Soccer ball

The first soccer ball for women: it weighs less and it is (of course) pink

It’s all fun and games – until someone suggests women get a different ball. This is exactly what Sensational Football did. The Copenhagen soccer tournament, which plays host to 1,200 female players each year, made history with the introduction of the world’s first soccer ball for women, reports.

The pearly pink flower-adorned orb, called The Good Luck Ball, was “developed to meet the needs of female footballers,” reports. The ball, designed by Danish fashion label Ganni, “reduces the risk of injury when kicking, and the weight is lighter, which makes the game easier and more fun.”

The typical gut reaction is obviously not pleasant: why does everything for women have to be smaller, lighter, less dangerous? Why does everything for women have to be pink? (Let’s never forget the pink pen.) Why can’t women and men play the same game? And why are there no female referees? (Okay, that last question was just me.)

Visions of board meetings are plentiful, filled with disconnected men who flatter the ladies, creating a ball that won’t hurt women’s tiny feet. “Sure, they can play a man’s game – but let’s simplify it … and add a flower.”

But a little research reveals good logic: many women’s sports have developed different rules adapted to the needs, thanks to hormones and genetics, of female players.

With more body fat, more estrogen, and less muscle, there is historically a 10 percent difference in male and female performance in Olympic sports. And in fact, women’s basketball has modified its ball to accommodate its players, so what is so wrong with a modified soccer ball?

Still, that doesn’t excuse the flower, the silly name, and the stereotypical color.