Dighton-Rehoboth School District Unanimously Approved Policy That Will Protect Females in Sports

Last week, the Dighton-Rehoboth school committee unanimously approved a policy update that allows coaches and student-athletes to choose whether to compete against teams that include athletes of the opposite sex. The policy states that no coach or student-athlete of a single-sex team shall be penalized by the District with the loss of playing time, starting status, or other penalties for forfeiting or refusing to play against a team that includes athletes of the opposite sex.

Every year in Massachusetts, female student-athletes are subjected to unfair and unsafe playing environments because they are forced to compete against male athletes.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) is the governing body that makes rules for school sports. Its rulebook currently requires that if there is no equivalent boys’ team in a sport, male athletes must be allowed to play on the girls’ team, with no exceptions. It also requires that males who identify as female be allowed to compete on the girls’ team.  In these cases, biological females are put at an unnecessary and increased risk of injury. 

Common sense tells us that girls should compete with other girls, yet the MIAA seems determined to prioritize ideology over the health of their female student-athletes.

Massachusetts is the only state to have such radical rules.

Many girls have been deeply affected by these unfair rules. Some have been displaced from teams or forced to play against teams with unfair advantages. But most shocking are the horrific injuries that many girls have experienced as a result of playing against biological males.

Earlier this year we reported that KIPP Academy in Lynn, MA had a male player on its girls’ basketball roster, even though the school offered a boys’ program. The player was reported to be more than 6 feet tall and towered over the girls on the team. During a game between KIPP and Collegiate Charter School of Lowell, Collegiate’s coach opted to forfeit the game, leaving at halftime. When asked why the team left, Collegiate’s Athletic Director Kyle Pelczar stated the coach felt his players were getting injured throughout the game and he needed to preserve the players’ health for their upcoming playoffs.

While both schools declined to comment on whether the male player was directly responsible for the injuries, a video surfaced of the game that clearly showed the male player injuring at least one female player.

Further investigation revealed that this male player also played on KIPP Academy’s volleyball and track teams, where he dominated female competition.

We also told you back in November 2023 about a male field hockey player from Swampscott who seriously injured a female Dighton-Rehoboth player during a varsity game. The video of that injury was particularly striking in its severity.

Male athletes have natural physical advantages over females in sports. When female athletes are forced to play against males during competition, they face dangerous and unfair consequences by risking injury and losing their hard-earned ranking.

We are grateful for the commonsense policy update in the Dighton-Rehoboth School District that will now offer coaches and athletes a choice when facing an opposing team that includes players of the opposite sex. We hope that other Massachusetts school districts will be inspired by Dighton-Rehoboth and implement the same policy.

It’s time for the MIAA to do what is right. It’s time they protect girls’ sports. MFI has put together a petition that demands that they do just that. Make your voice heard by signing it today and emailing the MIAA directly! And please share this petition with your family and friends!

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