Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Benefits to Women from Playing Tackle Football


Movement Science


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



There has been an increase in the number of opportunities for women to participate in sport since the passage of Title IX in 1972. Research has shown that women who participate in contact sport enjoy the physical nature of the sport and the opportunity to break down barriers (Chu, Leberman, Howe, & Bachor, 2003), as well as the feeling of empowerment (Migliaccio & Berg, 2007). Over the past decade, there has been a surge in the number of women playing professional tackle football. Recently opportunities for women to participate in tackle football have resulted in close to 90 teams across the country. This study examined the experiences of professional women football players on a Midwest team. Specifically, six current players with at least three years playing experience were interviewed about the benefits they encountered as a professional football player. Players ranged in age from 23 to 37 and were from diverse backgrounds (one Native American, four European Americans, and one African American). After the interviews were transcribed, they were analyzed using inductive and deductive analysis. Seven perceived benefits emerged from this study. These benefits included Physical Fitness, Social Competence, Physicality of the GameImproves Psychological Well- Being, Changing the Fabric of Society, the Thrill of Victory, and Travel Opportunities. Discussion will focus on the experiences of the players and the benefits that can be derived from participating in tackle football. As previous research has suggested, the results confirm that there are benefits for women that are involved in contact sports.

Conference Name

Association for Applied Sport Psychology Annual Conference

Conference Location

Providence, Rhode Island

This document is currently not available here.