November 19, 2011

"Boys Swimming on Girls Teams Find Success, Then Draw Jeers."

Why are boys allowed to swim on girls teams? Because their schools don't have boys swim programs and they have a right under the Massachusetts constitution to equal access to athletics.
Boys swimming is held in the winter, when pool space is limited and expensive to rent, which is a deterrent for many schools. Athletic directors say the sport is not as popular among boys as it is girls, making it hard to field full squads. Some schools in the winter offer coed swimming, where boys and girls compete side-by-side in the dual meets and then separately in the postseason.

Over the years, there have been girls wrestling on boys teams or playing football or ice hockey. Boys have been on field hockey teams and girls have competed alongside boys in golf.

But in wrestling, boys and girls of the same weight compete against each other. And in field hockey and other team sports, a boy on a girls team achieves success through cooperation and collaboration with his teammates.
Equality is complicated.

36 comments:

Class factotum said...

My high school swim team, on which I was about the slowest person they had ever seen, was co-ed. And that was in the late 70s.

Moose said...

...and normally devolves quickly into stupidity if pushed to its irrational extremes. Thus, the wonders of Title IX.

ndspinelli said...

Title 9 was a double edged sword. I think the scale tips slightly to the good side, but there certainly was a lot of bad.

My observation is that we are now seeing more women in the workforce who played team sports. Prior to Title 9 girls played mostly individual sports. These young women who played team sports carry that positive mentality to the workplace. That's maybe the biggest plus. Because obviously there isn't any money to be made in professional athletics. Just look @ the WNBA. You could lob mortar rounds into the arenas and not hurt anyone.

Rick67 said...

I was invited to be on the girls' field hockey team in 9th(?) grade because I demonstrated a knack for the sport in PE class.

Of course being an insecure teenager I said no. To this day I wish...

But how would that have worked exactly? Traveling? Lodging during tournaments? Changing? And what about male peers?

(This was in Great Britain by the way. And men play field hockey in the Olympics.)

Christopher said...

Their mention of field hockey and wrestling are incorrect once one hits high school and puberty has set in.

After that point the boys almost always dominate the field hockey team and it is difficult to find girls who weigh the same that are in shape (outside of some of the flyweight classes).

Meade said...

Boy swimmers should be given a head start to make up for being sub-cutaneous fat-challenged.

Roger J. said...

Rick67--and men's field hocky in the national and olympics, makes the NHL look like a bunch of pansies--as I recall one of the intro clips for wide world of sports featured the indian-pakistani game which was basically an abatoir.

As an aside, my mother played field hocky at Florida State College for Women (now FSU) in 1926

that-xmas said...

Yep...that's my home state! The spirit of Massachusetts is the spirit of America.

I do enjoy the cognitive dissonance in the article. If the genders were switched around, the article would praise women taking the podium in a men's sport.

Roger J. said...

i have to say I am all in favor women's lacrosse--a great game but not for the timid. Glad to see this sport accepted into the mainstream of women's sports.

Unlike field hocky, the lax players get to wear some pads and protection.

Roger J. said...

on the aberrant side of title nine, my lady friend's son is on the cheerleading team--and it appears he does does so for carnal outcomes.

MayBee said...

In my area of California, the boys and girls swim season are held at the same time (Spring). The meets are co-ed, but its girls v girls and boys v boys.
Why not just change the boys swim season in MA?

edutcher said...

Affirmative action once again shown to be positive discrimination and as much against the girls as the boys, since the girls, unless they're on steroids, haven't got the boys' muscle mass.

Roger J. said...

on the aberrant side of title nine, my lady friend's son is on the cheerleading team--and it appears he does does so for carnal outcomes.

Was it ever thus?

MayBee said...

In my area of California, the boys and girls swim season are held at the same time (Spring). The meets are co-ed, but its girls v girls and boys v boys.
Why not just change the boys swim season in MA?


And be logical?

It would also be fair to the boys, and we can't have that.

MadisonMan said...

Boys' swim times are always faster than girls' swim times, particularly for the breaststroke, for high school kids. So I think there should be boys records and girls records.

Many High School teams in WI combine schools: Verona/Mt. Horeb, for example, in Dane Co, or Greenfield/Greendale in suburban Milwaukee. I don't know why schools can't combine in MA but suspect it's due to a lack of common sense.

MadisonMan said...

I'll add that in WI, girls swim in fall, and boys in winter. I think the split is because some pools -- like Madison West's -- are very very tiny.

Having both sexes swim at the same time -- as is done with Club Swimming, be it the Y or a USA Swimming Club -- would suppress, I think, the goofing around/hazing that occurs on Boys Swim teams. It seems to work that way on Cross-Country (Both sexes train together)

edutcher said...

MadisonMan said...

Boys' swim times are always faster than girls' swim times, particularly for the breaststroke

As they get older, they learn to slow down on the girls' breaststroke.

(sometimes, the material just calls you...)

DaveW said...

I like to go swimmin' with bow-legged women.

These are some smart high school boys.

Titus said...

There is a pool at my gym and women swim there and sometimes large dark pubic hair is coming out from the bottom of the bathing suit.

YoungHegelian said...

Over the years, there have been girls wrestling on boys teams...

Please tell me that there really aren't mixed high school wrestling teams!

I've got a pretty open mind when it comes to human sexual perversion, but, I'm sorry, I really draw the line at teenage boys and girls wrestling. That's just not right.

I mean, how can you not put your hands in the wrong place sometimes?

EDH said...

At the state meet, the top-seeded relay team, from Walpole, includes two boys, Bobby Gay and Christian Kelley. Although people have been fixated on the boys, Jessica Suave turned in the fastest split during one of the relay team’s recent victories.

In girl's swimming, at least, it's better to be Sauve than Gay.

Christopher said...

In PA, at least in the area in which I live, there are two seasons for swimming: Summer (club) and Winter (school).

The meets were always co-ed with boys v. boys and girls v. girls, and the various races were split by age-group in the summer (and winter until the 9th grade).

The only time you mixed the genders during competition was at various invitationals, and even then only because they wanted a special event to distinguish their meet from a dozen others.


And yes, the records for the boys were usually much faster (for swimming) than the girls.

ricpic said...

Equality is complicated.

No. Equality is insane.

Ralph L said...

Then draws jeers
Should have gotten the cap without the flower appliques.

Jennifer said...

I had no idea they even had separation of swim teams. My son's team is co-ed as is every team we've competed against, from every country we've competed in.

But, even on co-ed teams, the boys swim in boy heats and the girls swim in girl heats except for a few mixed relays. They also split up by age group. Qualification times are based on sex and age and points earned are based on placement within respective sex and age groups. Why bother hosting two separate teams?

Jennifer said...

Interestingly, for a few short years around 10 - 12 (I think...I haven't actually memorized the qualification time charts), the girls times are expected to be faster than the boys. Not so younger or older. And by the time they are nearing adulthood, the spread between times gets significant.

Unknown said...

On the issue of equality, it has always bugged me that the folks at Wimbledon decided to pay the women pros the same purses as the men, and then deigned to call that equality. Notwithstanding the fact that the men play 5 set matches and the women play 3 set matches. Equality is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

John said...

I seem to recall a study of the timed sports in both summer and winter Olypmics.

In those sports which were identical eg; 100 yard dash, downhill skiing and the like women's times were significantly slower than men's.

I seem to recall that the study found that none of the gold medal winners in the women's sports would have beaten the slowest time of the men.

It seems to me that if you put men and women together in the same sport there will eventually be no women on the team. Assuming cuts are made on the basis of ability.

On the other hand, if we are going to have equality, let's have equality. If girls can compete in men's sports then there is no reason I can see for men not to compete in women's sports.

Related:

If girls can join the Boy Scouts as some wish, then boys must be able to join the girl scouts

If girls can have segregated schools to keep them away from those icky boys, then boys must be able to have segregated schools as well.

And while we are at it, let's really go for equality. How about an investigation of those ghetto colleges where enrollment of blacks far outstrips the population. Moorhead, for example, has about 90% black students although blacks only make up 13% of the population. Seems like they discriminate against non-blacks. Perhaps they need to be forced into some affirmative action.

Sauce for the goose and all that.

John Henry

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There is a pool at my gym and women swim there and sometimes large dark pubic hair is coming out from the bottom of the bathing suit.

Well, that will make Ironrails a very happy man.

I was on swim team in high school and it was not coed although the meets were held all at the same time.

We didn't have girls competing with boys in any sports. None. That was before Title IX. It makes no sense to have co ed competition, since men and women (with the exception of some crossover specimens) have different body composition and muscles mass distributions.

Granny Jan said...

Now that we've fixed swimming we're going to fix bathrooms and make them all co-ed. Really. Thank God I live in an advanced state.

Lyle said...

I can't wait until the Olympics offer only all gender events.

ndspinelli said...

The Boys Club in Bristol, Ct. was nude only bathing. I think Jerry Sandusky applied for a lifeguard job..27 times. I was always surprised how many uncircumcised boys there were...mostly Maineards.

Julie C said...

The swim teams my kids participate in are all coed (USA swimming and high school). But as others have stated, the girls compete against girls etc. What a waste of money to have two separate teams competing in seasons, but pool size must be the reason.

One thing not mentioned here - when the kids are training together they get to know each other as athletes and human beings and some of the boy/girl stuff is less present. The kids get along very well and the boys, in particular, treat the girls in a more relaxed manner even though they are hanging around girls in bathing suits for hours at a time.

Ralph L said...

even though they are hanging around girls in bathing suits
One tends to shut down the libido when wearing a speedo.

Gene said...

ndspinelli: I was always surprised how many uncircumcised boys there were.

No reason to be surprised. They had sane parents.

The Crack Emcee said...

Equality is complicated.

Equality is a lie,...and I ask you again, Ann:

Are you really smart?

E.M. Davis said...

Equality is a lie,...and I ask you again, Ann:

Are you really smart?


Psst ... I think she's being sarcastic.

Donny said...

The wrong headline appears - It should real superior female swimmers dominate mixed gender meet. If you examined the entire results of the MIAA meet you find that girl swimmers dominated nearly all events with superior times including all girls teams against mixed relay teams. Many of the boys times were very poor compared to their female competitors. These male swimmers probably have very little training compared to their girls and without access to winter programs the times and their skills suffer. In some races the gap was nearly 10 secs or at least a quarter to half a pool length difference. In the technical strokes such as back and breaststroke the girls exceled and the mixed gender relay squads still fell to the all girl squads and by significant time gaps. The real story is girls with excellent training dominate boy swimmers. Those girls will be able to compete in the winter while the boys are prohibited from competing in their respective meet because of conference rules and lack of pool space.