Should Boys Be Allowed to Play Girls' Sports?

A Yonkers boy loses the ability to play on the girls' volleyball team; Patch wants your opinion.


Who made the varsity squad, and who got cut, isn't the zenith of high school athletics controversy anymore.

Instead, it's a difficult question: should boys be allowed to play on girls' sports teams? And vice versa?

The latest controversial installment comes out of Yonkers High School. Jenson Daniels, the only male to play on the school's otherwise all-female volleyball team, has been cut from the squad.

But it has more to do with gender than athleticism.

The 17-year-old senior was told by state officials he couldn't play this season; he performed too well on the physical exam and was deemed too strong, according to reports by CBS News.

Yonkers High School has no boys volleyball team. And while Jenson is off the floor for the time being, he's battling in court to regain his spot on the squad.

Earlier this year, Patch readers sounded off on the converse—a girl playing second base on a boys' baseball team.

Patch wants to know: should mixed-gender sports be allowed in high schools if there's no other solution? Or does it upset the game?

Liz Claire October 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM
When I was growing up, my neighborhood friends enjoyed co-ed volleyball games, and co-ed games of all sorts. It didn’t put us on the slippery slope to moral relativism. IT WAS FUN, PURE AND SIMPLE. Ms. Gertz misses the point. No one can dispute that men and women are biologically different. But we live under a Constitution that guarantees Equal Protection under the law. When the State tries to discriminate based on gender, it must show that the classification is substantially related to the achievement of an important governmental objective. The only objective Ms. Gertz suggests is that it offends her personal sensibility. Of course, protecting protecting public sensibilities can be a legitimate goal for legislation. But when sensibility is invoked to justify gender classifications based on social prejudices, serious attention must be paid. The Equal Protection Clause exists to make certain that public sensibilities grounded in archaic prejudices and unexamined stereotypes do not become part of the official policy of government. No game is upset by high quality athletes playing. People who like sport enjoy the game, and don’t get worked up about gender; that brings extra-athletic criteria into play. The game is the thing. The ironic reductio ad absurdum of Ms. Gertz’s remarks is that women should be barefoot, pregnant, and silent. Given her outspoken posts, she seems to be at odds with her own argument. As Deborah says, let the kid play.
Rexford Tugwell, III October 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM
When I played Little League, there was this huge hoosier mama who pitched for an opposing team. She must have weighed 200 pounds and had a wicked fastball. It was impossible to get a hit and you feared for your life when you went up to bat. I complained to the League that she should not be allowed to play. Somehow word got back to her and the next time we faced them, she threw me a beanball. I charged the mound. Big mistake. She basically threw her entire cattle frame on me and stomped me into the ground. Both teams' coaches had to pull her off me. It was humiliating. I never played another game and am still in therapy.
Liz Claire October 18, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Rex, I take it your post is tongue-in-cheek. If not, by now your therapist should have taught you that your reaction was based on some flaw within you that preceded the incident. Confronting a powerful woman merely unmasked an existing weakness within you. Higher education goes a long way in erasing such fears, as you would have had an opportunity to learn that you have no reason to feel threatened by powerful women. Power has its own prerogatives that are independent of gender.
Deborah October 18, 2012 at 03:11 PM
well put Liz
Rexford Tugwell, III October 18, 2012 at 04:04 PM
It's only partly t-i-c. The girl and all her attributes did exist and it's true I was terrified but I never actually got into a fight with her. You're right about the existing weaknesses. But it's not just powerful women I'm afraid of. It's pretty much powerful anybody. And they don't even have to have that much power. I'm pretty much afraid of everybody. I have to work on that. My grandfather, who was an advisor to FDR, would have been appalled. I've shamed the family.


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