Most of the women say they prefer [male referees, whom they regard as stricter and more experienced. One team, the Dallas East Soccer Widows, I has a male coach, Sherwood Smith, husband of Commissioner Vurlene Smith. Mary Hunter, slim, slightly graying co-commissioner and sparkplug of the league, thinks soccer gives athletically inclined women a chance at self-fulfillment they might otherwise never get. "We're too energetic for needlepoint or embroidery," she says. "For some it's a chance to be aggressive without being violent, to work off frustrations and tensions." As for the physical benefits, Margaret Skidmore, a mathematics and physical education teacher, says: "No other sports strengthens your total body- legs, arms, neck, lungs and heart muscle. Soccer develops stamina, agility and coordination." "All of us are happier, and our family life is happier because we are," adds Nancy McDavid, mother of three. "I'd been about 50 pounds overweight and lost 20 of them in two months of soccer. I've given up politics. I was a Republican precinct chairman but now 1 don't have time for it if I'm to give my all to soccer." The girls play hard. One exuberant halfback, medical researcher Vicki Jack- North Texas Women's Amateur Soccer League commissioners Vurlene Smith (left) and Mary Hunter pose for a photo with Dallas pro soccer star Kyle Rote \r. Male soccer players have accepted the league, predict coed soccer some day. son, became famous in the league for the war whoops she would unleash as she dashed down the field in hot pursuit of a loose ball. This is regarded by her sister players as unnerving, illegal and unladylike--not to mention un- soccerlike--behavior. Another player once showed up fully uniformed and wearing a plaster cast over an arm. She was disappointed when the referee wouldn't let her play, both to protect herself and the other players. Injuries are common. Players in the Texas league have reported black and blue knees, a fractured ankle, a bruised chin, a broken finger, and countless pulled muscles and strained ligaments. Jo Ann Willis of Pla'no, Tex., had the wind knocked our of her when she collided with ah opponent who happened to weigh 175 pounds. Another player lost her dentures when she was hit in the mouth by a ball. She kept going without them until half time. League soccer has not only expanded the players' knowledge of first-aid pro- cedures, it has also given them a new sense of congeniality and sisterhood. "We stretch our horizons and make new friends," says Beverly La Rue. "Often we provide each other with a sounding board to help solve personal problems like marital difficulties." And--as a male chauvinist might ask --how about the housework? "Well," says one player, "our houses may get a bit dirty from time to time. But we stay up late to do the cleaning and laundry, and the kids help. When we know there's a game on Sunday we always prepare a good casserole ahead of time. We all insist that our family and home come first." Developments elsewhere Texas' enthusiasm for women's soccer is reflected in such other areas as Denver, Col., which boasts a league with some 40 players, and the State of Washington, where a proliferating Women's Soccer Association, now two years old, has 700 players on 35 teams. Other sections of the country are evincing interest, and some authorities think it's only a matter of time until women's soccer takes hold on the collegiate level, as have crew rowing and other formerly all-male sports. It looks as if a lot of casseroles will be cooking before.those weekend games. SPECIAL AviioWe wherever school supplies ore sokf. Slightly different offers available in Canada ' '
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