Tough Girls: Are the GFS Athletics Offerings Fair?

When school starts in September, any boy in the Middle School can lace up his cleats and start or continue playing soccer for GFS. But why can’t 6th grade girls play soccer?

Well, first of all, there isn’t enough field space, according to Athletics Director Katie Bergstrom.  And also, another reason you might not have expected; “We want the girls to try a new sport,” says Bergstrom. There are 4 fall sports for girls (field hockey, cross country, soccer {7th and 8th}, and tennis {7th and 8th}) and only 2 for boys (cross country and soccer). This is why the boys get the field space for 6th grade soccer and the girls don’t. However, according to Bergstrom, girls soccer in 6th is not completely off the table if the field problem can be solved.

However, there is one sport in which field space is not an issue: GFS’s MS Wrestling team only accepts boys.

Jeff Fetterman has coached wrestling for over 20 years. He coaches the middle school wrestling team. According to Fetterman, there would be interest in girls wrestling, but there is simply not enough space. Unlike other sports, wrestling is a sport held in a single room as opposed to at Fields where there is more room for more people.

Fetterman says that he “would love to have a girls wrestling team” but the limited space will just not allow it.

There are some inequalities in GFS sports, influenced by traditional gender equalities in the real world, but the directors of GFS sports are doing the best they can to level the playing field (literally).