A Student Government resolution is attempting to level the playing field for women in intramural sports by supporting the removal of policies giving special allowances to women in coed soccer and softball.
According to UT’s current intramural soccer and softball policies, female players are given special allowances, such as additional points. Liberal Arts representative Jordan Cope, who authored Assembly Resolution 19, said these regulations unfairly imply women are athletically inferior and exclude gender non-conforming and transgender students.
“Just seeing some of these policies made me question what exactly were the premises behind them,” said Cope, an international relations senior. “It’s a matter of equality on campus … Equal outcome should be a consequence of equal work.”
Current coed intramural soccer policy gives two points for each goal scored by a female player and one point for each scored by a male. Coed softball policy allows a female player to “walk” without batting if she follows a male batter who has also “walked.” A walk occurs when a batter is pitched four balls and awarded a first base position without being called out of play.
While the policies were originally formed to encourage female participation, Cope said he thinks they have the opposite effect by undermining their athletic potential. He also said the dichotomous language of the policies excludes students who don’t identify as male or female.
Removing the policies would not be too complicated, said Darci Doll, associate director of Intramural Sports. Doll said UT’s intramural sports loosely follow regulations determined by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, but that policies can easily be amended.
“If a rule is outdated … then we work with current participants and referees to try to amend those rules so that they make sense and are fun for the participants,” Doll said. “So basically, we amend them all the time.”
Doll said the intramural department plans to survey the coed soccer intramural teams in the following weeks.
Not every SG member thinks the resolution is appropriate. Natural Sciences representative Ben Solder said he thinks SG should acquire more data, such as the results of the aforementioned survey, before making any declarations about school policy.
“I don’t think we should be making rash decisions without having all of the information, “neuroscience junior Solder said. “And I don’t think we have all of the information about how people who actually currently participate in those sports feel about those rules.”