Complicating matters, high schooler Joel Northrup willingly forfeited a wrestling match last February when he refused to compete against female challenger Cassy Herkelman, stating "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy('s)...accomplishments...however, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times."Sounds like that double standard again.
The courts have long held that the "males are stronger, females are weaker" defense is a misnomer—as far as the law is concerned, the issue of boys playing on girls' teams and vice versa has absolutely nothing to do with the perceived strength differential between the two sexes.
States which allowed boys to play on their school's girls' field hockey team during the 2010-2011 school year when a boys' equivalent was not offered included California (123 males on female teams), Kentucky (19), Massachusetts (36), Ohio (33) and Vermont (97).
Self-proclaimed discrimination attorney Gloria Allred has previously sued the Boy Scouts and Beverly Hills Friars Club for excluding females.
The question then becomes, is this a fair rule or is this a case of unconstitutional or otherwise illegal discrimination?
Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments specifies that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in..educational program or activity."However, the MHSAA and other associations are permitted to designate certain sports as girls-only, boys-only, co-ed mixed, or co-ed separate. Earlier this season, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association banned a 16-year-old boy from participating on his school's girls field hockey team.
Idaho, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Tennessee had additionally authorized the practice as recently as 2009.