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Girls and unisex or girls and boys football team

(136 Posts)
r0tringLover Tue 28-Feb-17 16:59:24

I'm in a position of influence in a school and recently needed to debate with parents whether there should be continue to be a boy-only football team.

I guess the sport is irrelevant except that football is a male-dominated sport, especially in schools.

We have several girls teams which compete against other girls teams. The rules in the local league don't actually appear to exclude girls from the boys team but are clear that boys cannot play for the girls teams. I feel that this is about following the spirit of the law as opposed to the letter. Not a single team we compete with has a girl playing with the boys. I'm sure a large part of this is due to the equally good girls league with plenty of fixtures and camaraderie.

Many parents wanted the girls to be classed a closed group whereas the boys as a free-for-all Perhaps unsurprisingly, they were the same parents who will defend the need for girls to have spaces reserved for them.

Was I being unreasonable defending the need for boys to have space free from girls and any politics involved should girls be picked over boys? I'm rarely unsure about my opinions (for better or worse) but on this occasion I am doubting myself.

PurpleDaisies Tue 28-Feb-17 17:00:47

Is this primary or secondary? Above a certain age I'm sure there are rules about mixed teams.

KickingKat Tue 28-Feb-17 17:03:14

14 they can't be mixed I believe.

We do have girls only teams but they were specifically funded to get more girls into football. We also have mixed teams. No boys only teams.

KickingKat Tue 28-Feb-17 17:04:23

My DD plays on a mixed team and so ford DS. Although DD is the only girl and there is only one girl on DSs team.

She didn't want to play with just the girls as the standard of football was different.

barinatxe Tue 28-Feb-17 17:04:27

Preferably there should be a single, mixed team. If this is not realistic then there should be a team for girls-only and a team for boys-only. It would be wrong to have a girls-only team and a mixed-sex team - that would be like there being a men-only public toilet and a mixed-sex one, but no ladies-only.

SomethingBorrowed Tue 28-Feb-17 17:05:40

If girls can have their team, I can't see why boys can't have one as well.
However they need to be equal in terms of facilities, training opportunities etc. If one of the teams is advantaged it might be hard to prevent members of the "wrong" sex to want to join.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 28-Feb-17 17:06:31

If you have a girls only team I think it's fair to have a boys only team as well. Ideally also a third team for boys and girls together but appreciate this is unlikely.

SaucyJack Tue 28-Feb-17 17:06:59

How old are they?

If they're younger then I think it would be better to have an A team and a B team- with neither being sex specific.

BevGoldbergsSister Tue 28-Feb-17 17:08:08

I think it really depends on the age but I would say a boys and girls team is fine, no need to have mixed team if both are catered for.

Omgkittiess Tue 28-Feb-17 17:16:06

If there is a girls only team then there should also be a boys only one too. Why would I be fair for girls to have a boy free team but then boys not get the same?

r0tringLover Tue 28-Feb-17 17:16:09

It's primary teams but due to the age restriction, we sometimes have 1st year secondary students playing with year sixes.

As I said, the rules 'allow' it. If it happened then we'd be the first to field a girl on what is treated as a boys team if not explicitly defined.

We do have girls only teams but they were specifically funded to get more girls into football. We also have mixed teams. No boys only teams.

That is what many of the more vocal parents were pushing for but this seems entirely unfair. Without exception they were parents of daughters who would be up in arms should their girls be sidelined for whatever reason (even if purely ability) because of boys. This struck a real nerve with my sense of fairness...

barinatxe

Preferably there should be a single, mixed team.

We need multiple teams to give everyone a go. We also pick teams based on ability which would mean the majority of (weaker, slower and less able) girls wouldn't get a look-in post year 3-4. If we had multiple mixed teams it would be mostly boys in A, mixed in B and girls in C. I also think singlesex activities are beneficial to both sexes emotionally and socially.

You toilet analogy is entirely back-to-front. It would be a girls loos and a mixed.

Both teams have facilities some low-league clubs would be jealous of. This is all the way from coaching / support staff, to pitches, equipment and fixtures. Neither sex team is disadvantaged.

budgiegirl Tue 28-Feb-17 17:28:58

If there is a girls only team then there should also be a boys only one too. Why would I be fair for girls to have a boy free team but then boys not get the same?

Because this is about getting girls into sport. Many girls will be put off playing football if they are having to play with boys. This isn't generally true the other way round.

If there are only two teams, they should be a girls team and a mixed team. The mixed team should be on ability, and spaces for girls should not be reserved. In an ideal world, there should be a third team for boys only.

r0tringLover Tue 28-Feb-17 17:31:23

If there are only two teams, they should be a girls team and a mixed team. The mixed team should be on ability, and spaces for girls should not be reserved.

And this strikes you as fair?

I just don't get it and I'd kind of like to.

A girls only is a must but a boys only is something we'd like in an idela world?

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Tue 28-Feb-17 17:35:27

No. Equality is for both sexes. Girls team fine, boys team fine, mixed teams, fine. But whatever boys get girls should get and vice versa.
Boys need protected spaces just as much as girls do.

Mine all play on mixed teams.

sibys1 Tue 28-Feb-17 17:40:13

I agree with budgiegirl.

My initial thought was that, if there has to be a girls team, then there should be a boys team.

But Kat mentioned upthread that her daughter wanted to play in a mixed team because the standard was higher, and I do think a girl who is serious about having a career in football would benefit significantly from playing in a mixed team.

I'd be tempted to go with that to start and would only reconsider if a lot of girls were being picked for the mixed team (and therefore a lot of boys missing out). It's a tough one, because however it works out there'll be some unfairness, but I think the importance of helping talented girls in their career outweighs the fact that a couple of the (less able) boys might miss out.

TheOnlyLivingBoyinNewCork Tue 28-Feb-17 17:42:16

But Kat mentioned upthread that her daughter wanted to play in a mixed team because the standard was higher, and I do think a girl who is serious about having a career in football would benefit significantly from playing in a mixed team

What about a boy who wanted a career in football who wanted a boys only team because the standard was higher? Why should their ambition suffer because girls wanted to play in mixed teams to suit their ambition?

Its not that easy.

PurpleDaisies Tue 28-Feb-17 17:44:02

Will the mixed team be able to play against the local boys teams? It could mean a whole lot of boys missing out. Would the girls who were talented play for the mixed or the girls team or both?

sibys1 Tue 28-Feb-17 17:47:45

What about a boy who wanted a career in football who wanted a boys only team because the standard was higher? Why should their ambition suffer because girls wanted to play in mixed teams to suit their ambition?
If a mixed team is picked solely on merit, as it should be, then why would the standard be lower than a boys-only team?

Either the girls won't make the cut, or they'll be picked instead of less able boys. If anything a mixed team would be the higher of the two standards.

CosyNook Tue 28-Feb-17 17:54:27

Boys Team. Girls Team. That is fair.

KickingKat Tue 28-Feb-17 17:56:41

The girls team is funded by This Girl Can I believe. Lots of girls who've never played football before.

The mixed team is picked on merit but everyone has a go. Nobody is left on the bench all game. So even a beginner boy would be given a go even if it meant taking a scoring striker off (which has happened).

There would be no point in a boys only team unless a boy specifically didn't want to play with girls. The league has no rules against mixed teams so whilst they may play against teams with just boys it isn't a rule.

I think when it comes to football you don't need protected spaces for boys.

r0tringLover Tue 28-Feb-17 17:56:54

sibys1

Remember we're talking about primary teams. I think anyone who wants a career in football but isn't signed to a major youth team needs a serious meeting with a career counsellor and their parents brought onside. This isn't about producing footballers worth a gazillion pounds.

This isn't about starting out. We play in established (relatively localised) international and local school leagues.

Why do the needs of girls outweigh those of boys?

Would you feel the same way if we only had mixed teams and the girls were shunted to the bottom as would likely be the case?

PurpleDaisies

Will the mixed team be able to play against the local boys teams?

Currently, it's within the letter of the law although we'd be the first to do it.

It could mean a whole lot of boys missing out.

Not really in KS2. Boys have tended to become stronger and faster by this stage. There are a couple of girls who can run rings around the boys but they're unusual. Logistics would become twice as difficult as well as previously mentioned the politics involved and the loss of a boy only arena for the boys in the team.

Would the girls who were talented play for the mixed or the girls team or both?

I assume the mixed as it is far better than the girls team and with the best of both sexes (despite it being 90% boys) would only be improved.

r0tringLover Tue 28-Feb-17 17:59:16

x-posted

I think when it comes to football you don't need protected spaces for boys.

This seems to be the belief in most aspects of life for no good reason. In fact, I I seem to be an MRA at the moment (according to strict definitions and avoiding the negative connotations).

teenybean Tue 28-Feb-17 18:07:05

What the actual hell!!! If there is a girls only team, there should be a boys only team! How is it acceptable to be sexist towards boys? They should both be treated equally & whatever one gets, the other gets the same! (This coming from a girl who had a promising football career!)

VestalVirgin Tue 28-Feb-17 18:09:54

When it comes to schools, science has found that boys profit from being in schools with girls, while girls profit from being on girls' only schools.

So, it would probably be most beneficial to the boys to have a girls' and an unisex football team.

According to those things we know about schools, you are actually doing the girls a favour by preventing them from getting into the team with boys.
But, sure, if it feels fair to you to treat all children the same even though the outside world is very much not equal, keep the boys only team.

CosyNook Tue 28-Feb-17 18:12:35

The danger is that some boys, who are good players, may leave to go to other boys only teams teams. Thus meaning your mixed team loses its talent - and the girls don't get to play at a higher level anyway.

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