Girls on boys turf?

A friend of mine directed me to this article and asked for my opinion. It’s about an amendment to an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) policy about female students playing for male sports teams.

The former policy allowed girls to try out for boys’ teams when there were no girls’ teams available for a particular sport. Now — after a human rights complaint — female high school athletes can try out for any boys’ teams, as of this fall.

The topic suggestion comes at an interesting time in my otherwise non-athletic life. I just signed up for a co-ed, recreational soccer league in my community (under the condition that we get to drink beer after and no one gets mad if I score on my own team). I start next week!

Flickr from Randy Son Of Robert

Back to my opinion. I have to say, I am not familiar with the sports community, let alone what it’s like to be a female who feels she needs a better challenge. My initial thought is that by wanting to play with guys, you’re acknowledging that they are better at sports and thus undermining female sports. Having said that, maybe the guys teams *do* represent a higher level of competition.

Are co-ed teams an option? Or would that, again, cheapen the competition level? Are physical contact sports to be treated the same way if both males and females play together? (Not that I don’t think women can handle contact. I went to Barrie Central Collegiate and our girls’ rugby players were fierce).

The human rights violation claim seems a little over the top, but what do I know?

Perhaps, instead of my blind-guide opinion, you can tell me what you think.

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2 thoughts on “Girls on boys turf?

  1. I’m not familiar with the sports community either so I stand to be corrected in what I’m about to say. I think, in any sport where speed and stamina are measured (marathon, cycling, ironman, etc.) at the national level of competition, the men always outperform the women. Physically, women just aren’t the same. Thank heavens.
    That said, why not try for the team? As long as you don’t expect to be treated like a woman. I don’t think the men’s locker room is any worse than the women’s.

  2. Thanks Jen! Being on a x-country and T&F team throughout high school, I remember a lot of the different events follow what Chris has already said. Running events had different qualifying times for each sex, high jump and long jump had higher/longer numbers, and so did shotput, etc etc. It was never a matter of discrimination; it’s just that our bodies go about certain things differently. Again, as Chris said, thank heavens.

    In a team situation it’s a lot more of a gray area. I knew a girl throughout elementary school who was both a better pitcher, and a better goalie, than any guy in our school. The pitching advantage faded by the beginning of high school, as guys started growing more muscular, and were matching her accuracy with faster pitches. But goalies *need* to be flexible, and she was still just as good as any other guy in that respect. She played on a lot of co-ed teams outside of school, and travelled a lot due to her success. Good for her, really.

    The issue that bothered me about this is the false pretense of “equality”. There are no plans to allow guys to start trying out for girls teams, and the reasoning that I’ve seen has to do with protecting a girl’s chance to try out and play a sport. That’s fine and good, but this ruling has now increased the competition for guys who want to play, with no other options available. Meanwhile girls now have more options. Like I told you already, I guess the fact it’ll still be “boys” and “girls”, and not “open/co-ed” and “girls” is what irks me. Is there really a huge problem in high schools trying to get girls to participate in sports? My school had a lot more girls playing regularly than guys!

    One other thing; I know I was always brought up to not hit girls, and I know it would go through my head every time I went to tackle a girl in soccer. Whether or not it’s right, a lot of us are still wired certain ways.

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