If you look up almost any article on “sports for girls,” you get pretty much the same few answers: volleyball, softball, gymnastics, cheerleading, swimming, and so on. And as a previous gymnast myself, I’m not saying these are easy sports, but I am saying they’re not the only sports girls are capable of. They’re fun, but they’ve been done. So, I went and found some suggestions of my own for sports (of varying levels of intensity) girls can do that are anything but standard – I even do a few of them myself.
The Grey Area
I was trying to figure out how to categorize this, and honestly I had a few sports in mind that were more typical for girls, but not what most commonly expect either. Hence the grey area was born.
I feel like this is predominantly seen as a boy’s sport in the US, but in the rest of the world women’s lacrosse is massively popular. It’s often also more dangerous and intensive than men’s lacrosse. Internationally only a mouth guard is required, though in the US mouth guards, goggles, and gloves are required – but this is only for women, men are required to wear way more gear, including helmets. Women’s lacrosse fields are also typically bigger, so you’ll have to be able to run more. Overall though, really fun to watch and play.
The first time I ever encountered field hockey I was in Germany staying with a German exchange student, she played on a team every week. It’s exactly like hockey on ice – which I haven’t seen many girls play either – only instead of skating you run. It’s really fun to play and great to have a team, but I put it in this grey area because I feel like people often consider it the “girl’s version” of ice hockey. But hey, play ice hockey too!
Horseback riding has always been considered a girl’s sport, and perhaps I’m biased because this is one of my main sports, but I felt like it was important. This sport is one that will teach you to be confident, responsible, and decisive all while building a great relationship along the way. Afterall, a 1200 pound animal isn’t going to direct itself – well, it totally will, but guaranteed it won’t be where you’d like them to go. You have to be able to lift heavy tack, take charge of your surroundings, and altogether be a boss. It’s great!
Casual and Fun
There are some sports that have a highly competitive side to them, but that also have a more relaxed hang-out side. They’re great to do with friends, not too tricky per say – but still have that enjoyable element of improving a skill.
Archery is so cool! I think it’s a sport that is just generally uncommon, but who doesn’t want to be Katniss? It definitely can get pretty intense with teams, tournaments, and all that. But it’s also just a fun, easy thing to do with friends. If you have the space, you can set it up in your backyard and work on your aim all afternoon.
The classic game room game, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl play in a ping pong tournament – which is absolutely a real thing. Ping Pong is loads of fun to play casually with friends, but there are also an astounding number of tournaments, including the Olympics! So maybe I’ve just been living under a rock…
This may have changed in more recent years, but when I was a kid I was the only girl I knew who wanted to skateboard. It does require some coordination, but there are so many ways to skate – tricks, speed, a combination of both, you can do anything! It’s also a great method of transportation around the city, if you need any more convincing.
Lots of girls swim, but from what I know not many play water polo. I’d describe it as volleyball, but in water and very, very hard (though I also cannot treat water to literally save my life). If you’re a girl who swims but wants something a little different, this is definitely a solid choice.
I knew only one girl growing up who did fencing, but it seems like a really fun team oriented sport. I played it on Wii, Mario and Sonic Olympic Games and had a pretty great time. But in all seriousness, sword fighting seems like a great choice.
As a Harry Potter nerd, my discovery of Quidditch not only having been turned into a real sport, but also that my College has a team, was fantastic. Everyone should play it at least once, and yes – there are actually internationally recognized tournaments.
Climbing is a pretty male dominated sport, it requires A LOT of physical strength, but that doesn’t mean girls aren’t strong enough to do it. It’s just about how strong you are, it’s also about your body awareness and technique. Some of the best climbers ranked in the world are women, and they’re amazing. This sport is also really fun to do casually, especially when you’ve got the basics down and can start challenging friends to do dumb stuff on the wall.
There has been a rise of girls getting into martial arts in more recent years, and it’s fabulous. You’ll build strength and learn a whole lot about discipline (which may or may not help you procrastinate less – it didn’t work for me, but who knows?). This is also a great sport for girls because being able to kick some serious butt is an excellent life skill.
It is common for girls to do gymnastics. However, we fail to consider things like acrobatics. I think there is a crossover to some degree, but if I’d had the option I would have done more circus-y things. Live your Ty Lee dream – walk on tightropes, do trapeze, no one can stop you.
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