Do Women and Men Play Soccer Differently?


After watching the  finals  of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Japan’s victory  over the United States there is one main question that comes up: What’s the difference between men’s and women’s soccer?

Many sports experts have found out that woman’s soccer games are smoother and the game is not interrupted as often as with men. There are fewer injuries and fouled players get up more quickly than men, who often fake  injuries and stall  for time. Women are more honest  when they play soccer. There is no swearing and pushing around.


Women’s soccer matches tend to be slower. Because their lungs are smaller than men’s a smaller amount of oxygen  can get into the blood and the lungs. Thus, women cannot play as fast as men over a longer period of time.  Because both men’s and women’s soccer games are 90 minutes long women are likely to get tired sooner. A recent study  also shows that men activate  different muscles  and their  hips during a game.

There are other differences as well. Because women are, on average ,smaller than men, they have more space on the field and more room for attacking . Female defenders cannot defend the whole  penalty area . The result is that more goals are scored in women’s games than in men’s.

Women’s soccer has improved  technically over the past years. The handling of the ball and dribbling  has become much better. Passes are more precise too.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany has shown that there can be as much enthusiasm in the game as in men’s soccer. Stadiums were packed. The spectators were delighted  to see high- class games.


Women's Soccer

Women play soccer - Photo by Caroline Culler


Related Topics


  • activate   = use, work with
  • amount   = quantity
  • attack   = here: to move into the other team’s half and try to score a goal
  • defender   = a person who plays in front of the goalkeeper  and tries to stop the other team from scoring a goal
  • delight   = feel good, be happy
  • dribbling   = to move the ball as fast as you can by hitting it often with your foot
  • enthusiasm   = interest, to be really happy about something
  • fake   = to make something seem real, but it is not
  • few   = not many
  • final   = the last game of a tournament
  • hip   = a part of your body between your leg and your waist
  • honest   = truthful
  • improve   = to get better
  • injury   = to be hurt
  • interrupt   = stop, break off
  • main   = important
  • muscle   = one of the pieces of flesh in your body that you use to move; it also connects bones together
  • on average   = usually, normally
  • oxygen   = a colorless gas in the air that we need to breathe
  • penalty area   = the area in front of the goal; if you commit a foul in this area the other team gets a penalty kick
  • precise   = exact
  • smooth   = here: without fouls or other interruptions in the game
  • space   = room
  • spectator   = a person who watches a game in the stadium
  • stall   = to delay , come to a standstill
  • study   = a piece of work that is one to find out more about a topic
  • swear   = to use bad words or bad language
  • tend   = something will probably be
  • victory   = win