Playing With ‘Patriotic Fire’: Women and Football in the Antipodes during the Great War

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Hess, Rob (2011) Playing With ‘Patriotic Fire’: Women and Football in the Antipodes during the Great War. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 28 (10). pp. 1388-1408. ISSN 0952-3367 (print) 1743-9035 (online)


The revelation that women first played Australian Rules football during the period of the Great War is an important element in overall understandings of how both masculine and feminine ideals were challenged and redefined by sporting practices in a time of general social flux. This paper reveals that the genesis of the women's code was in Western Australia, where contests occurred as early as 1915. Three years later, with the war nearing its conclusion, the template of women's involvement in charity matches with strong military and patriotic overtones was adopted in the state of Victoria, the code's heartland. Investigations such as this one, indicative of the complex relationships between sport and gender during the First World War, offer scope for deeper comprehension of a much-studied military conflict, and point the way forward for those that bemoan the static agenda of research into women's football.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/09523367.2011.552414
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Historical > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Historical > SEO Classification > 9501 Arts and Leisure
Keywords ResPubID24352, Australian Rules Football, women's football, Great War, Perth, Melbourne
Citations in Scopus 12 - View on Scopus
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