Why are boys who want to play field hockey in HS expected to wear kilts/skirts?

Discussion in 'United States' started by bpcous, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. g9

    g9 FHF Legend

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    Mavericks I think kind of slowly morphed into Dragons....MavSports is I think the legacy of all that (Ridge, you can ask Tee...I'm fuzzy on all that too). There was also Mulberry Cub which is now defunct, think that was an off-shoot of Wash. Balto's had a few splinters as well.
     
  2. Ridge

    Ridge FHF Star Player

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    then there is girls team in the area called the wolves that some of our girl dragons play on. MD hockey has such a long history. I will ask Tee tonight what all he knows. BTW how is your HS team doing g9? i c u are probably still playing and that would be the reason why u wont' be there tonight?
     
  3. g9

    g9 FHF Legend

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    We have made it to the State AA Semi-finals, but they were postponed due to all the rain and flooding at the NTC in Va Beach. So we are practicing hard through the weekend and will hit the turf there early Monday for some more brush-up time. Fortunately, we have an indoor facility with that sport turf stuff where we can practice, so that's saved us during this rain. Still not the same as the astro (well watered at this point!) though.
    The games from here on out could be a repeat of last year when we came in second in the State. Same team here at Semi's, then most likely same team again for Final if we win on Monday. Stay tuned!!
     
  4. Rallybug

    Rallybug FHF Starter

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    When I played on the Isle of Man, there were three adult leagues - Men's, Women's and Mixed, where the mixed team had to field a minimum of 5 female outfield players (goalie could be either sex), mixed cup and plate knockout tournaments, under-16 mixed and mixed indoor. The Manx Hockey league does appear to separate them into boys and girls for under-13 and under-11 leagues.

    Even primary schools (grade/elementary) get in on the act, with mixed teams (I think) for years 3 and 4 (7-9 year olds) in a competition this year (530 kids took part - not bad on an island of around 80,000 inhabitants..)
     
  5. JJS2Fly

    JJS2Fly FHF Newbie

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    In New Jersey field hockey can on be played by girls cause of title XI. And yea I could see the problem with wearing a skirt when you are a guy and you can't wear shorts. Unfortunately people of America do not have open minds about sports are for any or everyone and think that males should only play 4 sports in America. Football,basketball,baseball, and if they want to play hockey-Ice hockey


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. GK13

    GK13 FHF Legend

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    The public perception of field hockey in the US appears similar to the way lacrosse is perceived in the UK, ie predominantly a female sport, with only very limited make participation. (I understand men's lacrosse is much more prevalent across the pond.)
     
  7. MickMackUSA

    MickMackUSA FHF Newbie

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    This primary question ignores what is the best long term decision for your son. If your son wants to play field hockey in America, my advice is to avoid playing for his high school. If a young male wants to learn and play good field hockey, he should endeavor to play:
    1. on an artificial surface (there are some skills that can only be properly developed on turf)
    2. against males of his age or older and
    3. in association with a club and/or the USFHA

    This may sound like ignorance -- far from it, I am uniquely qualified to elaborate.

    BACKGROUND
    I was a kilt-wearer for Littlestown High School (PA) for '95, '96, '97. After which I became a volunteer coach for a Keystone State Games team, a U-19 club team, and my alma mater. I managed to play recreationally all over the east coast of the US whereever and whenever I could -- this included Penn State club, Balt-Wash teams, and insane 5hr-each-way drives to NYC with a teammate for 1hr of hockey in a league on Sundays. I joined the US Men's Indoor Team in 2003. In 2005, I moved to Dundee, Scotland to play for scottish club Menzieshills FHC. In 2006, I joined the US Men's Outdoor Team and moved to San Diego at the start of 2007 to train full time at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. In 2008, I finished up my hockey story by playing a few sparce games of Div 1 in Brisbane, Australia before hanging up my stick permanently and focused on my family. (Post#4 of this thread may be about me.)

    UNIFORMS
    My public high school only had funding to change/update the uniforms every 4 or so years, and guess what, I didn't play during one of those lucky seasons. The coaching staff supported me, but there was a clearly defined rule that all players must wear the same uniform. This was explained early on and the work-around was for me to where my big/long basketball shorts under my kilt during the games. I essentially forgot I was wearing it after the second game because my teammates didn't mention it and I couldn't feel it over my shorts. I should probably include the fact that any school has the power to dictate their uniform. In 1997, Central York High School had FIVE boys play on their field hockey team and CYHS simply updated the uniforms from kilts to shorts.

    SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL IMPACTS
    Did I cop verbal abuse? Oh yes, in no small measure. During school, outside of school, during games - both on field and from the stands, and the heckling bled through to the other sports I played. Once you are known as that boy who cross-dresses to play hockey, people don't forget you. Did this impact my emotions and behaviors? Certainly. Being falsely accused of being homosexual was a continual haunt. Even if no one was saying it, I believed there were those who were thinking it. This drove me to be rude and macho in my language and behavior regarding women, which would have been rather hideous to observe by any onlooker. If there is a silver lining in my torments, it is that I can instantly identify if someone is attacking me simply to elicit a reaction and so now it is very hard to get under my skin with mere words.

    DETERENCE
    Is the kilt a tactical deterent for high school boys? Very likely. My high school didn't offer boys volleyball, and by Title IX if there is no male equivalent sport, they must be permitted the opportunity to play. Loads of boys like volleyball, so what's stopping them from pooring in? The uniform -- it is typically a tshirt tucked into spandex shorts. I would confidently assert that nearly all teenage boys would shy away from looking like they've just shoplifted something from the produce department to join the volleyball team. (though I am surprised the high school wrestlers don't seem to mind their no-mystery singlets) Tight fitting uniforms for volleyball and wrestling make sense for functional reasons, but the bottomline is that the kilt helps to maintain the status quo.

    DANGEROUS MALES
    I felt scrutinized when I played simply for being male. If someone was hurt because of a play I was part of, there were those that would quickly claimed that I was evil, dangerous, and bad for the game. To extinguish the possibility of wearing these labels, I found myself making push passes when hitting the ball was more appropriate. The unpredictable surface of natural grass meant that even if I hit a good flat ball, one tuft of grass or bald patch could ramp the ball into another player and the onus of the injury would fall on me. My strategic adjustment found my hitting skills to be underdeveloped and became a detriment to my performance going forward.

    REWARDS
    Were there good times? Many. My school had a strong field hockey program for the area and our successes continued while I was involved. I made friendships that I would have otherwise missed, and gained unique experiences that other boys didn't have access to.

    ATHLETE DISPLACEMENT
    Was I "taking another girl's spot"? Technically yes, but not in a way different to if a new student made the starting 11. I'd also argue that I lifted the performance of all of the girls that I played with and against. One boy does minimal displacement to the all girl roster, but if you have 5 or 10 boys join the team for a season and they are deemed good enough to sit out their female counterparts, then you will surely see parent outrage (girls can earn college scholarships, boys can't), coach stress/dilemma, and disheartened players.

    DELUSIONS OF GREATNESS
    I was very, very small because I was a late bloomer (or else I would have played football with all of my friends) so I was not the biggest person on the field hockey team. I was quite athletic and very fast, but we had a track star on the team who pretty much equaled my sprint speed. That said, let's not kid ourselves, in all sports where speed, size, and/or power provides an advantage, postpubescent males play on a higher level than females for biological reasons. If this was not true, the Olympic games (and many other sporting institutions) would not separate the sexes. And it is this truth that justifies any sex split on participants as well as any rules that dictate fairness in mixed sex events. To the point of this paragraph, because I had an advantage in most match ups versus my opponent factoring my speed,power,and coordination, I did not need to concentrate on developing existing or new skills to be successful. I spent years erroneously/arrogantly believing I was the cream of the crop; that is, before I moved to Scotland and was rudely awaked by the all-adult, all-male competitive hockey scene. As it turned out, I was absolutely rubbish on the international stage because my athletic edge had been minimized or eliminated by my competitors. What a fall for me. It shook the very fabric of my love for field hockey. With this new clarity, I vowed to give up field hockey when I returned to the US in mid-2006. It is this consequence that is probably the strongest argument for boys to avoid playing girl's high school field hockey. For completeness, I should also state that when I was selected to join the Men's US Team in 2006 (broke my vow to quit for US field hockey fame), my morale spiked up and I felt validated in my abilities. Unfortunately, this story ends poorly. I was on the team, but because my skills were obviously lower than the international standard, I had a negative impact on training sessions and international performance. I wholly believe that if I would have competed on an appropriate level in my youth, I would have represented my country better and would probably still be playing and coaching today.

    CHALLENGING PATHWAYS
    Now what will happen to your son when he finishes high school and still loves field hockey (as I did)? He cannot play collegiate hockey. The locality of playing opportunities will almost certainly vanish. American leagues are literally few and far between. I do recommend international competition if you can manage it, but how many people can? The USFHA does try to grow the game, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of traction. The feeder programs fizzle out when players realize the distance, cost, and commitment required. Male field hockey in the USA never seems to build up the critical mass to gain appropriate attention and impact American sport culture.

    A COMPROMISE
    If you don't like my edgy response and feel boys should be able to play for their high school just for fun, then I'll offer a feathered response. If a young boy wants to try hockey, let him have a taste with the girls. If he likes it, shift him out of the high school scene as soon as possible and locate the nearest possible mostly male or fully male competitions. Get into the game, then get out of the girls' competition.
     
  8. peterwins

    peterwins FHF Legend

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    Mick

    Are you ready for some masters hockey when you turn 40? Thanks for the thoughtful analysis of what is obviously an emotion filled topic for you.

    Hope life in Aus is treating you well n
    Peter
     
  9. MickMackUSA

    MickMackUSA FHF Newbie

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    I have to appreciate your passion for recruitment, Peter. I guess I should never say never, but I haven't parted stick from bag in years. Last time I stepped on a pitch, I found difficulty adapting to the self pass rule - it scrambled my instincts and left me muddled in both offensive and defensive situations. I am not sure I would be of any benefit, but thank you for the offer. Good to hear from you Peter, I hope you are doing well too.
     

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