Women’s football has long been on the agenda of feminist sports scholars in the West ( Cox & Thompson, 2000 ; Scraton, Fasting, Pfister, & Bunuel, 1999 ). Studies draw attention to the gender-related issues in football, from the hidden history of women in the game ( Williams, 2017 ) to the
Pınar Öztürk and Canan Koca
Emily J. Sleeman and Noora J. Ronkainen
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
Rachel Allison and Stacey Pope
, 2014 , 2017 ; Radmann & Hedenborg, 2018 ; Toffoletti, 2017 ; for exceptions, see Dunn, 2016 ; Guest & Luijten, 2018 ; Toffoletti et al., 2019 ). Lack of attention to fandom in women’s football is a major omission given that “interest in women’s football is at unprecedented levels” ( Cleland, 2015
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
Marcin Krawczyk, Mariusz Pociecha, Paulina Kozioł, Aleksandra Stepek, and Gabriela Gębica
, M. , & Hartmann , U. ( 2014 ). Women’s football: Player characteristics and demands of the game . Journal of Sport and Health Science, 3 ( 4 ), 258 – 272 . doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2014.10.001 10.1016/j.jshs.2014.10.001 Nikolaidis , P T. ( 2014 ). Physical fitness in female soccer players by
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
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, 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.