High school rolls sexist gutter ball

By Jennifer Meyer

Imagine being suspended for showing up to team tryouts. For one high school student, showing up for bowling tryouts had some serious consequences.

Senior Paul Rofus at Schaumburg High School was suspended for showing up to tryouts for the girl’s bowling team because of his gender.

According to ABC7 News Chicago, Rofus could not be on the team because the school does not have a boys’ bowling team and allowing him to participate on the girls team would be in violation of Illinois High School Association rules.

School officials told Rofus he would be suspended for showing up to bowling practice, but Rofus was determined. Rofus’s parents are willing to file a lawsuit in order to get their son on the team.

Why does the IHSA not want boys to join girl’s teams?

Diana Swanson, associate professor in women’s studies and English, speculates it may be because most boys are bigger and stronger, on average, than most girls. The IHSA may not want boys to overtake girl’s sports both physically and symbolically through male sport favoritism.

Other than the IHSA rules that currently apply, there is no reason why Rofus should not be allowed on the bowling team.

For starters, Schaumburg High School does not have a boys bowling team.

Bowling is not known to be a “girl” sport, so why is there no team for boys? There obviously is an interest for a boy’s team since one student has gone so far out of his way to fight for it.

One solution would be to make the bowling team coed. This way, the school would not necessarily need to start up another bowling team for the boys.

Bowling teams usually do not utilize locker rooms and it is not a contact sport. However, all schools would probably have to turn their all-girl teams into coed teams for this to happen.

As a result, schools would be eliminating some sex discrimination in their athletic department.

However, it could be argued that a coed team would put the girls at an unfair advantage.

Like Swanson said, some believe boys are physically stronger than some girls and the boys on the bowling team would have an unfair advantage when it came to scoring points. This could possibly demean girls on the team who are physically not capable of competing with the boys.

Even so, there are scrawny men out there who would be at just as big a disadvantage as the female players competing against the bigger men.

Some may ask why Rofus’s determination to be on the bowling team is not warranted under Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in schools.

Swanson said it is because there is “parity in opportunity to participate in athletics.” In other words, if there is an equal number of sports teams available to girls as there are to boys, then the school is not in violation.

However, the schools are not necessarily at fault for the discrimination. The IHSA should be because of its ludicrous rules.

Rofus’s suspension from school was an unjust and cruel punishment.

In fact, there should have been no punishment at all. Rofus has bravely exposed the conspiracy of sex discrimination that still exists in schools to the public.

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.