Getting women involved in sports in the 21st century is as easy as ever and the intramural sports program at Keene State College is no different.
However, there are rules implemented in this program to ensure that women are encouraged to play.
One rule that is set in place is two points for every one goal scored by a female in sports like soccer. This is meant to allow females to participate more intensely within the league.
“The idea behind the rule is to encourage teams to get females involved in the game action. A lot of our female participation comes from co-rec activities, and in some sports we don’t have enough interest to run women’s only leagues, so we want to make sure that our female participants are getting an opportunity to play,” Coordinator of Intramural Sports and Sport Clubs, Nick D’Amato said.
Although this rule is meant to encourage female participants, there is some pushback from some of the league’s more involved players.
“It could be argued that the rule is in place to encourage girls to play and there is always a lower turnout for girls, but there are also many girls in the leagues that can score more than the boys in the league,” female participant Natasha Schwartzkopff said.
It is a common rule at several other colleges, according to D’Amato, and is not specific to KSC’s intramural leagues.
From a female’s perspective, Schwartzkopff said she feels that the rule is unfair because women can play just as well, if not better than, some men in the league.
However, from a male participant’s perspective, it is unfair that a goal for a female is encouraged more.
“I think that points should be equal regardless of gender,” male participant Noah Macri said.
D’Amato said he knows the female participants are just as skilled, but intramural sports are also meant to be fun.
However, there is also the issue that men may try to have more women on the team, or pass them the ball for the sole purpose of getting more points during a game.
“I certainly understand that there are a lot of females who participate in our activities who are skilled enough and whose teammates understand those skills and would get them involved regardless of goals being worth extra points,” D’Amato said.
The rules don’t change often, but students do have a chance to provide feedback at the end of each season though an online system, according to D’Amato.
“Maybe an alternative could be that points are awarded based off of the difficulty of the goal,” Macri said.
“We’re always looking at how rules are working and how rules are applied by our staff throughout the season in case they need to be clarified,” D’Amato said.
Schwartzkopff said that the league is coed and should be treated as such and that no one would base point scoring off of hair color or a person’s ethnicity.
“It should be changed to a fair one-to-one score. There is no reason a team should get another point because of the person who scored it,” Schwartzkopff said.
Mary Curtin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org