Coming slightly down from the major high brought on by the United States Women’s National Team win and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Championship, last Sunday, I was ready for my Monday co-ed pick up game!
When I arrived on the field, I was happily surprised to see more people then usual and learned that it was another league looking to play. With a big smile and an outstretched hand, I greeted their team captain and was quickly told that I wouldn’t like what he was going to say to me. I finished shaking the guy’s hand and he then continued.
“We don’t allow women to play.”
“Oh…so you are a men’s league?” I ask.
“No. We are a pick-up league, as well, but we just prefer not to have women play, because we would then have to change the rules in order for them to participate.” (Record scratch)
For those of you that don’t know fully what he means, the rules of pick-up pretty much center around encroachment. With women involved in a soccer league there is a no encroachment, or a no tackling policy. Let’s continue, shall we?
The man proceeded to tell me that he has had to say this to many elite playing women and how the conversation didn’t go to well after he piped out the sentence, “no women allowed”. Gee, I wonder why? He finished his speech with the fact that he now has full access to the field due to renting the time and insurance through the town (I can’t argue with that), but then made a quick comment to my fellow male teammates that they are welcome to play if they wanted to. They chose to stay with me.
I could have gotten really angry and yelled. Sure. I could have made a scene and stormed off the field. Absolutely. But what would have that proved? Nothing. Some people would rather play dirty ball and hack at legs then welcome women on the field to play, good, controlled soccer, I guess? They would rather boast about having league insurance, so they have the ability to possibly get injured and have their knee look like this…
That sounds fun.
We were then “offered” the patch of grass on the side of the field and I decided that our pick-up league move to another location. After the move, our team then had an amazing night of top-notch soccer.
We played 90 minutes of continuous controlled football, on the new field. I took my frustration out on the ball with a hat trick of my very own (high-five to Lloyd). There were also a few young lady soccer players among us, that evening. Our team focused on giving great technical tips and encouragement to them when they made good plays, as well as to each other.
I feel that this was a more positive setting for these future all-stars…and for all of us.
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