Switching Playing Fields, Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

Many of the rules didn't seem unreasonable. Some were the same as the ones for the football team.

Don't miss practice unless you have an excuse.

You must maintain a "C" average to be eligible.

No failing grades.

Discipline problems in the classroom will result in suspension from the team.

No use of profanity.

Coaches, teachers and parents are to be addressed by "Yes, sir; Yes, ma'am."

The problem came a little bit in the dress code.

Practice gear: Warm weather -- spandex shorts (Ok, guys can get away with that), team practice t-shirts, sports bra (try telling your mom you need one), cleats. Cold weather -- sweat pants, sweat shirts, which can be substituted for Under Armour.

Game uniform: Sleeveless jersey, with matching long sleeve Under Armour top for cold weather; skirt and matching bottom, with Under Armour bottom worn during cold weather; sports bra matching color of uniforms. Coach Martin will make the decision if cold weather gear is to be worn. State rules mandate there must be no variation of uniforms, with the exception of safety equipment worn by the goalkeeper.

Bring leotard (they've got to be kidding!) Friday for coaches to take measurements for skirt, jersey and bra sizes.

Oh, there's more:

Hygene rules: Legs shaved. Since you'll be wearing a sleeveless jersey on gamedays, arm pits shaved (OK, I know what you're thinking, I'm in seventh grade, but I have a few hairs there finally).

Gameday dress code: We are borrowing a tradition from the football team. Their players were shirts, ties, slacks.

Our players will wear dresses (similar to what you would wear to church, to social functions, if you have a question about it, ask Coach Martin or Coach Parker).

That was the part I was hoping there would be an exception. Maybe I can get away with wearing a shirt, tie and slacks.

But the other rule, there may be no way around: On travel days, players will change into uniforms at lunch and wear them to class before we depart.

What have I gotten myself into?


Mom had a pretty good laugh about it, but we went to the sporting goods store and bought the spandex shorts and sports bras for practice. Our team t-shirts would be passed out at practice.

School began OK. I was kidded a few times by some of the guys on the football team. I was shoved out of the way by Gina Lenetti and another eighth grader on the field hockey team when I was walking down the hall on the way to my locker.

"We're going to make it hard on you that you'll quit!" She shouted after shoving me.

The real torture came during my 10 o'clock P.E. class. More teasing, including from Coach Jackson.

I was surprised to see Beth in the class.

"The football players in class will have weight training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, that's why Garrison's here," Coach Jackson said.

"Heard practice was a bit tough for you yesterday," she said before we started our exercising.

She had no idea. I was intentionally tripped several times during scrimmage by some of the eighth graders on the squad. I was placed in goal for part of the scrimmage and some of the girls weren't aiming for goals...they were aiming for some place else.

"It went OK," I said.

I didn't want to tell her that. Her practice, from what I understand, went really well. She turned out to be the best receiver at practice, although she still went through some kidding.

"They're not going to make me quit," she said defiantly.

Quitting for me would seem to be an easy way out. I didn't tell her that.

Right before we were about to do jumping jacks, Gina Lenetti walked into the gym and handed Coach Jackson a note.

"Lacy, come here!" He said with a laugh. "You've been transferred to girls' P.E."

Ok, can I be any more humiliated.

"Come along, Lucas, Coach Martin's not going to start Pilates until you get there," Gina said, loud enough and sarcastically enough that everyone heard.

There reason I was transferred was for much the same reason Beth was transferred to boys P.E.

"Field hockey, volleyball players and cheerleaders have weight training together on Mondays and Wednesdays," Coach Martin told me after I joined her class. "We rotate with the boys."


Sore, bruised, sweaty and dirty.

That's how I felt sitting in Coach Martin's office.

"How serious are you about being on the team?" she asked.

I tried to tell her I was serious, although I really didn't know if I was. Maybe it was easier to go ahead and quit.

She told me she knew about the "bet" I had with Beth. Most of the team knew it.

That was one of the myriad of reasons they were doing everything in their power to make me quit.

Other players had other reasons, including Gina.

And Coach Parker was encouraging them. She was what Coach Martin called "old guard" who played back in the ages before Title IX and clearly didn't want me on the team because she felt I might be taking a spot from one of the girls if I were on the field.

And Coach Martin explained to me that some people felt a boy on the team gave the team a competitive advantage because of the physical difference between boys and girls.

"But that's not an issue with you," she said.

It was true. Ability-wise, size-wise, I was right in the middle.

"I want you to think long and hard about whether or not you want to do this," she said. "The torment you get on the practice field, here at school, will only be worse once we take the field for games. You're going to hear it from fans, the other teams, parents."

She had a point. And she seemed to care about what I thought.

She was giving me an excuse to quit the team. But then she stunned me by what she told me next.

"I'll be honest with you, Lucas," she said. "I was like everyone else. I didn't want you on this team and really didn't have a problem with your mistreatment by other players on this team. But I've been impressed with your effort the last two days in practice."

"Thanks coach," I said. I didn't know what to say.

"Truth is, we have only 14 players on this team," Coach Martin said. "I have to put 11 players on the field. If we get many players hurt, we're in trouble. If you truly want to be on this team, I want you on this team. But I want you to think long and hard about wanting to be on this team."

She'd given me a lot to think about.

"I want you to read this book," she said, handing me a book about the history of girls athletics. It was written by one of her coaches in college.

"I want you to understand what female athletes have to go through," she said. "It was an honor for me when I played to be a Lady Tiger, both here and at the high school. I'm willing to invest my time to make you the best field hockey player you can be. But you've got to prove to me this is what you want. I want to know that you want to be a Lady Tiger."

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I Like Where This Is Going

You've set the groundwork to take this story into serious issues.

Good luck.

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Angela Rasch (Jill M I)

Andrea Lena DiMaggio's picture

I like this coach...

...she's honestly looking out for Lucas' best interests. And the team is important enough to her to remind him what he's getting into, not only for his sake but for the sake of his teammates.
"I'm willing to invest my time to make you the best field hockey player you can be. But you've got to prove to me this is what you want. I want to know that you want to be a Lady Tiger." I hope he means business because she sure does. Great story, once again. Thank you!

She was born for all the wrong reasons but grew up for all the right ones.
Possa Dio riccamente vi benedica, tutto il mio amore, Andrea
Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later,
and then you still have to decide what to do. ― C.S. Lewis
Love, Andrea Lena


Nice plot element, having the coach suddenly revealed as a responsible adult looking out for Lucas' interests and apparently meaning it. Her confession of having initially sympathized with the antagonistic, juvenile behavior of her other players rings true. That makes us glad she caught herself in time, and does a lot for the story.

Nice work.

What about Mom and Dad?


Not to burst anyone's bubble, (I understand what people want at this site) but I would like to see Lacy's Mom's (and Dad's - if he has one)reasoning for going along with this. That "Mom had a pretty good laugh" about it, might be realistic. That she even went ahead and caused Lucas some grief, by going shopping and buying spandex shorts and a sports bra (they could be returned after all if not used)could be understandable. But that she would allow her son who pursuant to the story so far - has shown no tendencies to be a sissy or engage in cross dressing, would be potentially looked on as child abuse.

Most parent's would not sign the permission slip.

The school as well would not allow this under normal circumstances.

So, I would like to see Torey develop both angles. The school allowing this, and more importantly why mom did not go down to school the next day and put a hault to it.


P.S. My comments do not mean that I do not like the story, I do. And it is well written. And I did vote for both chapters.


kimmie's picture

In agreement with the overall concensus

... without the last scene, I would have lost interest. As it is, it provides for an interesting way forward as otherwise it is just a plain 'ol humiliation story, not my cup of boiled plant leaves.

The only thing, and it has already been mentioned, is that the school is open to a lawsuit if they are to enforce unreasonable requirements for Lucas, or Beth for that matter, to participate.


mittfh's picture

Interesting concept

It'll be interesting to see how this develops - both for Lucas and for Beth. Although the story is written from Lucas' POV, I hope we continue to have snapshots of what's happening with Beth, as it appears as though both teams are actively trying to restore the status quo. Just as the girls in the hockey team don't really want a boy joining them and are making life as difficult as possible for him, the boys on the football team don't really want a girl joining them and are making life as difficult as possible for her.

It wouldn't surprise me if once Beth and Lucas settle down in their new teams and routines, they grow as friends and 'compare notes' on how they're facing up to their teammates and overcoming the hostilities. We've been told Lucas is pretty good at hockey - if the original duel was anything to go by, Beth will size up to be pretty good at football (well, better than Lucas, anyway!)


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Switching Playing Fields, Chapter 2

Now that the coach likes Lacy, will she relent on the dress code?

May Your Light Forever Shine
May Your Light Forever Shine

Great Start!

I am really enjoying your story!

dress code

I know of at least one real case where a boy played on a girls field hockey team, and yes, he wore a skirt when he played. To the best of my knowledge, he got to wear pants when he wasnt playing. Its one thing to insist on a uniform on the field, but off the field? That might be pushing it into abuse.



This is my concern.

Back when I was at school the punishment for forgetting your games kit was to do netball with the girls (something I secretly relished) and persistent offenders found themselves in short skirt and t-shirt for the duration. (Oddly girls who forgot their kit just had to get something out of lost property... :S ) (I feel a story coming on...)

I think that enforcing uniform rules for on pitch or training is fair enough, enforcing an off pitch uniform especially one based on 'What you wear to church...' is a bit too far, and more than likely to look like abuse by outsiders. It could have the implication of getting the school and the coaching team in trouble.

It's also troubling that the coach who is said to be understanding hasn't said anything about it.

On a side note I played mixed field Hockey (just hockey over here where Ice Hockey is less common) in college and mixed is far more violent than single sex (which I played at school). And pretty much the only sport I enjoyed playing all the time... I almost got good at it... though my 'uniform' raised some eyebrows as I tended to wear gender inappropriate clothing, and tucking isn't terribly comfortable. :D


The Legendary Lost Ninja

I'm enjoying this too

good start. When i was in high school, we had similar rules about having to allow members of the opposite sex play in teams where there was no single sex team available. We had two girls on our cricket squad, and one on our basketball team. There were two boys on the field hockey team, although they were allowed to wear shorts, and their shirts were polos. And they did not have to shave their legs. The difference in uniform was supposed to allow the refs to see if the boys were using undue force to push the girls off the ball. Such excessive force resulted in a penalty.

By the way...I'm from NZ, and those rules were in place over 30 years ago.

PS's picture

Sports Bras

I know of elite male athletes in full contact sports such as rugby union and rugby league who wear sports bras. I understand it minimises nipple chaffing, as well as making it more difficult for opponents to grab them by that part of the anatomy.

Commonsense would say that Lucas should be able to wear his Sunday-best type clothing on game days, rather than being humiliated by all and sundry. Of course, that may not happen.

Personal Support


Didn't know this, but a doctor who didn't know my back story (my own doctor would never suggest this) suggested I wear a soft cupless bra (crop top type thing) when I had an inflamed nipple, did the job anyway.


The Legendary Lost Ninja

I remarked about Sports Bras

in my comment after Chapter 1. I guessed right! Now, come to find out, several of the guys on our High School's Cross Country Team wear sports bras to protect their nipples from chaffing while they are running. Who knew? I made a remark to the girls' Phys Ed teacher about this story and Title IX and really got a couple of ears full. By golly, New York State is pretty much in line with the info in this story! I'm impressed! I still wish I could have played on the Field Hocky team when I was in school! The uniform sounds cool!


New York is one of the few states that allow boys on girls teams

In most other states, the same Title IX that is used to allow girls to play on boys' teams is turned around to bar boys from doing the same thing.

Massachusetts and New York are among the exceptions (there may be a couple more). Both have state versions of the equal rights amendments, which mean they cannot bar an athlete of either gender from playing on an opposite gender team if there are not teams of their own gender. Pennsylvania has at times allowed boys on girls teams, because its courts have interpreted Title IX differently at times as other states. I remember reading about a boy who competed on a girls' gymnastics team in Mass., but was barred from a regional meet in Connecticut, despite none of the coaches protesting because they couldn't see any possible competitive advantage for a boy having to compete on the girls' apperatus. But another boy in Wisconsin was barred from competing on the girls' team.

New York had an interesting twist in its rules, I don't know if its changed. In an effort to discourage athletes from playing on an opposite gender team (especially boys), it threw in a rule that you could not play on a two different gender teams in the same season: Translation--if you're a boy and you decide to play on a girls' field hockey team in the fall, you can't also play football or compete on the boys cross country team. But you could play on the girls volleyball team.

As for the uniform rule, most states do require uniforms to be the same, no variations. I read a story once where a Massachusetts field hockey coach required the boy on her team to wear the skirt out of fear her team would be forced to forfeit. That's one reason why boys on teams there usually do wear the skirt. Of course, that does make me wonder about the boy competing in gymnastics.

Ohio's the same way

Back in the late 1970s when I was in high school, I wanted to play volleyball with the rest of the girls, because I was so inept at basketball and baseball.

I looked at the OHSAA rule book, and found the same rules mentioned in the story.

Unfortunately my parents refused to allow me to play, and it's one of two things I'd change if I could relive everything.

I don't remember the

I don't remember the college, but several years ago there was one with a young woman as their place kicker for points after. She had tried out after the regular place kicker was injured and the coaches had seen her kicking a soccer ball. She apparently did very well with the football team during her "tenure" as place kicker. Gender does not determine a person's abilities in many sports venues. Jan

The Place Kicker

Here's the story of Heather Sue Mercer:


She did well at the tryouts and her coach said she'd be on the team, but they never did let her join the team. She eventually sued and won a $2 million judgment.


Duke appealed the award. By the time all was said and done, the punitive portion of the award was vacated and she only collected one dollar. Duke did have to cough up $380K in attorneys fees, though.

This, I believe, was the final time the case went to court:


New Mexico had a female place kicker

She might have also been the same one who was harrased at Colorado. I believe she's the first woman to kick an extra point in a major college game. I know she also attempted a field goal, but I don't know if she actually made any.

Right You Are!

A little more research has paid off.

In chronological order, these are the women of men's college football:

1997, for NAIA Division III Willamette: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Heaston

2001, for NCAA Division 1-AA Jacksonville State: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashley_Martin

2003, for NCAA Division 1-A New Mexico: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie_Hnida


I hate to correct you on this, Pippa, but NAIA had two divisions in football, not three. I have a former NAIA school close to where I live, and used to follow their Division II championship football program avidly.

I Blame Wikipedia!

Right you are. It looks like the Wikipedia article on Katie Hnida, which referenced "NAIA Division III Willamette" may have conflated two things, that Willamette was in the NAIA in 1997, and that they're a Division III NCAA team now. I'm just guessing, at this point.

See, Kids? You can't trust everything you read in Wikipedia.

A properly written article would have referenced whichever division Willamette was in in 1997. Their current division status is irrelevant to the article, since it discusses a historical breakthrough.

I was 95 lbs dripping wet.

It was my first year of High School, and I went out for Football. I lasted 1 Practice. I'd been bigger than this guy as an 8th grader, but that year in High School he was oh so much bigger than I was. The first scrimmage, he threw me at least 10 feet, and I cried. That was it for me. I was laughed off the field.

You hafta know that a woman is going to be the ultimate challenge and insult to male players.

I was reading a book on pre natal development last night. It said, "All brains are female until 10 weeks and then a massive dose of Testosterone starts killing brain cells .... :)

Khadijah Gwen



It seem like this author is reading the comments and crafting his/her tale accordingly. Hope this isn't the case. tail waggin the dog.

A good start

I enjoyed the first two chapters. Like others I would think the parents would have something to say about the dress code off the field. However, this is fiction. Going to the moon was crazy fiction before the 60s. I am glad that the tone of the story did not go down the humiliation path. I look forward to the next chapter.



At least Lucas

has been give the chance to get out with some pride intact, Somehow though, You suspect he will decline and then go on to become a key member of the team (at least that's what i hope!)


This is a story about our values!

Not about boy or girl but what we hold close to our hearts and what life is really about.

I for one love it and I know it will triumph over lesser mortals.

So put your helmet on, hold your lance straight, pray to god whover she may be, and charge!!


Age is an issue of mind over matter.
If you don't mind, it doesn't matter!
(Mark Twain)


Interesting issues

It will be to see where this goes, and if he has the drive to hang in there and be accepted?


Age is an issue of mind over matter.
If you don't mind, it doesn't matter!
(Mark Twain)


Podracer's picture

Still got the scar..

I have a bit of catching up to do with this story, checking the dates!
No mixed sports at my school - unless you count the hockey practices. A teacher started a boy's (field) hockey team, if I remember right we were about 13 or 14 y.o. and there were a few boys teams in the area. We did Ok. He bet us the girls would beat us on skill in practice, but we had enough energy to make up for it, so we did mix the practice the teams sometimes after that. Yes I do have a scar, and remember the sock and boot full of blood. "No prisoners" on that field. Schoolmate Karen borrowed my best team shirt once.. she just might have stretched it slightly

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