Archive for April 2, 2011
Today’s Game of the Day
Apex (N.C.) at Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.)
Apex came into the 2011 season in an unaccostomed spot: not being a defending state champion. But the Cougars come into today’s contest with an 11-0 record, averaging more than 16 goals a game. Cardinal Gibbons is 9-1 this season.
Yesterday, it was announced that the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association was instituting new field hockey rules to limit the influence of male players on field hockey teams.
Two rules stand out. The first is the limitation on the number of any male players on the pitch — only as many as two boys can play during regulation, and only one in overtime.
The other is that any male on the pitch could not play the ball in the scoring circle at any time — either on offense or defense. That is, a male couldn’t be a close defender, striker or goalkeeper.
The first thought of anyone whose concern is the welfare of the sport in the country can be summed up thusly: “Is this the best they could come up with?”
After all, there are boys’ programs — in clubs and high schools — spreading all over the nation, from La Jolla, Calif. to Severna Park, Md.
Too, the MIAA has made some of the most radical changes in the sport over the last 20 years, including allowing goal-scoring from anywhere on the field, and mandating eyewear in the late 1990s. The MIAA has gone in radical directions in other sports, starting with boxing helmets for girls’ lacrosse in 1995 and a proposal to mandate headwear in girls’ soccer just last year.
I ask my friends in the American field hockey community to contact the MIAA and keep them from ruining the sport of field hockey for everybody else.
Instead of trying to figure out ways of keeping a single gender out of a sport, they should be welcoming that gender into the sport — doubling its footprint across the state of Massachusetts.
Think about it.