Since its inception in 1969, North Texas Women’s Soccer Association (NTWSA) has provided an opportunity for adult women to continue to compete and build life-long relationships through soccer.
Although the league has been in existence for many years, recently re-elected President, Rachene’ Badii has stated, “A lot of players simply don’t know that we exist. We just want to let everyone know there is a place for them to play. You don’t age out of soccer.” The league has several divisions for players 18 and up. While divisions may slightly vary based on the number of teams per season, NTWSA features Open, Over 30 and Over 40 age groups.
“We usually hover around 75 teams, but we are always trying to grow,” Badii said. “We would love to see some of the local players continue their soccer career in the Dallas leagues when they are adults.”
While NTWSA has traditionally held seasons in the Fall and Spring with 11-v-11 play, they have recently introduced a Summer 9-v-9 season. NTWSA also recently began an Over 40 9-v-9 season that plays on Wednesday nights, as opposed to all of the other divisions, which play on Sunday. While NTWSA continues to grow, it hasn’t come without challenges.
“We are always looking for fields. That’s a constant struggle for us,” said Badii.
NTWSA just implemented dual-rostered in their Sunday divisions. Badii hopes the new rule would allow for more teams to increase their roster size and stay together.
For Badii, the Dallas Fort Worth area soccer scene is a familiar one. Having grown up playing in Dallas East Soccer and the Metro League in 70’s and 80’s, Badii had to play on boys teams, because there simply weren’t all-girl teams at the time. Badii later played in the Lake Highlands Girls Classic League for D’Feeters. Badii now sits at the helm of an organization with approximately 1,700 members, which is one of the largest adult women’s associations in the country.
While no organization is without its challenges, Badii mentions NTWSA’s emphasis on giving back as one of the parts of the organization in which she is the most proud.
“We give back in a lot of ways to women’s shelters, the North Texas Food Bank and to Susan G. Komen. We try to support other non-profits that support women. I don’t think a lot of other associations do that,” Badii said. “One year we had the team that contributed the most to the Food Bank get Sidekick tickets and a suite.”
While donating time is one way NTWSA gives back, all of the money the association obtains via fines also goes to a good cause.
“Teams are fined for not attending captain’s meetings or a player receives a red card. We vote to donate to a charity,” Badii said. “Most people obviously aren’t happy when fined so instead of putting it in the bank, we try to turn a negative into a positive.”
Badii offers multiple ways for women and men to get involved with NTWSA. There are multiple committees that work with fields, rules and the budget, to name a few. Another way to get involved with NTWSA is as a coach.
“There are a lot of teams that need guidance and instruction. So if there is someone who just want to be involved and come coach a women’s team, there are teams that would be happy,” Badii said. “We have about 10-15 coaches, often it is a husband or someone who is out injured, but there are some coaches who don’t have any relations to the teams.”
Ultimately, the NTWSA board members continue to strive toward growing the league with the hope it will still be around for the current youth players in the Dallas area.
“They need somewhere to play. We have a pretty good mission statement that talks about how it isn’t just about soccer, it is about the friendship and comradery,” Badii said. “You can have an attorney, a stay-at-home mom, people with different ethnic and socio economic backgrounds, but at the end of the day you are all teammates, and that’s what matters.”