Women’s football is globally experiencing unprecedented growth and public interest, and in many countries, both players and coaches have emerging possibilities to make a full-time income from the game. In England, The Football Association proposed a new strategy for women’s football, focusing on
Emily J. Sleeman and Noora J. Ronkainen
Past and present participation in the game of football (soccer) by women and girls in the UK is mostly through organizational structures and legal and discursive practices that differentiate players by sex and incidentally gender. In this article, the author argues that the emphasis on sex and gender differentiation in football underpins a sporting system that is unable to move beyond sex as pregiven and the sex/gender distinction. The author engages with feminist–queer theory to illustrate how sex, gender, and desire are regulated in order to uphold social relations of power. The focus on women’s footballing bodies demonstrates how the sexed body is socially constructed to inform gender and sexuality. In addition, the author highlights resistance to the compulsory order woman-feminine-heterosexual and presents examples of rearticulations of sex-gender-desire.
Monika Grygorowicz, Martyna Michałowska, Paulina Jurga, Tomasz Piontek, Honorata Jakubowska and Tomasz Kotwicki
more often, and competitions are more attractive both for the fans and sponsors. In order to increase the number of girls/women playing football, the Women’s Football Committee in the Polish Football Association (WFC-PFA) has developed a long-term strategic plan, 3 where one of the priorities is to
Alison Alcock, Wendy Gilleard, Nick A.T. Brown, John Baker and Adam Hunter
Initial ball flight characteristics of curve and instep kicks were investigated. Fifteen international female footballers performed curve and instep kicks from a distance of 20 m from goal and at a 1 m2 target. Seventeen Vicon cameras tracked three-dimensional coordinates of four reflective markers adhered to the ball. Ball flight characteristics were quantified, and the coordinates of the ball relative to the target center were recorded. The lateral launch angle and the angle of the spin axis relative to the horizontal best predicted the horizontal placement of the ball relative to the target. The vertical launch angle, antero-posterior velocity and amount of backspin best predicted the vertical coordinate. Regression models demonstrated how carefully controlled the flight characteristics must be with launch angles constrained within 3° to hit the target. Curve kicks were characterized by significantly greater lateral and vertical launch angles, increased sidespin and spin about the antero-posterior axis, and a more vertical spin axis. This information is beneficial for coaches in training players to achieve the characteristics required to score a goal and avoid a defensive wall. For example, if players consistently kick above or below the target, these findings identify the variables that will help rectify that error.
Kathleen E. McCrone
Jocelyn K. Mara, Kevin G. Thompson, Kate L. Pumpa and Nick B. Ball
To investigate the variation in training demands, physical performance, and player well-being across a women’s soccer season.
Seventeen elite female players wore GPS tracking devices during every training session (N = 90) throughout 1 national-league season. Intermittent high-speed-running capacity and 5-, 15-, and 25-m-sprint testing were conducted at the beginning of preseason, end of preseason, midseason, and end of season. In addition, subjective well-being measures were selfreported daily by players over the course of the season.
Time over 5 m was lowest at the end of preseason (mean 1.148 s, SE 0.017 s) but then progressively deteriorated to the end of the season (P < .001). Sprint performance over 15 m improved by 2.8% (P = .013) after preseason training, while 25-m-sprint performance peaked at midseason, with a 3.1% (P = .05) improvement from the start of preseason, before declining at the end of season (P = .023). Training demands varied between phases, with total distance and high-speed distance greatest during preseason before decreasing (P < .001) during the early- and late-season phases. Endurance capacity and well-being measures did not change across training phases.
Monitoring training demands and subsequent physical performance in elite female soccer players allow coaches to ensure that training periodization goals are being met and related positive training adaptations are being elicited.
Vanessa Martínez-Lagunas and Ulrich Hartmann
To evaluate the validity of the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (YYIR1) for the direct assessment and the indirect estimation of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) in female soccer players compared with a maximal laboratory treadmill test (LTT).
Eighteen female soccer players (21.5 ± 3.4 y, 165.6 ± 7.5 cm, 63.3 ± 7.4 kg; mean ± SD) completed an LTT and a YYIR1 in random order (1 wk apart). Their VO2max was directly measured via portable spirometry during both tests and indirectly estimated from a published non-gender-specific formula (YYIR1-F1).
The measured VO2max values in LTT and YYIR1 were 55.0 ± 5.3 and 49.9 ± 4.9 mL · kg−1 · min−1, respectively, while the estimated VO2max values from YYIR1-F1 corresponded to 45.2 ± 3.4 mL · kg−1 · min−1. Large positive correlations between the VO2max values from YYIR1 and LTT (r = .83, P < .001, 90% confidence interval = .64–.92) and YYIR1-F1 and LTT (r = .67, P = .002, .37–.84) were found. However, the YYIR1 significantly underestimated players’ VO2max by 9.4% compared with LTT (P < .001) with Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement ranging from –20.0% to 1.4%. A significant underestimation from the YYIR1-F1 (P < .001) was also identified (17.8% with Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement ranging from –31.8% to –3.8%).
The YYIR1 and YYIR1-F1 are not accurate methods for the direct assessment or indirect estimation of VO2max in female soccer players. The YYIR1-F1 lacks gender specificity, which might have been the reason for its larger error.
Jocelyn K. Mara, Kevin G. Thompson and Kate L. Pumpa
To investigate the physical and physiological response to different formats of various-sided games.
Eighteen elite women’s soccer players wore 15-Hz global positioning system devices and heart-rate (HR) monitors during various-sided games (small, 4 vs 4 and 5 vs 5; medium, 6 vs 6 and 7 vs 7; large, 8 vs 8 and 9 vs 9).
Players covered more relative sprinting distance during large-sided games than in small-sided (P < .001, d = 0.69) and medium-sided (P < .001, d = 0.54) games. In addition, a greater proportion of total acceleration efforts that had a commencement velocity <1 m/s were observed in small-sided games (44.7% ± 5.5%) than in large-sided games (36.7% ± 10.6%) (P = .018, d = 0.94). This was accompanied by a greater proportion of acceleration efforts with a final velocity equivalent to the sprint threshold in large-sided games (15.4% ± 7.7%) than in small-sided games (5.2% ± 2.5%) (P < .001, d = 1.78). The proportion of time spent in HR zone 4 (>85% maximum HR) was greater during small-sided games (69.8% ± 2.5%) than in medium- (62.1% ± 2.8%, d = 2.90) and large-sided games (54.9% ± 3.1%) (P < .001, d = 5.29).
The results from this study demonstrate that coaches can use small-sided games as an aerobic conditioning stimulus and to develop players’ explosiveness and repeat-sprint ability over short durations. Large-sided games can be used to maintain aerobic capacity and develop maximum speed over longer distances.
Tim J. Gabbett, Håvard Wiig and Matt Spencer
To the authors’ knowledge, no study has investigated the concurrent repeated, high-intensity (RHIA) and repeated-sprint activity (RSA) of intermittent team-sport competition.
In this study, they report on the RSA of elite women’s football competition. In addition, they describe the nature of RHIA (eg, striding and sprinting activities) that involve a high energy cost and are associated with short (ie, ≤20 s) recovery periods.
Thirteen elite women soccer players underwent video-based time–motion analysis on 34 occasions during national and international standard matches. RSA and RHIA were defined as successive (ie, 2) sprints or striding and sprinting efforts that occurred with ≤20 s between efforts.
The number of RSA and RHIA bouts performed was similar between the first and second halves of matches. Sprinting and striding/sprinting durations tended to remain relatively stable irrespective of the number of efforts in an RSA or RHIA bout or the period of play. However, recovery duration between efforts increased in the second half, when a greater number of efforts were performed per bout.
These findings suggest that first- to second-half reductions in RHIA and RSA do not occur in elite women’s soccer competition. However, players increase the amount of low-intensity recovery undertaken between RHIA and RSA efforts, most likely in an attempt to maintain RHIA and RSA performance. These findings emphasize the importance of RSA and RHIA to elite women’s soccer and highlight the importance of training this quality to prevent reductions in performance during competitive match play.
.4.331 Women’s Soccer in the United States and the Netherlands: Differences and Similarities in Regimes of Inequalities Annelies Knoppers * Anton Anthonissen * 12 2003 20 4 351 370 10.1123/ssj.20.4.351 Sporting Gender: Women’s Footballing Bodies as Sites/Sights for the (Re) Articulation of Sex, Gender, and