It may be football season, but the chilly temperatures might be making sports fans everywhere seek blankets over jerseys and beanies instead of helmets. Why not live vicariously through an old sports movie? These teen movies about girls playing sports are the perfect throwback that brings the outside indoors.
These days, we have movies like The Miracle Season, The Bronze, Skate Kitchen, and I, Tonya to pump everybody up, but what about all the classics? Disney Channel Original Movies alone have provided us with so many stories about young girls navigating different athletic ventures from karate to hockey. Whether it’s a stereotypically female sport, a girl lobbying to play on the boy’s team, or a women’s team up against the same ups and downs that we see in guy flicks, sports movies are a genre that should have way more gender equality — so let’s celebrate all the inspiring movies that blazed that trail.
Plus, there may be something you missed back in the day. Pick up an interest in an obscure sport during the Olympics? There may be a movie for that. Here are some suggestions that will warm your heart and keep you on the edge of your seat.
1. Bend It Like Beckham
Remember when Jonathan Rhys-Myers was like, a heartthrob? Sorry, that’s so not the point.
2. Ice Princess
Michelle Trachtenberg and Hayden Panettiere? A world in which figure skating is something the popular girls do? Take me back!
Truly an underrated Disney Channel Original Movie.
4. The Cutting Edge
This is a trilogy? Hang on, I have some catching up to do.
5. Whip It
Roller derby is the perfect subject for a no holds barred, lady-centric sports film — and Ellen Page is so little!
6. Bring It On
Leave the "is cheerleading a sport" debate at the door. It’s boring, and this movie rules.
7. A League Of Their Own
How about the OG nostalgic female athlete tale? A sports movie and practically a holiday classic, at this point. Many of the Peaches IRL were teenagers too, by the way, so while there are no prom scenes or calculous quizzes, it totally counts.
8. Love & Basketball
My heart! This nostalgic classic, like a couple others on this list, also has a female director in Gina Prince-Blythewood.
9. Stick It
It’s! Not! Called! Gym! Nice! Tics!
10. She’s The Man
A modern Shakespeare adaptation that’s all about sneaking a girl onto a boy’s team? Yes please.
After you see Michelle Rodriguez in Widows, check out this classic.
12. The Next Karate Kid
Million Dollar Baby is too sad. Maybe you’d rather watch the Office episode that references that movie. Or, instead, throw it back further to a happier Hillary Swank fighting people movie.
13. Blue Crush
Dream of warmer weather with a surfing movie, why don’t you?
14. Fast Girls
OK, so 2012 wasn’t that long ago, but more people should know about this movie starring Lenora Critchlow and Lily James.
Got your next marathon (not a sports joke, promise) planned? Throwing it back to these teen classics is the perfect way to celebrate women in sports, even if you’ve just an enthusiastic spectator.
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