Transitioning leagues can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re already accustomed and comfortable in one specific type of league. Co-ed leagues and gender specific leagues are similar, but they each have distinct differences. Both leagues have certain qualities that make them enjoyable to play in, but we’re going to try to point them out so you can determine which one is a better fit for you. Because I’ve played for both, I will also add on my personal experiences to help point out these differences.
These kinds of leagues are much more physical; focusing on speed, strength, and power. Playing in a co-ed team allowed me to explore a different style of play. It challenged me in different ways and got me accustomed to a pace of game that was much more demanding on my body.
Gender-specific leagues are nice because you’re often with other people that play similar to you. I found, on my teams, they would often play more based off skill and tactics, rather than being overly physical. I’m not saying the women can’t be physical. I mean, have you seen our Orlando Pride ladies? However, usually the girls don’t play to foul. In my opinion, this almost makes the game more exciting because it makes the match between two teams solely based off strategy. I found that I was able to communicate more effectively within a gender-specific team; allowing me to have better chemistry and play amongst my team members.
Regardless of what league you choose to play, each one has it’s benefits and it’s drawbacks. At least you’re getting to play soccer, right?