Good intentions fade over time, clash with Title IX


The Appalachian Online

Dewey Mullis

The discussion of gender-based discrimination usually pertains to women being under-compensated compared to men. But in the case of coed intramural soccer here at Appalachian State University, the opposite is posing a concern.

While men receive the standard one point for scoring a goal, women are awarded two points. It’s a form of discrimination that, at first glance, isn’t what we are used to. Women receiving more than men on the basis of gender?

The rule came about with good intentions – 20 years ago. Originally a way to recruit more females onto the field, it is now in contrast with Title IX anti-discrimination expectations, according to Kate Rhudy, a sophomore music therapy major.

Rhudy, who plays coed intramural soccer, is hopeful for a change in the existing policy. “I don’t want to be passed to because of my sex. It changes the game’s focus from teamwork to strategy and how we can get girls to score more goals,” Rhudy said.

The problem here is simple: a small rule that had good intentions is now discriminatory and should be revised so to coincide with today’s expectations of equality.

This briefly-stated and often overlooked rule puts both men and women in a set of circumstances outside of the usual flow of the game. In order to produce the best possible chance that a girl will score the points, guys and girls strategically play positions they may not enjoy or may not get to fulfill the responsibilities usually associated with a specific role.

For some men, it deemphasizes their role on a team that is supposed to be equal among the sexes.

For some women, it creates the idea that they are less skilled or able and thus should be rewarded for their keeping-up with men.

I’ve played sports against girls and I will be the first to admit that many of them can, will and sometimes have run me over. Naturally, my ego is temporarily bruised, but it doesn’t diminish the spirit of competition.

The true spirit of competition is possibly what this point system hurts the most. It is in our evolutionary history to need the experience of raw competition. We are compelled to rally back in the midst of defeat and triumph in the thrills of victory.

I mentioned that the problem is simple. Likewise is the solution: champion the meaning of competition and level the playing field.

Mullis, a senior criminal justice major from Wallburg, is an opinion writer.