Jaime Nared is 12 years old and 6'1" tall, and the last time she played basketball against girls her age the score was 90-7. She's lucky enough to be so good that she leaves her opponents in the dust, and unlucky enough to be so good that she makes adults angry. So angry, in fact, that after a particularly stellar game in April, the boys' team she played for kicked her out. They cited a long-unenforced rule, but Jaime's parents suspect they didn't want a girl outshining the boys. After her parents threatened a lawsuit, she's back on the team, but her case raises questions about how parents and coaches should handle girls who are phenomenally athletic for their age.Like any prodigy, Jaime is in some ways isolated from her peers, as a story in the NY Times' "Play" magazine outlined this past weekend. She's taller than all the boys at school, for one — she says the tallest comes up to her chest. (Her classmates sometimes call her names like Godzilla.) And her skills on the court can inspire sexism. When Jaime fouled a boy, her mother remembers a parent yelling, "Get that girl away from him!" But playing with girls her age isn't an option, says her dad: "To be quite honest with you, it just wouldn't be fair." Her mom concurs, asking, "Particularly before puberty, why do we separate boys only, girls only? We say boys are stronger, faster, but that's a generalization." Jaime's skills — she may turn out to be the next Candace Parker, the first woman to dunk in a NCAA tournament — certainly show this to be true. So should all kids' sports be co-ed? Or is there value in separating the boys from the girls? Scary, Isn't She? [NY Times] Girl To Rejoin Boy's Basketball Team [UPI] Earlier: Awesome Oregon Girl Barred From B-Ball With The Boys
If kids' sports (actually, sports in general) are split genderifically on the basis that boys/men are stronger/faster, then it makes perfect sense that a girl who is stronger/faster/has whatever physical advantage for her sport should play with the guys.
I just don't like the implication (of segregated sports) that the men are "better" because they are stronger/faster.