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News Link • Entertainment: Sports

This Football League Was Built For Girls Who Love To Hit

• by Kelsey McKinney

She's just straight-up good. At the end of a long battle to win a game, her teammates hoist her up onto their shoulders. They love her, they say in interviews. They trust her. They want to protect her. She is their quarterback, after all.

But before Goetz calls the first play of the day, before she even does her very first warmup throws, there is a problem. It's the same problem she always has. It's a problem most of the girls in the whole league have every single practice and every single game: the shoulder pad problem.

It takes two girls to put on a single player's shoulder pads. The first part is easy. There is a hole. You put your head through it. Now the shoulder pads are safely on your shoulders, where they belong. But then things get tricky. The buckles that secure the shoulder pads so they don't shift during play connect underneath the arm: one near the armpit, one closer to the bra line. If you're a girl—and on these fields, everyone is a girl—and your body isn't quite as flat as it used to be, you can't buckle the pads that keep you safe by yourself.

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