Anna Scanlon, the 6 1/2-year-old Fairfax County soccer player who was banned from the boys' team of a private club, will be allowed to play after all, according to her father and to club officials.
"We feel very positive about it," said Bill Scanlon, a medical school economist. "It will mean Anna gets to play with her friends again, and that the level of competition will be the same for both boys and girls." At issue was a policy of The Fairfax Police Youth Club Inc., which allowed 5- and 6-year-old girls and boys to play coed soccer, but segregated older children.
Club officials have said the policy was not discriminatory because girls were not being told they couldn't play soccer. Still, last Thursday, the club reversed its stance not only for soccer, but for the other sports it offers, including wrestling, basketball, football and softball. Girls of any age can now play on either a boys' or girls' team.
"Most people are happy with it, yes," said George Reid, the club president. "Some people wanted it to apply to only one sport, but we decided it would be better to resolve the whole problem and go club-wide."
The club, a private, nonprofit, volunteer organization that serves an estimated 1,700 soccer players a season and has no official police ties, had said that separation of the sexes eventually becomes necessary because boys, as they grow, become rougher and stronger.