Much to the delight of a pair of Pittsburgh lawyers who reportedly grew tired of watching boys outperform their teenage daughter in field hockey, a Pennsylvania judge cleared the way for the state's athletic association to ban high school boys from playing against girls.
For two years, attorneys Mary and Jim Grenen have argued their case against boys playing on girls' teams -- citing the competitive edge, a greater risk of injury and fewer opportunities for girls -- according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.
On Tuesday, Judge B. Kevin Brobson essentially reversed a 1975 ruling that allowed boys to compete against girls under the Pennsylvania Equal Rights Amendment, effectively clearing the way for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association to ban such behavior at their next meeting in October, the Post-Gazette reported.
"I feel this is a big step in the right direction," Mary Grenen told the publication, "and will allow the PIAA to put some common-sense rules in place to keep playing fields level and to ensure that girls do not lose opportunities to play sports."
Three years ago, a German born male, Cornelius Tietze, led Wyoming Seminary (Forty Fort, Pa.) to a state championship in field hockey, once again bringing national attention to an issue that has long been debated in high school playing arenas across the country.
Neighboring states New Jersey and New York have issued similar decrees, banning boys from playing on their school's girls' field hockey and volleyball teams. Those rulings even went so far as to say boys are "too strong" to compete with girls, and Massachusetts actually created specific rules for the boys participating in girls' sports.
In a survey sent to its 1,470 member schools, the PIAA surprisingly discovered nearly a third of respondents reported boys participating on girls' teams, including field hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and tennis, the Post-Gazette said.
For now, at least, it doesn't appear the PIAA will address the issue of girls playing on boys' teams, as tennis star Claire Uhle did for Ambler (Pa.) Wissahickon High last year.
I smell a Ladybugs sequel.