Tradition or Progression: The Controversy of Girls being issued Skirts for Lacrosse


Lily Longan, Reporter

Gender equality has long been a topic of controversy in the world of sports. Although Title IX was passed in 1972, which obligated schools to provide equal funding for both boy’s and girl’s sports, many schools still face backlash for policies that are unequal surrounding sports programs.

As the world of gender evolves, a certain policy of highschool women sports’ teams is being brought into question: Should women athletes be forced to wear skirts as part of a school-issued uniform?

Lacrosse has been around since before recorded history in the Americas. European settlers were exposed to the sport in the 1630’s, and took the idea of the game for their own. The settlers completely changed the game when they adapted it for a European audience.

Women first started to play the sport in 1890 in Scotland. The game has changed a lot over the last century to become what it is today. As the game continues to progress, skirts may become an outdated concept.

“These past couple years are the first years I’ve been personally seeing any women’s Lacrosse teams wearing shorts,” said DHS Girls Lacrosse coach Natalie Mitchell.

CHSAA rules state that the teams are allowed to wear skirts, shorts, or even pants. Many schools still choose the skirts because of school tradition.

“I have always chose, when asked, to go with the skorts because it is tradition, and tradition is old, but at the same time the women’s game in particular is a very unique game. It is not like the men’s game,” said coach Jeff Einfeldt.

The balance between tradition and progression is a fragile scale. Women’s sports are often the subjects brought into discussion because of the large advancements of female empowerment in prior decades and even today.

“I don’t look at it as a sexist thing, but it’s definitely rooted in that, it came from the time period where [wearing skirts] was an expectation, and women didn’t have voice to speak out,” said Jeff Einfeldt.

The large numbers of female sports that still wear skirts as part of a uniform may be seen as a major setback in the progression of women’s rights. When men’s teams wear shorts, the wearing of skirts signals that the patriarchal society America has been trying to distance themselves from with laws such as Title IX that aim to give women equal opportunity still remain to some extent.

Aside from the appearance of the skirts there is also the question of what type of uniform will make the best functional gear.

“Most of us don’t really like them, mostly because they are really uncomfortable, and we are afraid we are going to flash everyone,” said Fr. Madison Ostrander.

The players on the team did not seem to be comfortable with their attire.

“Most of the my team dislikes them. I’m one of the few who has made my peace with it,” said Jr. Autumn Rhymerson.

Every individual player may have a short or skirt preference, but it is ultimately up to the school, coaches, and society as a whole to decide how far they are willing to go to match progression.

“We totally support girl’s wearing anything that makes them comfortable,” said Mitchell.

Girls complain openly about the skirts, but no one is moving towards a change. CHSAA rules state that the girls can wear shorts, skirts, or even pants if the team is identical.  The girl’s lacrosse skirt attire is just one more example of the sexism that still exists in the sporting world, even at a highschool level.