I determined that the answer to that question was a resounding maybe.
The question came up when my daughter, CC, tried out for a boys basketball team in 2nd grade. She wanted to play basketball, but there were no 2nd grade girls teams. She made the team and did fairly well. She was not the best on the team, but she was not the worst by far. The team had an outstanding former NBA coach, Ronnie Grandison, so she learned a lot. The following season, CC played with girls. The experience helped set her apart from other girls.
I concluded that girls should be allowed to play on boys teams if they can 1) compete safely against the boys, 2) grow in confidence and self-esteem, 3) improve their skills from the experience and 4) have fun.
This is especially true if the girl does not have an opportunity to play the sport in a girls league. Chelsea is a standout baseball player in Florida. She proves the point that girls should be allowed to play on boys teams.
It's when a girl wants to wrestle that the once easy conclusion gets a bit grey.
Last year, an Iowa wrestling standout, Joel Northrup, denied himself a chance at an Iowa State wrestling title by refusing to wrestle Cassy Herkelmen. He refused on religious grounds.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy, however, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner."The wrestling situation is very complex. I could be persuaded by both sides of the argument, but in this very close contact and often violent sport, I personally think that girls should have their own competitions.
So what happens when I boy wants to play on a girls team. A boy, named Keeling Pilaro from Southampton, NY, grew up in Ireland where field hockey is both a mens and women's sport. When he he moved to the US, he wanted to continue playing the sport he loves. There was one major problem, however, field hockey in the US is a girls sport. He pursued it anyway and was allowed to play at first, but he dominated so much that they eventually banned him from playing. The kid is hardly an imposing figure at 4 foot 8 inches and 82 pounds for varsity high school player, so safety was not the issue. It was because he was dominant due to his training.
Chelsea Baker is dominant too thanks to a knuckleball that she learned to throw. Should she be banned?
The Main Point
Can the girls argue for equality and fairness at the same time deny a boy a chance to play a sport he loves but has no opportunity to play here in the US?
Title IX is suppose to be an anti-discrimination law.
"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,"Does it not work both ways?
Let's be honest. Title IX is an anti-discrimination law for women. As a dad of an athletic girl, I applaud Title IX because it will provide my daughter equal access to scholarships. training and equipment as boys. As a dad of an athletic boy, I question Title IX. I see how men's programs have been cut in the name of equality. The law is clearly not perfect.
In the case of Keeling Pilaro, I determined that the answer to that question is a resounding maybe.