The History of Women’s Soccer

Women’s soccer has grown greatly in the past decades, ranging from casual gym scrimmages to Olympic games. Our U.S. Women’s National Team has three World Cup championships under their belt. We are also feeling the pride in Orlando with our very own Orlando Pride MLS women’s club closing their inaugural season. A question that may come to mind to some is, “How did women’s soccer come to be?” Rumor has it that women have been playing soccer since the 18th century, but what made the push for women’s professional soccer? Our experts at QueensCast are going to give you a rundown of the history of women’s soccer

Women’s global soccer: The largest rise of women’s soccer began after 1863, when the English Football Association, now known as the Football Association, standardized the rules of soccer. Their changes made the game safer for all players, which generated popularity for women playing the game in the United Kingdom. Women’s soccer was quickly becoming just as popular as men’s soccer. The English Football Association saw just how popular women’s soccer truly became after a game that recorded over 53,000 fans in attendance. This popularity was considered a threat to the association, and in 1921, they set a ban on women playing soccer for 50 years. Other countries took hint of the booming popularity of women’s soccer, and countries like Italy and France established their own leagues in the early 1930s. When the ban of women’s soccer was lifted in the UK, just about 35 countries had leagues and competitions of their own.

Women’s soccer in the USA: Soccer was limited to gym scrimmages and competitive college matches in the early 20th century. Unlike other nations, women’s soccer became popular around the 1950s, with the first American women’s league being established. Women’s soccer in the United States also differs because it gained most of its popularity at the college level. A big tipping point for women’s soccer in the U.S. was the signing of Title IX Legislation of 1972, which made gender equality mandatory in education. The game continued to gain popularity throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s until 1995 when the first national women’s league was established. The first professional women’s league created in 2001, just a few years ago.

Women’s soccer has grown at a phenomenal rate in past years, and it seems that women’s soccer will continue to grow as one of the world’s most popular sports. At QueensCast, we will continue to cheer on women’s soccer and support our Orlando Pride club as they finished off their first season in Major League Soccer. We encourage you to attend an Orlando Pride game and see for yourself why the sport has become so popular.