Why are boys who want to play field hockey in HS expected to wear kilts/skirts?

Discussion in 'United States' started by bpcous, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. bpcous

    bpcous FHF Newbie

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    My cousin moved to the US from the UK just a few weeks ago. He has played field hockey over there for 3-4 years now and even played for his school. He wants to continue playing but found that in his HS there is only a girl's team. He approached the coach and found out that under Title IX in PA he can play on the girl's team since there is no alternative team available, although as I understand it now the school district has to actually approve this too. But she then told him that if he was to play on the team he'd have to wear the same uniform as the girl's which includes a hockey skirt.

    When I first heard this I thought it was a joke or must be wrong. But he told me that is what the coach had told him. Then I started to look around on Google and saw it was true, not just in one or two cases, but in almost all cases where boys play on the HS teams. This is true for MA too it seems. And the more I dug around the more I found quite a few examples of this.

    So I guess my question is, why? Surely this must be a huge deterrent to boys playing. Why couldn't they wear shorts of a matching or similar color/style to the team? Is there really a strong case why it should be this way or is it really just to deter boys from playing on the HS teams? And how do the boys deal with it in general? Do they get a lot of teasing or bullying or does it die down? It seems to be something that has been accepted for a long time and there seems no strong move to change or oppose it. Again is there a reason for that, or is it that it's just so hard for boys to even get to play on the teams anyway that they are willing to not rock the boat any more once they get in that position?
     
  2. mani

    mani FHF Legend

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    Please tell me this is a joke.
    someone?
     
  3. Wikileats

    Wikileats FHF Top Player

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    I don't think it is Mani, I seem to remember something similar on the forum a while ago.
    It's such a ridiculous rule to impose.
     
  4. JiMMM

    JiMMM FHF Regular Player

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    I don't think it's a joke either, I'm sure there was an article about it in the local player when a US bloke started playing Div 1 in Brisbane ad I'm this practice was mentioned in the article. Unfortunately I can't find the article of course.
     
  5. bpcous

    bpcous FHF Newbie

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    Sadly it's not a joke. Not even close. If you do a google for example you will find plenty of examples and it's not even hearsay, it's press articles and if you search on some of the teams you can even find pics. It's true.
     
  6. braxer001

    braxer001 FHF Legend

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    That's ... useless!

    I'm starting to see why fieldhockey will remain a girls sport in the US, with rules like these, who can blame the guys?
     
  7. g9

    g9 FHF Legend

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    Exactly. There is an incredibly strong bias against boys getting into the sport, and this is yet another expression of that. Here, 99% of the hockey is played at a school district level (several schools playing each other regularly to determine a district champ, then on to regional competition of district winners and then finally state championships). So schools can enforce these kinds of rules as they are totally separate from the US system (another bad thing for the sport IMHO!). US hockey, the year-round travel club teams and recreational systems are only just beginning to open up doors for boys to get into the sport and due to the separate systems, it will take a long time to make a dent on the high school establishment.

    Even at the adult level in our area we still see entrenched bias that mixed hockey--MIXED hockey!!!--have no more than 2 men on an 11-person team and GK can be a third, but men cannot take penalty strokes against women, nor women against men.....ridiculous!! There are those of us that are trying to chip away at this, but sadly the country is nowhere near having an equal playing field for boys in the sport.

    Ridge will hopefully weigh in on his experience with playing on his HS team in PA.
     
  8. controller

    controller FHF Legend

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  9. Dan

    Dan FHF Regular Player

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    Hey, I consider kilts to be a minor issue given that in our town boys aren't allowed to play at all in school.

    It would be nice if USA Field Hockey would show some leadership for the good of the sport and try to get more schools to allow boys to play (and in HS I think that something along the lines of what G9 was complaining about might actually work: set a limit of boys on the field so it stays a girls' or mixed sport). USFH is doing a little bit to provide options for boys and men but it really seems like very little.

    In the adult mixed tournaments I've played in, it's a maximum of 5 men in the outfield. It seems to work. I have heard about the league that G9 is talking about on the east coast and have heard others grumble about the number of men allowed (and I've heard that from women, not men).
     
  10. nathan06

    nathan06 FHF Regular Player

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    this, and the 2nd link controller posted, is quite frankly disgusting.
     
  11. g9

    g9 FHF Legend

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    Dan, we are hoping to buck the system at our upcoming play date and have it truly mixed. Might upset some, but our team is heavily men and we like it that way!
    I agree with you that US is doing very little, but at least they are starting. Really, to have the schools and the national system separate I think is what keeps any progress from hitting the mainstream...very frustrating!
     
  12. Dan

    Dan FHF Regular Player

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    G9, that's great. One of our new players just moved from that league and suggested we talk to people about the number of men if we wanted to play in one of your tournaments. Nice to hear that those discussions are also happening internally. We're too far away to play in your leagues, though. I think the closest team might be Pittsburgh which is a 6 hour drive.
     
  13. g9

    g9 FHF Legend

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    I'm up for Pittsburgh! Great city!
    But yes, we are doing our part to bring down the wall! Invite just went out for two pools, one with the old 2 men/team and another with unlimited....woohoo!! Of course, we still have grass so can't reinvent the world order all in one day!
     
  14. Dan

    Dan FHF Regular Player

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  15. Ridge

    Ridge FHF Star Player

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    Well, here I am. I play for my high school team in here in PA and yes I do have to wear the skirt. I did not used to call it the skirt until recently when we got a uniform change. Until then it was a kilt to me because I could wear shorts and then just wrap that thing around my waist and it wasn't a big deal to me. Now though, we got a new uniform made by under armour. guess what, it's that spandex material they make. Well I was really upset by this, so I went out and bought myself a pair of under armour shorts of the same color and material. I wore that for a few games with no complaints from anyone. then my principal decided to show up to one of our games and it went downhill. I was pulled out of the game and made to put on that thing before I could go back in. well since then me and the principal have come to an understanding, and by that I mean I get away with what I can, I wear shorts over top of the skirt and just pull out the frilly skirt thing over top of my shorts and no one says a word. It is frustrating for me because I think it is a deterrent to other guys who would like to play. As for the teasing, a little smash in their unguarded shins with my stick fixed that problem, and now that I am a senior, if anyone would dare pick on me, they would find themselves tied to the back of the net with me practice my drag flicks, but that is another story.

    does anyone have any more questions for me? i would be happy to help anyone out who is interested in my experiences
     
  16. sase-31-19

    sase-31-19 FHF Regular Player

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    Thats just horribly unfair!!
    Over here boys can't play in a girls league, anyway (though girls can play in a boys one >.>) but if they COULD, I HIGHLY doubt that at least my province would make them wear skirts.
    Often even our school girls team is a mixture of skirts and shorts :rolleyes: there's a number of second xi girls who refuse to wear skirts. and when the first xi sub down, they stick with their skirts
    Considering our GIRLS refuse the skirts, I can't imagine them trying to put boys in them.
    I think this is grossly unfair and if they're the same colour/style etc it should be perfectly okay for them to wear shorts!!
     
  17. garli

    garli FHF Staff

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    Why do girls refuse to wear them?
     
  18. Mr Bean

    Mr Bean FHF Regular Player

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    Maybe they dont feel comfortable in them? I only see a selection of ladies/girls wearing skirts here in the UK.. the majority wear shorts.

    Btw that wasnt meant to sound sarcy ^ :)
     
  19. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    Re: Why are boys who want to play field hockey in HS expected to wear kilts/skir

    "Only a selection"? You mean, only the entire National League and BUCS?
     
  20. sase-31-19

    sase-31-19 FHF Regular Player

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    hahaha i like it rofl

    a lot of the girls dont like them cos they say they're awkward to run in, and others are just self-conscious about them blowing up during a match
    (even though we all wear bike shorts underneath)
     

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