can girls play football

Can Girls Play Football?

When you turn your TV on a Sunday afternoon, it’s bound to be filled with NFL action. You’ll immediately notice men players run and pass the ball. Well, men dominate American football. That leaves many asking, can girls play football?

Yes, any girl can play American football. There are no rules that bar women from playing football. In College and High School games, you’ll see more women participate in football. 

However, it’s uncommon for women to play football professionally due to the physical attributes associated with the game. However, this does not mean women can’t play football. They do and some have played professionally in the NFL.

Let’s dig deep and see if women can play football.

What Is Women’s Football Called?

Women’s football is the same as men’s football and is called Women’s American football. The rules are the same for both men and women with a small exception. You’ll find women’s fields to be slightly smaller than men’s fields.

In American football, most women play football in amateur or semi-professional leagues. There are few colleges and high schools that offer women’s football.

However, there are 3 American football leagues for women in the United States. These are:

There are also two women’s football leagues in Canada that do go to show that women can play football. 

However, the women’s football league should not be confused with the Lingerie Football League which is an organization founded on sex appeal.

Apart from the leagues above, women also play football in high school and colleges as boys. The rules are the same apart from the size of the field which is slightly smaller. 

Why Women Can Play Football

Women can play football since there are no laws barring them from doing so. It’s a great chance for women athletes to compete with fellow women in a big sport. You’ll always hear people ask, why would women want to play football?

woman's football team celebrating

Well, American football is the greatest sport in American history. Who wouldn’t want to compete in it?

Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombard calls football life. It’s a game that requires sacrifice, self-denial, dedication, perseverance, and respect for authority.

Secondly, football being a team sport gives women a chance to compete with other women. While the sport is physical, women love it as it gives them a chance to compete. Their fields are also smaller allowing them to cope with the physicality.

Simply put, women can play football because they can.

Are More Girls Playing Football in High School & College?

Girls’ participation in football is quite high in college and high school. Recent statistics from the NFL Operations point to higher participation of girls in football. 

There was an increase of girls playing football in 47 out of 50 states AS OF 2018. It is a great increase considering the number of girls in 2017 was pretty low.

Holly Neher was the first woman to throw the first-ever touchdown by connecting a 45-yard pass to a wide receiver. This was while playing in the FHSAA games. Before that, she had played for the men’s flag football team in her school.

Can A Woman Ever Play In The NFL?

Yes, women can play in the NFL. There are no rules that prevent women from playing professional football in the NFL. However, women need to meet a few requirements to play in the NFL.

They need to be out of high school for at least 3 years. Secondly, they need to use the college edibility requirements before the coming college football season.

Overall, women can play in the NFL as long as they have the right physicality to participate. Women also need football skills and an excellent mentality to withstand the rigors of football. These are things that every football team will always look for when recruiting rookies.

Who Is The First Female NFL Player

The first female NFL player is Becco Longo. Becco Longo earned her football scholarship at Adam State University before she went on to be signed by the NFL.

women's football team playing

She faced a great uphill battle when she started her college career. She battled prejudice, bias, and discrimination becoming one of the best kickers. Becco is a natural competitor with great love for sports.

After playing for Bash high school where she connected 35 out of 38 points, the NCAA finally took notice of her in 2016 when she was awarded her scholarship.

How Many Females Play In The NFL

Currently, there are more women in the NFL and it has been on the rise for the past few years. As of the year 2021, there was over 38.8 percent of women working in the NFL.

This is the percentage of women employed and working in the NFL across the 32 teams.

Who Are Notable Women Playing Football

The football game has had a few notable women in the past years. Let’s have a look at some famous women in American football. 

The first notable woman in American football is Patricia Palinkas who played for the Orlando Panthers in 1970. Playing as a placekicker, Patricia was the first woman to play in a professional team.

Secondly, we have Liz Heaston who played for the Willamette Bearcats teams. She was the first woman to score points in college football in 1997. Apart from playing football as a kicker, she also played on the college soccer team.

We also have Abby Vestal who played for the Kansas Koyotes. She was the first woman to score three points in a men’s professional game.

Our final choice of notable women in football is Sara Fuller who played for the Vanderbilt Commodores in 2020. She was the first woman to play NCAA Division 1 football. She would go on and make history kicking a power level 5 and scoring a field goal.


Can Women Make It Pro In Football?

Yes, women can play Pro football. There are no rules that prevent women from playing Pro league. However, the women must have the physicality and mental strength that football requires.

american football women's team

Who Is The First Female NFL Official?

Sarah Thomas was the first female official. She refereed an NFL game in 2015. She is also the first woman to officiate in Super Bowl 55 where the Tampa bay Buccaneers played the Kansas City Chiefs.

When Did Females Start Playing Football?

Women were first recorded playing American football in 1892 in the United States. This took place when the Philadelphia School of Design played football but with modified tackling rules.


That’s it from me! Still, wondering whether girls can play football. Girls can play football as no rules are preventing them from doing so. 

Furthermore, the great popularity of American football makes it a great choice for athletic women that are looking to compete. Football is a great sport for all genders. We’ve seen some notable women in football with excellent careers.

Currently, there is a big increase in the number of girls playing American football in high schools and colleges across the United States. 

Despite the physicality of the game, women can still play it with the same rules apart from the small field size.

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