I got the notification late Saturday night that Hen Hud coach and Section 1 coordinator Diane Swertfager would be on WFAN’s program “The Sports Edge” with host Rick Wolff early Sunday morning to revisit the discussion of Title IX and the ongoing debate of boys playing girls volleyball.
The topic was one that Wolff discussed on his program on September 1, a day after the season preview of Horace Greeley carrying two boys on its roster ran in The Journal News, which was the basis for his show. Both podcasts are about 30 minutes long, and are definitely worth a listen if you have the time.
You can listen to the September 1 podcast, which does not feature Swertfager, here. I’m sure the September 22 podcast will be up in a couple of days at the same link. Like I said, both are worth a listen.
In the meantime, here is a preview to the discussion between Swertfager (above, left) and Wolff:
Swertfager: “It’s really a unique situation. For one, I’m really happy that boys are playing volleyball, but honestly, I’m not really strong on them playing on a girls team. … The question by all of the coaches in the section is, ‘Is this fair?’ My daughter just happened to play against (Horace Greeley) the other day — she plays for John Jay-Cross River as a libero — and I had the pleasure of going to watch this game. Clearly, the boys have already, I think, improved their fitness as I watched them block and spike the ball over the net; and one of the gentlemen sets very nicely and he plays all the way around. So yes, they are taking up a girls’ tradition; I think that it’s really a very supportive community and they really rally around the kids, it’s a team sport, and the girls — whatever feelings they have — you don’t see any animosity towards (the boys), which I really applaud. Because again, it could tear people apart and teams apart.
They seem like really nice gentlemen and it’s really a difficult situation because you don’t want to hurt the boys — I’m so happy they’re playing (volleyball) — but again, it is a girl’s sport. You kind of have to sit there and take a side, I guess. But, I think what really needs to happen is that New York State needs to review the mixed competition rules to protect any sport, for that matter.
Wolff: “Ok, if we allow two boys to play on the girls volleyball squad, why not have four, or six? This is unchartered territory, and obviously common sense would dictate, ‘Well, at some point you have to draw the line.’ But, if we’re allowing these two boys — and I’m sure they are fine young men — that of course is not the issue here; but the fact is, what point do you say, ‘Enough already?”
Wolff photo credit: WFAN’s “The Sports Edge”
Swertfager photo credit: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News