A coach Monday defended allowing five boys to don skirts and play on the girls’ field hockey team despite criticism from rival coaches and a threat by at least one other team to boycott their games.
The Northampton High School boys opted to play the traditionally all-girl sport this year and went so far as to wear the traditional, blue tartan skirts to show their team spirit.
“We’re not the most popular team in the area,” said Mary Ferguson, the Blue Devils’ coach. “Some think the boys are going to play rough or are going to hit the ball harder than the girls, and it’s just not true.”
The Blue Devils have a 2-0 record this year, winning their last game, 1-0, on a goal scored by one of the boys. The team’s latest opponent threatened to walk off the field to protest the male players but did not follow through.
The five boys, all seniors, learned the sport during physical education classes and liked it enough to want to play on a more competitive level, Ferguson said.
In Concord, N.H., a male foreign exchange student who slipped on a skirt to play field hockey with a girls’ high school team has been banished from further play, state athletic officials announced.