Gender inequality in girls’ hockey


Eve Abboud, Contributor

I am sure that the Furies – the high school girls hockey team for Monomoy, Nauset, and Tech – are not the only victims of gender bias, as girls are often belittled in the world of high school sports. There are 31 teams in the NHL and only five teams in the National Women’s Hockey League (NHWL); no wonder there’s inequality in high school sports.

Last year, Nauset, Tech, and Monarchs (Monomoy/Mashpee) were fully funded boys hockey teams. Last year, Monarchs hockey had buses to and from practice everyday. In contrast, the girls at Nauset had to pay 500 dollars to play in a high school season; the Furies almost never had buses for away games, and all the players had to buy their own jerseys and socks.  Thankfully, the Furies are fully funded for the first time ever this year.

It is standard that ice is made between periods for all high school hockey, that isn’t always the case for girls. Furies arrive to the rink an hour before every game. The team sees a boys game with ice made in between each period, but find out that ice will only be made between the second and third periods for them. This is a degrading practice that should not be tolerated.

Under MIAA rules girls are not allowed to check other players. This rule follows an outdated stereotype that girls are fragile. Nauset student athlete Margaret Dixon says, “My freshman year of high school, I played on a boys ice hockey team. The boys didn’t treat me the same because I was a girl…. Playing girls hockey has made me see why we should be checking. Yes, girls are not 200lbs and 6 feet tall, but we are still hockey players.” Seniors at Monomoy, Molly McKenna and Delany Agnes, say, “I don’t know if it’s a sport that will ever truly have equality because men’s hockey is clearly a bigger deal.” People shouldn’t question the validity of girls’ hockey.

Often, girls do not get the singing of the National Anthem (standard in hockey games) or announcements that call out first line players. Fervent female hockey players who are proud of their position and capability are often denied publicity. It should not be this way. Freshman Anna Bartolomey says, “We, both men and women, can do the same stuff. It doesn’t matter the skill level you are, it just matters that you’re doing something with passion.” Taking away announcements or the National Anthem lessens passion for the sport.

Gender equality has made huge leaps throughout the years, and it is time that equality is applied to hockey as well. Girls deserve the same treatment as boys in high school level hockey. They work just as hard and love the sport just as much. Therefore, they deserve the same rules, privileges, and attention that boys’ hockey receives. High school girls should no longer be minimized in the world of sports. It is high time for change.