Powder-puff football games – that is, competition involving all-girl teams – are hardly a novel idea. But the one at Jupiter High School in Florida was special, because it was thought to be the last remaining one in the country where the young ladies played tackle football, using equipment borrowed from the boys.
It was seniors vs. juniors for 50 years, with the stands packed. But this spring’s game has been canceled by the principal of the school, Dan Frank. Somebody might get hurt, ya’know, and it happened a few years back when a girl broke her leg. The principal’s statement, via The Associated Press: “Student safety is my first priority. The narrow window of time for student preparation and practice, and the limited availability of properly fitting safety equipment, would put our students at risk.”
Never mind that because of lawsuits real and threatened, girls can play on BOYS teams in Florida. Several soccer stars have made the transition to placekicker. In a neighboring county, a girl took snaps as a backup quarterback. Flag football for girls is a sanctioned sport, as are soccer, basketball, softball and cheerleading, all of which produce injuries. Alas, no logic could ever persuade a chickensh** school administrator on a mission.
So this year’s seniors and juniors, and likely those who follow, will miss out on the memories of playing before cheering fans, cheered on by boys wearing crop tops and wigs. Said Haley Osborne, a 17-year-old senior: “The game makes our town special. It is a once-in-a-lifetime or maybe twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can’t come back when you are 30 and play.”
Things like this validate my opinion of high school: Gut it out, get your diploma and run like the wind, never looking back at any of the idiots you had to suffer.