By this point, we all know the term ‘soccer mom.’ It’s become part of the American lexicon.
But now, soccer moms don’t only want to watch their kids play soccer–some want to get into the game themselves. If you’re one of those soccer moms (or aunts or grandmas), read on to learn how.
But First, a Quick Background on Women’s Soccer.
The bra that put women’s soccer on the map
For those of you old enough to remember the moment in 1999 when Brandi Chastain clinched the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT), you remember the moment that really put women’s soccer on the map.
Brandi scored the winning penalty kick in a nail-biting shootout against China and promptly tore off her jersey and celebrated with her teammates on the field clad in her black sports bra.
Check out the video:
For those of you too young to remember, skimpy sportswear was not even almost a thing back then, so that moment became iconic in women’s sports.
The rise of women’s soccer
Since that moment in 1999, the USWNT has continued its successes in the Olympics and the World Cup, making players like Julie Foudy, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Carli Lloyd recognizable names. Your daughters, and even sons, might sport some of their jerseys.
The popularity of watching women’s soccer has inspired more women like you to play.
So What are Your Options to Play Soccer as a Grown Woman/Soccer Mom?
There are a couple of things that will determine your options to play: skill level and location.
If you’re a beginner who has never played soccer, you’ll find certain regions are more popular for soccer (like Southern California), so it will be easier to find beginner leagues. If you played in high school or college, your options will be broader.
Some typical soccer league offerings are described below:
- Premier: Advanced players (former collegiate athletes or similar)
- Competitive: Players with multiple years of experience and solid skills
- Beginner: Players who have never played in their life or only played as a child
- Over 30/40/50 and beyond: Age-classified leagues
- Co-Ed: Male/female combined leagues
- Social: Leagues that combine playing soccer and perhaps drinks after the game; usually co-ed and typically a mix of experienced and inexperienced players
- Walking: Played at a slower pace; great option for seniors and those with mobility issues
Adults Play Sports is building our list of leagues around the country so you can check what’s available in your area on our Play page.
A great resource for all things women’s soccer nationwide is the San Diego Soccer Women website (no, it’s not just for San Diego).
No Soccer Leagues in Your Area? Here Are Some Other Options.
If there aren’t any leagues in your area, don’t fret. There are still options. Check apps like Meetup or Nextdoor, or even sites like Craigslist for groups or posts about pickup games.
Pickup soccer games don’t have referees, and the goals might be set up with cones, discs, or mini pop-up nets and no chalk markings on the field, but they are a great way to run around, have fun, and get some exercise with other like-minded people.
And if you can’t find anything on the apps mentioned above, don’t be afraid to post something yourself to see if there’s interest from other women in your area.
Or, if you truly are a current soccer mom, ask the other soccer moms if they’d be interested in playing and find–or start–a team in your area.
You can also use our APS Player Connection message board to connect with other women in your area.
Hey Soccer Mom, What Are You Waiting For?
Now that you know what options might be out there, what are you waiting for? Remember, it’s never too late to grow up and play soccer. If you have some tips for players just starting to get into the game, leave them in the comments below.