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Boys Playing on a Girls Team and Vice Versa?

13-Year-Old Boy Kicked Off Girls' Field Hockey Team for Being 'Too Good'

Posted by Jeanne Sager

field hockeyWith all the stories in the news about girls being shunned for playing on a "boy's" team, it's hard to believe it's been 40 years since Title IX became federal law. And now for something completely different! A teenage boy is fighting officials at the head of a school field hockey league in Long Island because he wants to play on the same team ... as the girls.

Thirteen-year-old Keeling Pilaro allegedly got the boot from the team at the Southampton High School because he does well at the sport, which the county athletic officials say gives him an unfair advantage over the girls. His parents and even other girls in the league say that's not true: he's good but not the best. That seems to be why he's getting so much support around the interwebs, but frankly, they're all missing the bigger picture here.

I want my daughter to be considered "good enough" to play alongside boys on a team because she is a human being. Whether she can kick their butt or not is kind of beside the point (unless it comes to passing the tryouts ... then it very much is the point). She's human. She should get an equal chance to play.

If we want that for girls, we need that for our sons too. There are no special circumstances for equality. Either all genders are equal or they're not.

A boy like Pilaro deserves the same chance as the girls. And the way things stand, he's not getting it. Pilaro, who originally hails from Ireland, where field hockey is played by boys, doesn't have any other option to play the sport on Long Island. Like most places here in the states, there is no boys team for field hockey at Southampton or in neighboring schools. To deny him this chance is to cut him out for no reason other than what dangles between his legs. 

The point of Title IX isn't to simply protect our daughters from discrimination in sports. Excuse the round-about thinking here, but protecting our boys means protecting the right to protect our daughters. Confused? OK, look at it this way: allow one gender to be slighted. Now how do you argue that the other one should be protected? It's just like teaching your kindergartner they shouldn't hit because they don't like to be hit.

So maybe letting boys on girls' teams will make it harder on the girls because they're "too good." Good ... because now girls can get on boys' teams to make it harder for THEM when they are "too good." What's good for the goose, right?

What would you do if a boy wanted to play on your daughter's team or vice versa?

by on May. 7, 2012 at 2:01 PM
Replies (11-15):
boys2men2soon
by Kimberly on May. 7, 2012 at 11:02 PM

I have mixed feelings.  There is no alternative team for the Irish boy to play on, therefore he should be allowed to play with the girls.   The fact that they want to boot him because he is too good is ridiculous.

Having said that, I must add that I am not a big fan of coed sports.   My experience has not been positive. Most boys, from toddler age, are taught to be gentle with girls.   It is hard to explain that while playing a sport, it is no holds barred.  Where do you draw the line?   Are boys supposed to play full bore or take it down a notch?  I have witnessed boys being charged with unnecessary roughness (soccer) when facing off against girls.   I have seen boys get charged with technical fouls for winning a jump ball against a girl (basketball).     It is difficult to cover an opponent (basketball) when you have to focus on where not to touch her. 

fantasticfour
by Grumpy on May. 7, 2012 at 11:34 PM

If there isn't a boys AND girls sport team then there is NO girls/boys team.  When I was in high school, I loved football.  LOVED IT.  There was no girl's football team so I tried out for the varsity team.  I didn't think I'd make it (but jv was already assembled) but tried out anyways.  3 other girls tried out because it was their "right" to be able to.  Imagine 3 prissy girls who would make decent cheerleaders trying out for football.  The team and coach made my life hell trying to get me to drop out of conditioning.  In the end, after all the crap I went through, I made the team, first string quarterback.  A proud moment in my life.  I thought for once we will win a game lol.

Turned out that although MY team accepted me as a player, other teams did not.  Our school was vandalized, I was beaten on the field (not a legal tackle, but a tackle after a play where several guys jumped on me and each kicked me in the stomach and head as they got off of me).  We ended up forfeting the games.  I finally dropped the team because of it.  I wanted the team to be able to play and have a good chance.

So yes, if there is no alternative to the sport, have at it, boys and girls.  If there is a boy's baseball and a girls baseball, then no, no need to intermix.

whitedaisies
by on May. 8, 2012 at 9:11 AM

enough of everyone getting treated equal and fair, it's a girls team enough said and vice versa, like the transgender that filed a complaint because he/she wasn't allowed to compete as miss universe or whatever. it is labeled accordingly!!!!! get over it! stop bending the rules and changing the rules so someone doesn't get their feelings hurt. it's life and the answer is NO. that 's the problem nobody wants to hear the word NO so parents step in and expect everyone to bend over backwards to make their kids happy and instead they raise ungrateful spoiled children that can't handle rejection or care for themselves.

FindersKeepers
by on May. 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM

It is definately a tough call and I do find myself on the fence....about it.  

Girls sports were created to encourage girls to play sports... Girls who play sports are much less likely to use drugs, have an unwanted pregnancy or be in an abusive relationship.... If you start making girls teams be co-ed then less girls will play.   The same negative impact does not happen in reverse to the same degree when a girl joins a boys team. 

Quoting luckysevenwow:

I had the same initial thought, but if schools have to allow girls regardless of height, weight and size then they have to do the same for boys. We can not preach it one way but not allow it to happen the other way. Ideally the school creating a league for boys is the better option but if there isn't enough boys to play or enough money to make it happen then they have to allow him to play.

Quoting FindersKeepers:

I am all for equal rights.... but we have to admit that Men and Women ARE physically different and do have different strengths and weaknesses.  

Of course I want my DD to know that she is the intellectual equal of any man and that she can do any job she wants... but at 4'9" and 90lbs she is NOT physically equal to boys her age and in some instances trying to handle a larger physical load 'to compete with a boy' could really hurt her. 

I have seen girls who are physically stronger/ faster/ bigger that can hold their own on a co-ed team.... and they like to play with the boys and want to have that option.  Perhaps this league should consider making an exception for this boy based on size/weight or open a co-ed league.  



atlmom2
by Susie on May. 8, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Great point.  I agree with you.  Its a girls team, OR its co ed.  Yes, girls may quit if you allow the boys on girls teams. 

Quoting FindersKeepers:

It is definately a tough call and I do find myself on the fence....about it.  

Girls sports were created to encourage girls to play sports... Girls who play sports are much less likely to use drugs, have an unwanted pregnancy or be in an abusive relationship.... If you start making girls teams be co-ed then less girls will play.   The same negative impact does not happen in reverse to the same degree when a girl joins a boys team. 

Quoting luckysevenwow:

I had the same initial thought, but if schools have to allow girls regardless of height, weight and size then they have to do the same for boys. We can not preach it one way but not allow it to happen the other way. Ideally the school creating a league for boys is the better option but if there isn't enough boys to play or enough money to make it happen then they have to allow him to play.

Quoting FindersKeepers:

I am all for equal rights.... but we have to admit that Men and Women ARE physically different and do have different strengths and weaknesses.  

Of course I want my DD to know that she is the intellectual equal of any man and that she can do any job she wants... but at 4'9" and 90lbs she is NOT physically equal to boys her age and in some instances trying to handle a larger physical load 'to compete with a boy' could really hurt her. 

I have seen girls who are physically stronger/ faster/ bigger that can hold their own on a co-ed team.... and they like to play with the boys and want to have that option.  Perhaps this league should consider making an exception for this boy based on size/weight or open a co-ed league.  




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