Girls Soccer Players Against Title IX

Maybe that headline might be a bit of an oversimplification, but it’s hard to come to any other conclusion after reading an article that appeared this weekend in Five Boro Sports about how a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of just three Soccer players is going to force the entire city to switch their season from Spring to Fall — a switch that’s going to create all sorts of problems when it comes to fields and scheduling.

As it turns out, though the NYCLU trumpeted its suit as a victory for girls, a reporter who actually spent some time talking to those same Soccer players discovered that there was absolutely no support for the switch:

One of the big topics of conversation at the 16th annual Queens Kiwanis Cup girls’ soccer tournament Saturday afternoon was that it would be the final one ever. Because the PSAL girls’ soccer season will be moving from the spring to the fall starting in September, there will not be enough time or field space to hold the event.

In response to the unpopular switch, which became official when the Department of Education signed a deal with the New York Civil Liberties Union in January, players at the Kiwanis Cup wore black armbands.

“It’s an honor of something dying,” said Forest Hills coach Bob Sprance, whose school hosted the tourney. “The spring season is dying.”

Why is that happening? In short, there simply aren’t enough fields to accomodate everyone in the Fall:

Fearing litigation, the DOE signed a deal with the NYCLU and the switch will take effect for the 2009 fall season. There seem to be more people against it than for it, though. Sprance, with the help of other coaches, has distributed surveys to many girls’ and boys’ soccer players across the city and he says he has 2,000 of them at his home that are against the change.

God forbid anyone ask these kids or their parents what they actually want. Instead, a small knot of activists get to dictate terms to 1,600 other players.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Newtown senior Kathy Cano said. “We’re the players. Why shouldn’t we get a say?”

Added Forest Hills junior Dalila La Commare: “We don’t have enough field space, we don’t have enough referees. We’re missing a lot of things.”

Sprance announced Saturday that he’s organizing a protest for May 20 at City Hall. He’s asking for girls’ soccer, boys’ soccer and football players to come out and wear their uniforms. Football will also be affected, because girls’ soccer will probably have to be played on weekends due to the lack of space.

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