5 Sports That People Think Girls Don’t Play
As time moves forward, society says goodbye to more and more unfair gender stereotypes. However, many still prevail, and this could not be more true anywhere than in the world of sports. Although women participate in sports of all kinds, there are still many people who think that some sports are better left to men.
However, women show time and time again that most “men’s clubs” in sports are not destined to stay that way for very long. Many sports have turned from “men only” to become inclusive to all kinds of players, but a few stand out amongst the rest.
Football has a long history of being dominated by men. To this day, the NFL has no female players. While that may be subject to change, it really does not matter because girls of all kinds have found ways to break through and make the sport their own. For a long time, schools were able to turn away girls who wanted to play football, and to see a girl playing football was nearly unheard of. Now, high schools all across the United States and even places abroad have seen influxes of female players. There are even women who are currently candidates to join the NFL, like prospective kicker Becca Longo, an 18 year old girl who set her high school’s record for longest field goal.
However, there are other ways that women have found ways to play football. Football is an incredibly physical sport with a lot of contact, and women on average are smaller and somewhat weaker than men, especially the men who find themselves on football fields. As a result, competition at high levels between men and women does not always happen. Instead, women have formed their own professional and semi professional leagues to play in, taking the sport back for all people and not just men.
Rugby has had a long and very masculine history. The sport has become a national favorite of countries all over the world, but especially in many places in Europe and places with heavy European influence or roots like Australia and New Zealand. For a long time, the sport was considered too masculine for women to play due to its aggressive nature.
However, women found a way to make the sport their own by creating women’s rugby unions all over the world. When they get together, women, who are tough as nails, compete against one another out on the open field, and the sport has gained more and more attention in the recent years.
Women’s rugby even has its own World Cup, which has been held every four years since 1991 and was won in 2017 by New Zealand. Women have also set up their own leagues in rugby and have set up their own competitions like the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. These leagues have faced some backlash from the predominantly male rugby audience, but continue to gain traction as time goes on and only go to show that rugby can be played by anybody with a love for the sport. If you’re into rugby and fashion like I am, check out some of these awesome rugby t-shirts.
Hockey, like rugby and football, can be a very vicious and physical sport. On top of that, it is largely played in northern countries or states where there is oftentimes a strong traditional masculine culture surrounding the sport. However, women have been playing hockey since at least the 1920’s. 1916 saw the creation of an international hockey tournament in Cleveland, Ohio, and at least two of the teams that participated were women’s teams, proving that women could hold their own on the ice with any man.
Women’s hockey has been experiencing a Renaissance of sorts in the past few years with the massive popularization of women’s hockey in the Olympics. Part of this is due to the incredible success of the American Women’s Hockey team, which introduced many girls in the West to the concept of hockey and which introduced many people to women’s hockey in general. Though women have competed against men in the past and won in hockey, women’s hockey is generally exclusive and does not include much competition between genders. Regardless, hockey has been proven to be another sport that women can compete in and draw a crowd.
Women’s basketball has become one of the most popular women’s sports and is a massive success story for women in the world of sports, but it was not always that way. Women’s basketball has been around nearly since the creation of the sport. The sport itself was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, and would spread to include female players nearby his hometown just a year later. However, the face of women’s basketball has changed greatly since its inception.
When the sport was first played by women, the game had specific rules that did not apply to men, including limits on how much you could dribble the ball before shooting or passing. When the game was first played, women would post guards by doors to keep men from watching them play. Now, the game is enjoyed by millions who watch the WNBA, one of the most successful female sports leagues in the world which draws massive crowds and has provided hope for girls who play basketball around the world for many years.
Women’s boxing stands out amongst other women’s sports because many countries effectively outlawed the practice for many years. Although women have fought in the ring for as long as men, the matches for many years were not officially sanctioned. Instead, women fought in underground rings or on their own time, but seldom did it in public and never received any accolades for it. One of the first official women’s boxing leagues was formed in the United States in 1926, but the practice was frowned upon by many and was considered highly controversial at the time. The first appearance of women’s boxing in the Olympics was before even that in 1904, but the practice ended until it was eventually revived in 1988.
Although women’s boxing has not made it into all of the Olympic games since 1988, it has appeared in the majority of them and the sport continues to grow in popularity. The sport, like many women’s sports, hit a growth spurt in the 1990’s when massive audiences were exposed to it and it began to grow a large following with famous boxers like Stephany Jaramillo and Christy Martin. Boxing is just one of the many women’s sports that is growing in popularity and showing that women can play anything.