This is a guest column submitted through a project at Kumpf Middle School.
Lisa Leslie started playing boys’ basketball when she was at a very young age. She scored every time the ball was in her possession. Then she became the best women’s college basketball player in 1994. Girls playing boys’ sports is an idea to improve the skill level of female athletes. Yet there is controversy whether girls should participate in boys’ sports, since there are girls’ teams available. But that doesn’t stop girls from pursuing their dreams to play in and on male sports teams and leagues.
One of the reasons why female athletes decide to play on a boys’ team is because it can help improve their skill. From the source girlssoccernetwork.com, a girl name Dylan Parker has played in multiple tournaments and has participated in many practices with a boys’ soccer team. Dylan states that, “Boys play much faster than girls, so it can affect your speed of play.” As Dylan stated, being exposed and active around this advanced type of play can help improve a girls’ skill. The site also states that, “Playing with boys also inspires creativity. … When you play with them, you’ll naturally get accustomed to adding more skill in your game. This is key to college recruitment because colleges want to see something different and new.” This proves that when girls play with boys and against them, it improves their skill and can help them become more successful in trying to pursue a collegiate career in the future.
Even though there is a positive side to participating in boys’ sports, there is the controversial side. Many coaches do not accept girls to be on their team for the simple fact that they are girls. No matter their talent, skill level, hard work, or dedication, coaches do not want a girl playing on their team at all. According to baseballforall.com, Justine Siegal was just 13 years old when she was told by her baseball coach that, “She shouldn’t play baseball because she was a girl.” Justine is now the first woman ever to coach an MLB organization. The source also states, “Too many girls are still told they can’t play baseball because they are girls.” This is something that needs to be changed. Too many dreams are dying because female athletes are being told that they shouldn’t play a certain sport with another gender because they are girls. There have been some solutions to this problem, such as an organization Justine Siegal started herself called, Baseball For All. The mission of this organization is to make the opportunities of female and male athletes to play baseball equal and support girls in playing boys’ sports. I want to thank all of the coaches that allow female athletes to participate in male sports and help them succeed.
There are some famous examples of girls excelling in boys’ sports. One young 13 year old girl named Olivia Moultrie is the first 13 year old to play professional soccer for the Portland Thorns FC in the NWSL. One way she got there was by playing competitive boys’ soccer. Another girl named K-Lani Nava kicked an extra point during her high school football championship game located in Texas, the first in state history. Holly Neher, a high school quarterback, threw a pass that scored a touchdown in Florida, also a state first. This proves that girls can excel in boys’ sports and accomplish record-breaking things.
Many female athletes continue to participate in boys’ sports to this day. Many are still protesting for gender equality. But many are still being told that they shouldn’t play boys’ sports. We need to resolve this by keeping confidence and support in our female athletes. Thank you.
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