Women in Football

History of Football

Football Rules

Women in Football

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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Women in Football

Earliest history of women football is rooted in China during the Han dynasty. The game was known as Tsu Chu, the earliest accurate evidence coming from 5000 BCE. However, the modern form of Association football was documented to be played in Europe in the 12th century. As part of folk games, annual competitions are documented to be held in Scotland during 1790s. The first evidence recorded of a match being recorded occurs in Glasglow by the Scottish Football Association in the year 1892, while in England, the first football match took place in 1895. During the times, a team headed by Nettie Honeyball grew very popular in England.

It was persistence efforts by Honeyball and several other activities that led to serious series of women's football. Despite the criticism by British football associations, the game grew very popular in England. During the First World War, women football and its popularity grew four-folds. The most popular women teams and also a successful one was Dick, Kerr’s ladies of Preston from England. The team played their first international match in April, 1920, against a team from Paris.

A big blow came to women football with the ban after the popular match which flocked about 53,000 strong crowds. The Football Association banned women football owing to its growing popularity that was seen as a threat to men’s football game. However, in Scotland and Italy, the popularity of the game kept growing despite the 150 years ban which met with many criticisms from all quarters of the world.

Revival in Europe:

In England, Football Association was formed in 1969 and the ban was lifted in the year 1971. It was also advised that women’s football should have associations under each country. Italy became the first country with professional women's football team in 1970s. The United States national squad was the first professional national team established in 1992. Japan set-up an semi-professional women's football league.

Late start: At the verge of 21st century

A late beginning for women football, the 21st century has seen women football grow into a professional game with high popularity. Like in most sports, women had to struggle through for their rights in comparison to their male counterparts. Media highlights men’s football more than women football and there was very little coverage of 2006 Algarve Cup in Europe. Despite of these facts, women football has been popular amongst world football lovers from different parts.

Here are some of the formal football associations with wide popularity

  • The Independent Women's Football League (IWFL)

The Independent Women's Football League was established in 2000, and became operational in 2001. The league was formed with an aim to establish quality women's football league to highlight the top level of women's tackle football in the world. The IWFL has emerged as the clear leader in the sport of Women's Tackle Football after a successive five years term. It has over 1,300 women players on IWFL teams across the United States and Canada.

  • The National Women's Football Association (NWFA)

The National Women's Football Association is a leading American football league for women. The league was established by Catherine Masters in 2000 and has its first season in 2001. The NWFA was originally called the National Women's Football League.

  • The Women's Professional Football League (WPFL)

The Women's Professional Football League is the primary women's pro American football league in the US. It has teams across the United States. It HELD its first game in 1999 with Houston Energy, Austin Rage, and the New England Storm. Today, the league has over 17 teams.

  • Lingerie Football League

The name has an interesting history. It originated from Lingerie Bowl which was an event which was telecast during the Super Bowl halftime show. The television show featured two models playing football dressed in lingerie. The games were broadcast on a pay-per-view basis. The league was later expanded to four teams; the Chicago Bliss, the Dallas Desire, the Los Angeles Temptation (formerly Team Dream), and the New York Euphoria (formerly Team Euphoria).

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