The Student Room Group

What do girls play at school?

According to the England Women's team, "only 63% of girls can play football in PE lessons".

So what do the rest play? I can't think of anything cheaper then football ... hockey, netball etc require additional equipment and facilities meaning additional expense. So surely football is the cheapest option for schools to let girls do?
Netball mostly, or benchball and things like that. We had the option of dance/gymnastics or football and rugby in year 9 to give you a better idea.
I suspect maintaining a netball court costs a lot less than maintaining a football pitch (for a start it doesn't need mowing), plus it takes up a lot less space. Not sure why you think it needs more equipment and facilities? Both have a set of goalposts each end and a ball.

The most likely issue is that girls never have played football. The school facilities and timetables are arranged so that the boys can play football while the girls play netball and hockey at the same time. You can't just say "okay, the girls will play football as well" without setting up twice as many football pitches.
I personally had to the same sports that the boys did 🤷🏾*♀️.

But yeah Y11 was the best PE year imo for me, Dodgeball, netball etc were great I'll take that over football, rugby, hockey etc.
If girls want to play football they should go ahead. It's by far the most accessible sport in this country for anyone, and if it's not available and there is demand all it will take is a bit of whingeing and the school will almost certainly give in.

What I cannot fathom is why.

Why do women want to compete in a male dominated sport where they will always always be second class? The same tired arguments happen over and over with tennis and it's frankly boring. Why is there not more support for sport where women are already the natural audience? In netball, England are already an elite nation, and have won top competitions. Similarly with hockey, where GB/England have shown themselves to be world-beaters and not having to compete with men for audiences or players. Instead, there seems to be this boring and idiotic drive to essentially turn women into men.

If girls sport were better encouraged at school and given more money and prestige, that would lead to greater participation. At any time the great bastion of equality, the BBC could have helped enormously by putting netball or womens hockey on tv - instead they throw untold millions on activist commentators watching pre-recorded football.
Original post by Trinculo
If girls want to play football they should go ahead. It's by far the most accessible sport in this country for anyone, and if it's not available and there is demand all it will take is a bit of whingeing and the school will almost certainly give in.

What I cannot fathom is why.

Why do women want to compete in a male dominated sport where they will always always be second class? The same tired arguments happen over and over with tennis and it's frankly boring. Why is there not more support for sport where women are already the natural audience? In netball, England are already an elite nation, and have won top competitions. Similarly with hockey, where GB/England have shown themselves to be world-beaters and not having to compete with men for audiences or players. Instead, there seems to be this boring and idiotic drive to essentially turn women into men.

If girls sport were better encouraged at school and given more money and prestige, that would lead to greater participation. At any time the great bastion of equality, the BBC could have helped enormously by putting netball or womens hockey on tv - instead they throw untold millions on activist commentators watching pre-recorded football.


The 1950s called, they'd like their regurgitated misogynist crap back, please. And seriously, didn't you know that men play hockey?
Netball, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, badminton, tennis, trampolining, dance, relay, javelin, dodgeball, hockey, etc.

I was in the first experimental co-ed PE class at my secondary school (this was eons ago). All we played was football and netball.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by skylark2
The 1950s called, they'd like their regurgitated misogynist crap back, please. And seriously, didn't you know that men play hockey?


I am aware that men play hockey, having played for many years myself. Nobody watches British men play hockey - because we have been rubbish at it for the better part of 30 years or more.

Again - you cannot fathom anything other than your own drive for women becoming men. Why not support womens sport instead of supporting mens sport played by women? The only reason womens football is currently having something of a peak is due to a media and political narrative. Everyone knows that it is being supported artificially by people either pretending to like it, or not saying anything out of fear. The other day when England gave away a goal due to a horrendous defensive error - you tell me how that would have played out in the media had that been the England mens team? Is the country ready to crucify women on the back page of every newspaper in the country? I don't think so.
Original post by Trinculo
I am aware that men play hockey, having played for many years myself. Nobody watches British men play hockey - because we have been rubbish at it for the better part of 30 years or more.

Again - you cannot fathom anything other than your own drive for women becoming men. Why not support womens sport instead of supporting mens sport played by women? The only reason womens football is currently having something of a peak is due to a media and political narrative. Everyone knows that it is being supported artificially by people either pretending to like it, or not saying anything out of fear. The other day when England gave away a goal due to a horrendous defensive error - you tell me how that would have played out in the media had that been the England mens team? Is the country ready to crucify women on the back page of every newspaper in the country? I don't think so.

Sports aren't "men's" or "women's" sports they are just activities which PEOPLE can enjoy no matter their gender, so why categorise them like this? If girls enjoy football then let them do that and strive to become the best they can at a sport that they love. Just because it has stereotypically been classed as a male sport does not make it a male sport, it's all due to patriarchy and the way it has, in the past, been presented in the media. Nothing to do with the actual nature of the sport!
Original post by GodAtum
According to the England Women's team, "only 63% of girls can play football in PE lessons".

So what do the rest play? I can't think of anything cheaper then football ... hockey, netball etc require additional equipment and facilities meaning additional expense. So surely football is the cheapest option for schools to let girls do?


My school focuses on badminton and especially netball for girls, with a bit of swimming in the winter months. Football was only put out as na option last year for the first time thanks to me and my friends who already play, but even then we only did football like once or twice for pe the whole year, whereas the boys did it almost every week. Then it had nothing to do with the facilities the school could offer as we have a sports hall and a field and you can play football on both. I reckon it's just stereotypes and we should try and eradicate those and let everyone have equal access to all sports no matter their gender.
Original post by STiron9
Sports aren't "men's" or "women's" sports they are just activities which PEOPLE can enjoy no matter their gender, so why categorise them like this? If girls enjoy football then let them do that and strive to become the best they can at a sport that they love. Just because it has stereotypically been classed as a male sport does not make it a male sport, it's all due to patriarchy and the way it has, in the past, been presented in the media. Nothing to do with the actual nature of the sport!

If you are even using the word "patriarchy", then you're turning this into some kind of weird sociological debate based on things other than sport. There are mens and womens sports because without such categorisations, womens sport would disappear. I'm a huge supporter of womens sport and would like to see enormous investment into it - but not into the absurd behemoth that is football, which serves no-one.
Original post by Trinculo
If you are even using the word "patriarchy", then you're turning this into some kind of weird sociological debate based on things other than sport. There are mens and womens sports because without such categorisations, womens sport would disappear. I'm a huge supporter of womens sport and would like to see enormous investment into it - but not into the absurd behemoth that is football, which serves no-one.

Yeah but that's my point, that sports shouldn't be categorise according to gender, anybody can partake in anything they enjoy.
Original post by Trinculo
If girls want to play football they should go ahead. It's by far the most accessible sport in this country for anyone, and if it's not available and there is demand all it will take is a bit of whingeing and the school will almost certainly give in.

What I cannot fathom is why.

Why do women want to compete in a male dominated sport where they will always always be second class? The same tired arguments happen over and over with tennis and it's frankly boring. Why is there not more support for sport where women are already the natural audience? In netball, England are already an elite nation, and have won top competitions. Similarly with hockey, where GB/England have shown themselves to be world-beaters and not having to compete with men for audiences or players. Instead, there seems to be this boring and idiotic drive to essentially turn women into men.

If girls sport were better encouraged at school and given more money and prestige, that would lead to greater participation. At any time the great bastion of equality, the BBC could have helped enormously by putting netball or womens hockey on tv - instead they throw untold millions on activist commentators watching pre-recorded football.


I don't really understand this point. You ask why women want to compete in sports where they will always be second class - but that's true of almost all sports, isn't it? By their very nature, men will massively outperform women in any activity involving strength, speed etc. You mention sports like hockey and netball, but I expect women will always be second class compared to men there as well, will they not?

It's not really clear to me what you mean by sports where women are the "natural audience" either. Again, you mention sports like hockey and netball, where England are an elite nation in the women's categories (and not so much in the men's categories) relative to other nations. But England are an elite nation when it comes to women's football as well. They won the Euros, whereas the men did not. And they are currently 4th in the FIFA World Rankings, whereas the men are ranked 5th. And I'd also point out that if women (and indeed men) only ever focused on sports that their nation was already good at, there would never be any such thing as improvement.

Not only that, but whether something is classed as a "man's game" or a "woman's game" is very culturally relative, rather than inherent to the sport itself. For example in the US, soccer is sometimes considered to be a "girl's sport" (in the same way that we might view netball) - probably because their women rank so much more highly and progress so much further in international competitions than their men do, and because it’s less physical than American Football. Of course the same is not true in England, where the men have also historically done pretty well, and where the men's Premier League is probably the best in the world, and where we don’t have American Football as such. On the other hand Americans see baseball as a masculine sport, whereas in British schools it's usually girls who play rounders (which is basically the same thing). Again, if people only ever stuck to sports which are culturally associated with their gender more than the other, there'd never be any development or improvement on the other side.

I think it just takes a little bit of investment in the sport at grassroots level, to provide better training for young people and to start promoting it more so that the teams become more successful and the viewership increases. As for why we would want to invest in women's sports where women aren't already the more commonly watched of the two genders; well, investment is usually attracted towards where there is a "gap in the market". It's the same reason why David Beckham decided to go over to the US to set up a new men's football team rather than trying to do it here. I don't think it's just about women trying to be like men; there's plenty more money that can be made from women's football than is being made already.
(edited 1 year ago)

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