Lisa Glascock, 8, yesterday became the first girl to win permission to play club football in Arlington County.
The county Recreation Department directed coaches to allow girls to play football on the county's 21 boys' teams after Lisa was kicked out of a game Saturday and her case became something of a local cause celebre.
Although she had practiced with the Black Knights (under 70 pounds) team since August, county recreation officials refused to let her play with the team last week. They cited a longstanding policy excluding girls from participation in contact sports and something referred to as the "missing parts" rule.
Gloria Glascock, Lisa's mother, explained, "My husband, Carl, was called by (assistant sports supervisor) Chick McPherson and told that players missing an eye or an arm or a testicle couldn't play. We just laughed, but it was real embarrassing, especially when we had to explain it to Lisa."
McPherson was unavailable for comment but county sports supervisor Larry Hale, who said he asked McPherson to call Glascock, said: "I did not hear that conversation but Chick may have cited that as the only rule he could find."
Hale personally halted last Saturday's Black Knights vs. Bear Cats game with two minutes remaining when coach Sam Fox sent Lisa in to play at the end of the last quarter. Gloria Glascock said, "We agreed Sam could put her in if the game looked hopeless. When the score was 20-0 he put her in and Larry (Hale) said . . . 'If you put that girl in I'm going to stop the game.'"
Hale said, "I have never personally had any problems with girls participating but it has been our policy since 1971 that girls would not be allowed to play contact sports."
"I stopped the game because I was unsure of where the county or I stood in terms of liability if she were hurt. I had asked Carl Glascock and the coach to wait a week and not play her while I made a decision, but they took it upon themselves to discount my directive," Hale said.
Coach Sam Fox said he sent Lisa in to play the final minutes of the game because, "I hadn't seen any rules saying girls couldn't play. She was part of the team, she'd been practicing since Aug. 22. I let the boys vote and they all said she should play."
Hale said that a policy review, including the "resurrection" of a 1974 letter from two medical advisers led to the revision of the no-girls policy. The letter recommends that qualified girls be allowed to play contact sports on boys' teams where there are no comparable all-girl teams.
Hale said, "I just happened to run across (the letter) this morning in our files. I don't remember seeint it before."
Constance McAdam, chief of the county Recreation Department, said that Lisa is the first girl to try out for the football team. "It's never become an issue until this time," she said. Hale said that girls or parents who inquired previously about playing on boys' teams were told that girls were excluded.
Lisa, of 1555 28th St. South, was voted most valuable player by the Black Knights baseball team for the 1977, season. She said she is "very happy" to be on the football team. She was asked if the boys mind having a girl on their team. "No, they don't care," she said.