Girls Soccer (Some folks call it football)
There was a recent kerfuffle at a girls’ soccer tournament somewhere in Bumfunk, USA. One little girl who was apparently the star of her team was disqualified as the roster mistakenly had her gender as male and as a young girl who had short hair and can run like the wind, opposing parents complained she (he) should be disqualified and in fact the whole team was disqualified.
OMG! First of all, why are players on an all-girls team even required to list gender, and if you wanted to cheat and sneak a boy onto an all-girls team, why would you list that player as a male?
When this girls gender was challenged, the father provided a birth certificate as proof that she is a girl. Not good enough, the typo was cause for disqualification, because accuracy on a form is SO important to competitive eight-year-old girls. I hope the opposing team parents put their daughter’s trophy’s in a place of honor!
This story reminded me of my son’s eight-year-old travel soccer team. In those days there were no girls teams. Girls played with the boys if they were good enough. On Matt’s team, there were two girls who were good enough. One in fact might have been the best player on the team. At eight years old, before hormones kick in, girls are not at a physical disadvantage as they are in later years.
This one little girl had the same short hair style as the girl in the Bumfunk, USA tournament. In virtually every match, she was the fastest runner on the field and was as skilled as any player. Susie was cute as a button, but the fiercest competitor I have ever seen.
Even though eight-year-old girls are as athletically capable as the boys, boys are brought up to assume that girls can’t keep up with them in sports. We used this fact to our advantage in tournaments.
It does not take long in a soccer game to see who is the other team’s best player. Susie was generally assigned to guard this player. One particular tournament, the best player on the other team was extra good, and extra cocky. This kid had attitude and was strutting his stuff, but still Susie cut him off at every rush to the goal. He did not like this and started to play a little rough with this kid who we had guard him.
Susie was not one to back down. She knew how to use her elbows as well as anyone and more than held her own with this “tough” guy.
The best part of the game was when Susie scored a goal against this “star.” Our entire core of fans burst out cheering,
“Way to go SUSIE.”
“Atta GIRL SUSIE!”
“You show’em girl.”
The look on the other team’s star player was classic. It was one thing to have another player steal his thunder, but when he realized the other player was a GIRL! OMG!!
I don’t remember if we won the game or not, I do remember for the whole game making sure this cocky player on the other team knew that he was getting his butt kicked by a GIRL!
In retrospect, it may not have been very nice or mature for parents to taunt an eight-year-old and get in his head to throw off his game…oh screw it, winning is the important thing!