Thursday, July 16, 2009

Backwards Atlanta Soccer

I started playing soccer when I was five. In those days, I was less concerned about the placement of the ball and more enthralled with the random daisies growing on the field. These days, I play more on dirt or turf, so there are no daisies to admire. Of course, I don't think anyone thought back then, even with my tomboy nature, that over 20 years later, I'd still be playing soccer. I played club in college at Colorado and though I regret not playing at that level past my freshman year, I never gave up the sport. Intramurals always kept me in the game and my senior year, Friday night co-ed indoor reminded me why I love the game.

When I first moved back to the Bay Area after college, I found two teams, one indoor and one outdoor - both co-ed. November 14, 2004 was a rough day for me. I extended myself too far and injured my left ankle substantially. I stepped back onto the field over six months later, and was never sure my level of competition would be the same.

Naturally, I'm a competitive person and unfortunately poor teams who lose week after week have been of great frustration to me. Before I moved to Virginia, I played on 3 or 4 teams concurrently. One of them was a losing team. Eventually, I quit and just couldn't handle trying to pick up slack for people who didn't understand the game.

When I moved to GA, I went looking for a new summer team. My friend who lives here invited me to play on hers and with a new season beginning, the timing worked well. So here I am, on another losing team and yet, I'm just happy I'm playing! I play my heart out knowing every week that we will get killed 7-2 or so (high scoring because it's 7v7). But here's the kicker. This is the SECOND league in Atlanta that the rules are different than any I’ve used while playing out west. Girls' goals are worth TWO points. Just the very thought that whoever runs these leagues thinks that in order to even out play, girls goals have to be worth more makes me sick! I've played many co-ed sports and have learned that as long as you have the proper male to female ratio, guys will be forced to play WITH girls and not around them. Only when you have a ball hog will he play around them, but likely he's playing around guys as well. Further, this rule changes the architecture of play. Why put a girl at defense, even if she is stronger there, if there is a chance that she'll score and receive two points. Ridiculous!


Julie said...

That would make me angry... and I suck at soccer.

Mandy said...

ah yes. the interesting dynamic of guys vs. girls. an unsolvable mystery in my eyes. encountered it in cycling, basketball, volleyball, running, etc. it's just complicated as hell. do we play together? separate? different rules? perhaps mankind will tackle this issue once we solve climate change, world hunger, and the economic crisis. ugh.

Illuminati said...

Do you still get time to play soccer? Which position??

I miss playing soccer, played for college as a central midfielder.

JulyDream said...

@Mandy: I too find the girl v. guy dynamic entertaining. Next year, Darden Cup will be quite interesting. I was a big voice of reason with Nicol on how many girls should be involved in which sports. Make it "even" and fun for the girls to play. That said, in a drunken convo, I tried to convey the same message to our new sports rep... he didn't want to listen.

@Illuminati: Everyone has their own vices... one of mine is soccer. So yes, I still play and I ensure that I make time to play. It gives me pleasure, let's out some steam and besides the injuries, is generally a good time.

I'm best at defense, though I can play anywhere. It completely depends on the needs of the team.

Illuminati said...

i won't say soccer is a vice...on ur part its a wise decision to play...

do you follow EPL and spanish league??