IAAM may change policy restricting women athletes

Elizabeth Driver, Sports Editor

A previous story on this topic is located here.

Hope has rekindled. Athletic Director Larry Dukes announced at the Winter Sports Banquet on March 11 that the IAAM may allow women to compete in two sports per season starting in the fall. It depends on whether or not the principals of the league schools will vote yes, though most likely they will be in favor of the new rule, according to Dukes.

“I was really excited [when] I first heard this,” sophomore Faith Ensor said. “[Although] this doesn’t change a lot for me since I cross-train in the winter regardless of whether or not I’m allowed to compete in both of my sports of choice, I still want to run track and swim in the winter to stay in shape and train for spring track.”

According to Dukes, who headed the petition to change the current policy, 17 schools voted for the rule, five were against and and one abstained from voting. This was a “pretty impressive win, considering that [the vote] was one and 30” when Dukes brought up the petition 10 years ago. JC was the one school that voted to allow girls to play two sports per season.

“This will help me out because I want to do badminton as well as [spring] track,” junior Morgan Taylor said. Taylor currently plays badminton.

I would also probably play two sports because it gives you more of a variety of things [to do] and you won’t get as bored.

— Junior Erin Cadden

Junior track runner Erin Cadden agrees, saying that “I would also probably play two sports because it gives you more of a variety of things [to do] and you won’t get as bored.”

Though both Taylor and Cadden wish to take advantage of this possible upcoming rule change, indoor and outdoor soccer coach Haley Howe “[does] not predict many to be rushing to play two sports [because] of demanding schedules.” Playing on two teams with similar schedules could be a challenge to balance with academics.

Attending multiple sports’ meets or games is possible “if the coaches can work things out and the matches don’t conflict on the same days,” Dukes said. “We’ve never had a swim meet on a Friday night [while] we’ve never had anything but a track meet [then].”

“I’m excited,” Howe said. “[Girls] should have the right to play two sports if [they are] capable and willing. As an athlete, I like it, but as a coach it could be difficult. I wouldn’t recommend a volleyball player to play soccer because they’re on the same schedule.”

Howe also said coaches might show “favoritism” against a double-sport athlete by not playing her as much.

Track coach Rob Torres commented that “swimming and track are perfect complements of each other.” Torres said that senior Will Hopkins is a perfect example, as “his [running] times [in track] dropped a bunch since he ran and swam this winter.”

In regard to other sports, Torres said that “we’ll see what happens.”            

Elizabeth Driver is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.