Playing Field Hockey: Men vs. Women

Being pushed to the ground and completely dominated by the opposite sex in a so-called “all women’s sport” is not fun. Men believe that it is fair to play field hockey on women’s teams because if not it goes against the whole “everyone being equal” our society has put amongst us today. The number of men playing field hockey on women’s teams is increasing: “In the 2009-10 school year, according to a survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations, 308 boys were on girls teams compared with 174 the year before” (USA Today).
Men should not play field hockey because it’s not a fair game and is dangerous. There are plenty of other male sports, like ice hockey, in which they can interact in. I have had first-hand experience playing against men in high school and it gave me a strong opposition to men playing field hockey. Many might not want to believe it but men and woman are capable of different things. Men are better at some things and women are better at other things.
Men should not play field hockey because men and women have a different skill sets in power, speed, stamina and skill. Strength can be defined in a number of ways. Men tend to have better upper body strength than women which is the key to being a good field hockey player. The differences in strength, is men have more total muscle mass than females. “Gross measures of upper body strength suggest an average 40-50% difference between the sexes, compared to a 30% difference in lower body strength” (Gender Differences in Endurance Performance and Training).

People who see it as a dangerous element are against men playing field hockey but others also say that if they don’t let men play on women’s teams then it could be seen as discrimination. It is not a fair game when men are playing on a women’s team. Reasons for this is men have a different level of competition; have more power and more aggression. Men will usually take their anger out on the field and be more aggressive when hitting the ball. When playing in a game of field hockey the constant swinging of the stick can be dangerous for those who have a lot more power.
The game of field hockey doesn’t require much equipment to wear during the game either. The protection is shin guards, goggles and a mouth guard. It is not discriminating if men are not allowed to play field hockey because it is safer to keep the game all girls. All girls somewhat have the same body strength. I think that there are all men sports similar to field hockey, such as, ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer that men can play and keep it fair or they could create a separate league for men.
All three of these similar sports have separated the men and women. Field hockey has always been one sport that only has one league. If I had not played against any guys in high school, my opinion would be different. I believe that all men and women are equal and I would think that it was ok for men to play field hockey. However, my junior year there was one team that had a guy playing for them. His position was offense so he was always on my defending end of the field. Luckily, I did not have to defend him but one of my teammates did very strongly.
He was very aggressive and did not give a care in the world that he was playing against girls half the size of him. I think that his team used him to their advantage and he was getting most of their goals because my teammates were backing off when he would begin to swing. The year after two of the ten teams we played had one boy on their team. This time I was defending one of the guys. It was scary at first because I was not used to defending a male carrying the ball down the field. They both used their bodies to push us away and we did not have enough composure to hold ourselves up.
I believe that only to a certain extent that it is ok for men to play field hockey but only if it makes the game fair. As for right now, men should just stick to playing field hockey on an all men’s team to keep it fair game. I believe that there are similar sports for men to play if they enjoy field hockey or they could just play on an all men’s team. Field hockey is a very big sport and has come a long way from when it first started. Experiencing this personally has proven to me that it is dangerous for women to play against men in field hockey.

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