A Change of course (Boys vs. Girls in Sports)

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Girls versus boys. Since childhood this has been the largest competitive issue, and remains to be, especially in regards to high school athletic programs. This past summer it has come to the attention of Michigan communities that girl athletes are not receiving the same opportunity for recognition and scholarships as their fellow male athletes, due to nontraditional scheduling by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA). Michigan communities for Equity believes that this form of scheduling is a violation of the fourteenth amendment, "which prohibits gender-based discrimination in federally funded education programs." The current schedule for girls basketball and swimming and diving season is in the fall rather than the winter as the remaining states. This may not seem to be a problem in the view of some but after reviewing the facts it shows this style of scheduling is a kind of discrimination towards woman athletes.

One good reason the girls athletic schedule should be changed to correspond with the male athletes schedule is because girl athletes do not collect the earned recognition they truly deserve.

First, the girls athletic seasons are restricted up to three weeks, with a reduction of training and opportunities to further develop their skills. Secondly, their chances to participate in any recognized tournaments and or exhibitions are withheld due to the fact that these tournaments and exhibitions are scheduled outside of the girls athletic schedule. During these tournaments and exhibitions is the time when any recruiters will evaluate and recruit the top players. If for some reason a girl athlete should participate in these types of events, which is very unlikely, the girl loses any momentum of physical training she accomplished during her season during the time lapse.

Another good reason the girl athletic schedule should be approved to be consistent with the male athletic schedule would be because girl athletes miss an opportunity for college scholarships. The explanation for this is that most colleges have a registration date that occurs earlier than the girls even kick off their season. Recruiting begins when girls are no longer in season which means that no college recruiter can evaluate or even contact the girl athlete or their coaches.

To some people this appears only to be a scheduling inconsistency instead of discrimination. Yes, there are still girl athletes who receive recognition and scholarships with this method of scheduling, but how many truly do? The solution to this question is not many. If the schedule were to be changed there could be many more deserving girl athletes that could benefit from the opportunity to have a college scholarship. What if the schedule were to be altered, where would the girl athletes practice, the boy athletes? Not every school has efficient space to provide for both to train during the same time. The answer to this is simple. The Athletic Association could acquire use of a gym from a sister facility, possibly a middle school or even an elementary school. Most high school students have forms of transportation to arrive at these places. An additional option could be to achieve a schedule with specific time frames. For example, the girl athletes can use the gym on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays directly after school and the boys could use the gym around 6 pm and vice versa on the remaining days.

It has been decided by the sixth circuit court that the technique of scheduling the Michigan High School Athletic Association uses to schedule the girls athletic season is discriminating in some ways. Although, the Michigan High School Athletic Association has many supporters, I will admit I am not one of them. With all things considered, there are many positive advantages as well as negative advantages for the girl athletic schedule to be arranged the same way as the male athletic schedule, but it just does not appear to be non-discriminatory that the male athletes are gaining more attention and opportunities than the girl athletes. Neither is more deserving of these much needed and wanted desires. With in this mind, please ponder this question: how much longer must America carry on this charade of boy versus girl?