In the early 1970s, a dramatic rise in the number of women actively involved in morris dancing gave rise to a bitter debate about females practising what had previously been considered an all-male dance form. Membership of the Morris Ring, the older organization devoted to morris dancing, has always been restricted to men-only clubs. The Women's Morris Federation was thus formed in 1975 as an umbrella organization for women's morris dance teams. Since that time, much of the heat has gone out of the debate, although there are still men dancers who will have nothing to do with women's morris at all. The Federation changed its name to the Morris Federation in 1983 on the agreement to accept membership of all teams, whether male, female, or mixed, who agree with its aims, which include the clause ‘… encourage and maintain the practice of morris dancing by women and men of all ages’. The Federation has a membership of about 400 clubs, and coexists with the Morris Ring, and a third morris organization, Open Morris, in a spirit of co-operation and mutual assistance.