A growing number of boys are joining girls’ high school swim teams in Massachusetts and authorities that regulate athletics aren’t quite sure what to make of it.
The Boston Globe reports that the issue became more problematic recently when a boy broke a meet record for girls’ 50-yard freestyle. With more boys on girls’ swim teams this fall than ever, the state’s Interscholastic Athletic Association is expected in January to try to figure out how to handle the new record and the overall policy.
Boys sometimes join girls’ swim teams in the fall because boys teams don’t swim then. Boys and girls have teams that compete in winter. Eight of 48 high schools in Massachusetts with girls’ swim teams this season had boys on their rosters.
Whatever the solution is, it will not involve banning boys from girls teams.
Association spokesman Paul Wetzel told The Globe that state law demands that schools provide equal access to both genders in sports, so if there is a team for only one sex, members of the other are allowed to join. The association has lost several lawsuits over this issue.
The newspaper quoted one coach, Kim Goodwin of Norwood High School, as saying that boys have “an unfair” strength advance, though it is “also unfair to have them not participate in a sport they love.”
Norwood’s girls’ team included six boys this fall.
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