In this Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, photo an NFL Super Bowl LI football is sewn at the Wilson Sporting Goods factory in Ada, Ohio. Plant workers use turn-of-last-century sewing machines and other vintage equipment to make about 3,000 footballs per day, cutting, stitching and lacing each by hand. The 25-step process takes about three days to complete, but the pride in craftsmanship is evident in those who work there. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) (AP)

Utah parents sue schools to let their daughters play football in schools

Think football is a man's sport? Maybe it's time to think again

Michael Glassman
June 27, 2017 6:56PM (UTC)

A federal court may soon hear whether it's discrimination to prevent girls from playing high school football.

The parents of six Utah girls filed a lawsuit last week over the policy of three school districts, which are preventing them from forming a girls' high school football team, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The parents claim discrimination under Title IX, which banned sexual discrimination in federally funded sports programs.


In January, the same court temporarily allowed a junior high school student to join her school's wrestling team. (The school district allowed girls to wrestle in high school, but not junior high.)

The country has seen an increase in the number of girls playing the sport, which has long been viewed as a men's-only game. In 2016 there were more than 25,000 girls in pads across the country — and supporters say there is a need for competitive women's high school football.

The lawsuit said that high school sports offer more advantages, the Tribune noted, including the "support of cheerleaders and a band." The lawsuit says the athletes "could earn accolades that are considered by colleges" by playing in school — and can't get those benefits by playing extra-varsity sports.

"They also could compete for regional and state championships, earn school credit for physical education classes, and could have their accomplishments documented by school and local newspapers," the plaintiffs noted.

Currently there are a handful of female professional football leagues in America and around the world.



Michael Glassman

Michael Glassman is on Salon’s Breaking News team. You can find him on Twitter at @warnkemg

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Female Sports Football Gender Title Ix Utah Youth Sports

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