History of Women in





Before 1800

2500 B.C.- In Ancient China, a game called tsu chu was played as part of the emperor's birthday celebration. In this game, balls made of animal skins were kicked through a hole in a net that was stretched between two poles thirty feet in the air.

25-220- During the Donghan Dynasty, there are records of women playing football.

200- In Italy, a game called harpastum was played.

217- The British play a similar game to harpastum with the skulls of defeated Roman Soldiers.

600-1600- The rubber ball was created in Mexico and Central America, where they played on a recessed court with vertical walls. The object was to get the ball through a hoop in the middle of the court.

1100’s- The game was a mob sport with no rules throughout England.

1314- In England, King Edward prohibited citizens from playing football.

1500- The Italians played a game known as calico with large teams of 27 people in which they carried, kicked or passed a ball across a goal line.

1580- In Italy, Giovanni Bardi published a set of rules for calico.

1609- In the original Jamestown Settlement, Native Americans played pasuckuakhowog. This simply meant “they gather to play ball with the foot.” Playing fields were half a mile wide and a mile long, allowing up to a thousand people to play. The games were very rough and could carry over from one day to the next.


1830’s- The modern form of soccer originated in England.

1848- The Cambridge Rules for Soccer were drawn up.

1862- In Boston, the Oneida Football Club was the first soccer club anywhere outside of England.

1895- The first recorded match between women in “football” occurred in England.


1908- Soccer, then known as football was an Olympic event for men.

1917- Separate rules for women’s collegiate field hockey, swimming, track and field and soccer were drafted by the American Physical Education Association.

1920- Kerr’s Ladies of Preston England played the first international match against a team from France.

1921- The Football Association in England outlawed women playing the game because it was distasteful. Nonetheless, the popularity of women’s football continued to increase.

1951- In North St. Louis, a small women’s league was established and known as the Craig Club Girls Soccer league.

1969- The English Women’s Football Association was formed.

1970’s- Organized women’s teams played in the United States.

1970’s- Italy became the first country with professional women’s football players.

1971- The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women was founded in 1971 to govern collegiate women's athletics in the United States and to administer national championships.

1972- The Educational Amendments included the Title IX legislation which prohibited sex discrimination in any school that received federal funding.

1977- At Brown University, the first varsity women’s soccer program was started.

An informal National Soccer Championship was won by Cortland State.

1980- The first official National Soccer Championship was won by the North Carolina Youngs. As a result of Men’s Soccer being established at colleges throughout the U.S, soccer evolved all across the country almost immediately for women.

1981- There were almost 100 varsity programs established in the NCAA women’s soccer as a result of Title IX.

1982- The NCAA began to sponsor women’s sports and the AIAW ceased to exist.

1985- The first national team was formed.

1991- The FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) began the Women’s World Cup, which was won by the US Women’s Soccer Team.

1995- The W-league was started and was the first national league.

1996- The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team wins Gold at the Atlanta Olympics.

1997- Mia Hamm won the ESPY award for the Most Outstanding Female Athlete and the Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete of the Year Award.

1998- April Heinrich was the first woman to be named to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

1998- Mia Hamm scored her 100th international goal.

1999- Mia Hamm was the world record holder of both male and female players for the most international goals scored in a career with 108 career goals.

1999- At the Women’s World Cup of Soccer, 78,972 fans watched, setting a new world record for the number of fans to attend a women’s sporting event. The U.S. pulled off a win over China with penalty kicks.


2000- Kristine Lilly, an American was the first soccer layer in the history of international soccer to play in 200 fames for their country.

2001- The professional league, WUSA was formed.

2003- Mia Hamm scored her 137th international goal for Team USA.

2004- The U.S. Soccer team won the Olympics and Abby Wamback wins the U.S. Soccer National player for scoring thirty-one goals in thirty matches.


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