A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Opinion, Sports

Could high school sports be coed?

Many people have made up their minds on whether or not girls and boys should be able to play sports together. Some are in favor because they believe the inclusive nature of coed sports benefits both genders, and some are against because of the belief that it hurts rather than helps one gender over another.

Some of the most common misconceptions that people believe about boys and girls playing together and against one another is that girls will get hurt by the ‘rough nature’ of boys and that boys won’t be able to efficiently build their skill levels if they play with girls.

Many people have never played on an organized coed team. And some don’t realize skill levels are not gender-specific and that a more diverse team helps players to be more supportive, open-minded and understanding of one another, even if there are some struggles along the way.

In high school their are few sports where girls and guys get the opportunity to play sports together. Some of those sports include track and cross country. However, other sports such as swimming, tennis, golf and several other sports could bring both genders together.

Coed teams encourage mutual respect between genders. They also motivate athletes to compete and train together for the benefit of the team. This encourages an athlete to take pride in his or her accomplishments. Team players can learn from one another, particularly from differences in the ways males and females process information. Coaches who encourage this spirit of equality between players can nurture all players to do their best and pull together to succeed.

Some schools have learned that offering coed teams allows more players to play for a smaller total cost. Coed teams can mean smaller coaching staffs than what would be needed for separate teams. Coed teams also reduce complications in scheduling competitions in terms of apportioning time and space on playing fields. Additionally, these teams could mean that girls or guys will get more of an opportunity at the sport if a school does not have enough female or male players players to build a team. Ultimately, the benefits of coed teams far outweigh the arguments against them.