Winnipeg girls win right to play on boys' hockey team
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09-28-2006, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Originally Posted by
Perhaps I'm thinking too much about my own HS, but in my case opportunities to participate in HS sports was about equal for both boys and girls. While the level of competition wasn't always as great in all the girls sports, the opportunity to play was there. Some sports for girls were very competitive and played at a high level (volleyball, basketball, soccer) and some were not, just like some of the boys sports.
These girls were given the opportunity to play hockey, in my mind the school has done what it can. I don't know all the specifics of their situation, but I find it hard to believe these girls didn't have an avenue to pursure their athletic goals. Someone else here posted that they were able to make their provincial mens lacrosse team (which by the way, I think is great for them... a provincial team's only goal should be fielding the best possible team... which is not necessarily the case for school teams). So if they could do that, could they not try-out for a provincial girls hockey team or some other higher-level league outside the school system?
As many have said here, the separation of boys and girls sports is done for the benefit of girls overall (to ensure high levels of participation). While allowing talented girls to play on boys teams is better for those individuals, it is worse for girls sports overall. The overall goal a public school system's sports program should be increasing participation, not necesarily providing individuals with the "best" situation for their own development.
Keep in mind, I'm not really talking about these girls situation, but more trying to point out flaws in some of the kneejerk reactionary posts to this. I have no idea what is actually available to these two girls beyond school sports, or even at their school.
However, at well funded high schools, what you describe is not all that unusual. But many schools are not so well funded, and when the difficult decisions have to be made, girls sports get the axe long before boys' sports, usually leaving a disproportionate level of the quality and variety. To be fair, boys' sports often generate money for the school, so I can hardly blame the school's here. But it does leave the girls with fewer options and usually with worse options.
Though, I don't know if I agree that allowing girls to try out for boys' sports makes all of girl sports worse, especially in a sport like hockey where a person can dominate on the puck while they're on the ice. Playing hockey where one or two people are so disproportionately better than everyone else can often take the fun, competition and teamwork elements out of the game (all the benefits of high school sports for people who don't intend on playing pro). Too often the games become a give the puck to so-and-so and then they score. Individual skills get lost because no one's using them in gametime, no one else gets passed to; it becomes a one woman show, with everyone else just sorta acting as support staff. Also, since most girls, including these two, won't be able to make the boys' teams, few girls will be lost. It's only in rare, that a girl will play with the boys, and I don't think that will have much of an effect overall on girls' sports -- and it could even have a very positive effect.
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