The first written document related to the history of soccer can be found in a 300 B.C. Chinese war manual that was used by men to familiarize themselves with their version of the sport, which included kicking a ball (made out of pig bladders or stuffed leather) through a hole in a cloth tied between two poles. There is no reference to women playing this version of the sport, but can be found depicted in a Han Dynasty fresco (circa 200 C.E.) which clearly shows two female figures playing with what is believed to be a leather ball.
Although women playing soccer during the Middle Ages was not common, there are a few famous occurrences of women playing. French women played kicking games relating soccer side by side with their husbands during the 12th century and Scottish women even had an annual competition. One of the biggest obstacles that women had to overcome to play soccer was the fact that the sport was considered very violent, even with a clear set of rules. This made it difficult for women to play, as men would “protect” them by not allowing them to play.
This changed when the English Football Association standardized a set of rules the prohibited violence on the pitch in 1863, making it easier for women to play. Soon after this decision, women’s soccer became more and more popular, almost reaching the popularity of men’s soccer in England. This popularity caused the Football Association to ban women’s soccer from their pitches, with the Scottish Football Association following soon after. It wasn’t until 1971 that the ban was lifted and women could play on the same pitches as men.
The Women’s Club Soccer team at CSM is made up of 20 members and competes in games throughout the fall season, as well as some tournaments and the National Tournament. The games are held around the state of Colorado, while the National Tournament has been held in Phoenix, Arizona the last few years. The team participates in fundraisers such as Cold Stone fundraisers, blood donations, and player sponsorship letters.
The Women’s Club Soccer team has been a club sport for the last eight years as a club team. They have been invited to the National Tournament three out of the last four years. They have a lot of returning players for next year which should make for a great season next fall.
The team is always looking for new players! For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://recsports.mines.edu/REC-Club-Sports-Women-Soccer. There will also be an informational meeting held in the fall.