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Women's American football

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Women's American football

Takiyah "TK" Washington, defensive end for the D.C. Divas, sacks the Connecticut Crush's Donna Bruce during the first quarter of the Divas-Crush playoff football game June 28, 2003 in Washington, D.C.

Women's American football is a form of American football played by women. Most leagues play by the same rules as their male counterparts, with one exception: women's leagues use a slightly smaller football. Women primarily play on a semi-professional or amateur level in the United States. Very few high schools or colleges offer the sport solely for women and girls; however, on occasion, it is permissible for a female player to join the regular male team.

The first evidence of women playing organized football was in 1926. It was then that an NFL team called the Frankford Yellow Jackets (the predecessors to the modern Philadelphia Eagles) employed a women’s team for halftime entertainment.[1] [2]

Leagues

United States

Canada

Australia

Europe

Germany

  • Damenbundesliga (1989-)
  • 2. Damenbundesliga
  • Aufbauliga NRW

Mexico

  • Football Xtremo Femenil (2006-)
  • Asociación de Football Femenil Equipado (2010-?)
  • Legends Football League Mexico (LFL) (slated debut 2015)
  • Liga Mexicana de Football Lingerie (2012-)
  • Liga Iberoamericana de Bikini Football (2012-)
  • Pretty Girls Football League (2012-)

Asia

Defunct

Women in college and professional football

Of the women who have seen action in men's college and pro football, almost all have been in special teams positions that are protected from physical contact. The first professional player was a placekick holder (a traditionally trivial position usually occupied by a person who holds another position on the team), while the best known female college football players were all placekickers, with all having primarily played women's soccer prior to converting.

Patricia Palinkas is on record as being the first female professional football player, having played for the Orlando Panthers of the Atlantic Coast Football League in 1970. Palinkas was a placekick holder for her placekicker husband.[3]

On October 18, 1997, Liz Heaston became the first woman to play and score in a college football game, kicking two extra points.[4] Prior to this game, female athletes at Duke and Louisville had come close to playing in a game but did not.[5] In 2001, Ashley Martin became the second female athlete to score in a college football game, this time in the NCAA.

In 2003, Katie Hnida became the first female athlete to score in a Division I-A bowl game; she later became the second professional player when she signed with the Fort Wayne FireHawks. Julie Harshbarger, a placekicker for numerous Chicago-based Continental Indoor Football League teams, became the first female player to win a most valuable player award in an otherwise all-male league in 2014; by kicking five field goals that season, she earned the title of special teams player of the year, leading all kickers in the league in scoring. Jennifer Welter became the first female skill position player at the male professional level by playing as a running back in the Texas Revolution in 2014.

Brittanee Jacobs is the first female football coach at the collegiate level. She helped coach safeties at Central Methodist University during the 2012 season.[6]

International Competition

The world governing body for American football associations, the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), held the first ever Women's World Cup in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2010. Six nations participated in the inaugural event: Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Sweden, and the United States. The United States won the gold by beating Canada, 66-0. The 2013 World Championship, in Finland, was held from 30 June 2013 to 7 July 2013. The USA won gold again, beating Sweden 84-0 and Germany 107-7 in order to make it to the gold medal match with Canada, whom they beat 64-0.

See also

External links

  • History of women's football
  • The First Women's Football Shirt website
  • Women's Football Forums
  • Official german website for league play

References

  1. ^ http://www.cfanarchy.com/history.htm
  2. ^ http://www.angelfire.com/sports/womenfootball/nwflhistory.html
  3. ^ Associated Press (1970-09-04). "First woman to earn place on pro grid team is also suspended." Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  4. ^ Ley, Bob (October 15, 2000). "Page 2-Outside the Lines: Heather Sue Mercer suit".  
  5. ^ "Woman Kicks Extra Points".  
  6. ^ Dellenger, Ross (2012-10-02). "Jacobs gets foothold in football coaching".  
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