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May 24, 2010

Five Ridiculous Things in This Girls' Flag Football Article


1. The title: No Tackling, but a Girls’ Sport Takes Some Hits. Haven't all possible tackling-related cutesy puns been used? Can we declare a moratorium?

2. "But rather than applaud the new opportunities, some women’s sports advocates call it a dead-end activity." Supposedly, flag football is less worthy because you can't do it professionally. This kind of thinking about school sports drives me nuts. Everyone, let's take a deep breath and admit the fact that odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the fact that no student in your high school is going to become a professional athlete, regardless of sport. That isn't the point of having sports programs, just as training professional musicians isn't the point of having a high school band.

3. "But one advocate for women’s sports said that by recognizing sports like flag football, administrators were artificially pumping up girls’ participation numbers." Wait, what? They're participating, right? And they're not being forced into it or anything? How is this artificially pumping up numbers?

4. "Its popularity has led to grumbling by coaches of other spring sports, who say they have lost their best athletes to flag football." Doesn't sound like that's saying something bad about flag football. It sounds like the other sports need to do better marketing themselves, or, I don't know, be more fun.

5. "Ms. Hogshead-Makar, who also serves as the senior director for advocacy at the Women’s Sports Foundation, said girls missed the educational benefits if they did not take a sport seriously." This, of course, following quotes from actual girls saying they like the sport because there's less pressure. I mean, sure, I suppose you could say there's an educational benefit to undergoing that sort of pressure, but the main benefits of playing sports - exercise, strategic thinking, teamwork - are the same regardless of whether the athletes are worried about getting scholarships.

(That does, however, make me wonder about one issue not mentioned in the article. When some sports at a high school can lead to college scholarships and others can't, does team make-up end up being split along socioeconomic lines to any extent? Anyone know if there's research out there on this?)

Posted by Kat at May 24, 2010 11:00 AM
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