, college or the NFL and although there are some girls on high school and college teams they don’t play the typical “MALE” positions like quarterback or linebacker. They are stuck in special teams positions and people don’t give them much thought. Take Sarah Fuller for instance. She was the place kicker for Vandebilt University in Nashville Tennessee. She made history as the first women to score in a college football game when she kicked an extra point in 2020. Only two years ago but do you hear about her anymore? No, you don’t and truth is she wasn’t the first woman to score in a college football game. The first woman to do that was Liz Heaston place kicker for Willamette University and she did it twenty- three years before Sarah did. Apparently she was forgotten. And twenty-seven years before Liz there was Patricia Palinkas. She was the Holder for the place kicker (Her Husband) for the Orlando Panthers in 1970. Now I am by no means trying to steal any thunder from Sarah, but merely making a point that women seem to be forgotten in sports history. I bet most people have never even heard of these women. Many people still feel women don’t belong in football and make comments like the female body isn’t fit for the game, females just don’t have the agility it takes to run a ball and get past a man. The sad part is it isn’t just men that have this sexist outlook, many women do as well.
Football has always been stereo typically a Male sport. It is time for that to change.
Although the number of girls who play high school football has more then quadrupled in the past decade the stats are still very low for women playing football. Out of approximately 5.5 Million American football players only about 10% of them are women. Pop Warner (PeeWee Football) has only 1% of their players are female.
Are boys uncomfortable playing against girls?
So, I kind of get that boys feel uncomfortable playing against girls in football. I mean we are built different, we are fragile, they are scared to hurt us right? Oh, poppycock!. This is a stereotypical sexist way of thinking that is instilled into most boys. I am sorry to tell you fellas but if a girl tries out for the team I can pretty much guarantee she is going to get out there and play rough and hard. These are not the kind of girls that are going to cry if they break a nail.
High School and College.
I often wonder why high schools and colleges do not have all girl football teams. Yes, as I stated before there is no rule that states a girl/woman cannot try out for the teams, but they always get put in special teams so pretty much they are saying if you are of the female gender and you want to play football you better know how to kick. The position of kicker seems to be the only position offered to women when it comes to this sport. I can tell you right now that just as I did these girls want to play and they want positions like running back, quarterback, center ETC. These girls really want to play they don’t want to try out just so they can say they are on the team.
If they can’t play and I mean really play a position of significance for a predominately male team then why do high schools and colleges not have an all woman’s team. Is this really fair?
Shouldn’t women be able to have recruiters seeking them out for their talents and abilities on the field?
Woman’s Football Alliance.
Did you know there is a Pro. woman’s football league? That’s right the Woman’s Football Alliance was started in 2009 and has 64 teams. And yes, they are full- contact tackle football. And these women do it for the pure love of the game. They don’t get paid like Pro men’s teams do. In fact these women have to pay to play on the league. Yes, you read that correctly THEY PAY TO PLAY! They don’t get fallowed by recruiters through high school and college making them huge offers to come play like the men neither. Nope if you want to play on the woman’s league you just go try out. Maybe this would all change if women had the recognition that men have when it comes to the game of football.
Why is woman’s football not televised
There are a few channels that show some games but not enough people take it seriously enough to get the commercialized and televised recognition that the NFL gets. Simply put they don’t see the money in it.
I know I would sure watch it. I think a lot of people would. Honestly I just don’t think enough people are even aware that they WFA woman’s football alliance even exist. I know I didn’t until a couple of years ago and they have been around since 2009. I found out about them by accident when I was doing some research on how women make less then men doing the same jobs which in turn lead me to researching if women in sports get paid the same. But that is a story for a different blog and a different time.
How would you feel if your daughter wanted to play football?
Yes, Football can be a brutal sport, but I would have to say if one of my daughters had told me she wanted to play I would have supported her all the way. Every sport has it dangers. I have seen kids get hit with bats or smacked in the face with a ball when I played baseball. I saw a girl on a team we played against slip on the basketball court and break her nose and bust her lip wide open.
We take risks every day of our lives.