#TBT: Women’s Soccer in 1955

"A bunch of shapely soccer stars who can take care of anybody's passes." 😧 #TBT to when women's soccer players were a mere novelty. ⚽

A Serious Game

Women's soccer history has remarkable twists and turns starting all the way in Europe. The urban form of soccer set up by the Football Association in 1863 in London was a male sport played by all ages of men and was popularized as men’s favorite pastime. Some historians mention casual competitions in Scotland and parts of England of soccer matches between married and unmarried women during late 19th century. By early 20th century, parts of the world could see women playing the game seriously in different parts of Great Britain, France and Canada. Some facts point that in Central Europe, competitive soccer was not uncommon. Such games were often played without compliance with the civil and church authorities.

The first few decades of the 20th century saw women soccer being restricted to casual gym classes, games and college competitions. Unlike men’s soccer history, most women soccer had its prime growth at the college and university level. In 1951, the first women’s league was established, and things changed from then on. The Craig Club Girls Soccer League had four teams and played complete schedules for two seasons. This is considered as the changing point in the history of women soccer. Although, it took around a decade before the soccer was included as a serious game in colleges.

The beginning of 20th century saw US women soccer gain high popularity and international acclaim. The sport made a late start-up in the US compared to Europe, which had women leagues way back in 1930s. Serious and organized form of soccer in the US started in 1970s, a trigger produced by Title IX Legislation of 1972 that made gender equality mandatory in education. The game widely spread during early 1980s through varsity college teams. However, it is interesting to note that the first national women’s league was established very recently in 1995. And even more amusing is the fact that the first professional women’s league took birth a few years back in 2001.