Why Girls Should not be Allowed to Play Sports with Boys

Why Girls Should not be Allowed to Play Sports with Boys

Tandyn Hirsch , Staff Writer

Lately, the topic of girls playing with boys in sports has been at the forefront, especially since Mo’ne Davis, the incredible female Little League World Series pitcher, shocked people back in 2014 when she pitched a shutout game. Stories like Mo’ne’s are becoming more common: Colorado female linebacker Haley Abeyta attending a college combine, 16-year-old Melissa Mayeaux being the first girl listed on the MLB International Registration, and Brooke Leibsch starting as quarterback for her Kansas City high school team. It’s even the subject of FOX’s new show Pitch, which is about a female major league pitcher.

But is it safe? Many coaches and school athletic programs still do not support girls with boys in athletic sports; and it should stay that way.

The first reason would be that boys play more competitively, meaning the game will be more physical. And that can mean injuries. Janelle Greer of the Express Times states, “I firmly believe that males and females should not be competing on the same athletic teams. Plain and simple, females are the weaker vessels of the two sexes. It’s not degrading. It’s not an insult. It’s a fact of life.”

Football could be especially dangerous. Granted, all players receive pads and a helmet, but what are those going to do for a 110-pound girl when a 250-pound boy is charging at her? Nothing.

In a sport like basketball, there are no pads, so contact do more damage. Although basketball is not classified as a contact sport, contact still happens, especially with the level of competition and aggression.

Another reason against co-ed sports would be that boys’/men’s bodies are physically at an advantage. “Men have greater cardiovascular reserve, with larger hearts, greater lung volume per body mass, a higher red blood cell count, and higher hemoglobin. They also have higher circulating clotting factors, which leads to faster healing of wounds,” writes Neel Burton M.D., a writer for Psychology Today. And according to Jeff Fenske, “In terms of anaerobic power, men have over 45% higher vertical leap and over 25% faster sprint times.” This shows that when it comes to physical sports, men have advantages in every category.

Another argument against girls playing sports with boys is that if a boy were going against a girl in sports, the boy might feel awkward or protective and not play as aggressively, giving the girl an advantage. “Boys might fear being too aggressive with girls on the playing field,” states Barbie Carpenter, writer for Livestrong.com. Current culture includes a level of chivalry in which boys are taught not to hit girls.  Girls playing contact sports makes this situation complicated.

Some people disagree and believe girls should be able to play male-dominated sports. They feel that the success stories previously mentioned show that certain girls have what it takes to compete. Also, the US actually has a law giving girls equal rights in sports. Meet Title IX. Title IX states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” This law was passed in 1972, and yet forty years later, there is still debate over what some schools think Title IX means. Many interpret the law to mean that girls should not necessarily play sports with boys, but should have sports teams of their own. For example, during boys basketball season, girls basketball is offered; the same goes for swimming and track. And during boys’ football season, girls’ volleyball is offered as an option for the fall.

Some people think that girls should be able to play sports with boys, and others think that girls shouldn’t, but when weighing whether girls should or shouldn’t play with boys, there are many factors involved: most importantly, safety and fairness.

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Abigail Blythe, linebacker and running back at Siegel Middle School