Double Standard?

Two school girl rugby league teams have been suspended from competition for having an all in brawl. My first question is – are boys teams commonly suspended for fighting on the football field? I’m genuinely asking, my son doesn’t play rugby league so I don’t know what generally happens with an incident like this in a boys team.

For your ‘amusement’ some comments from the article

“I thought ‘holy hell it’s on’,” said the parent, who did not want to be named.

“They were grabbing each other. There was a bit of hair-pulling. One girl even shaped up like a boxer,” he said. “It is just something that you don’t expect to see in a girls’ game.”

The language of one teacher-coach surprised a parent, who said it was “the sort of stuff you’d hear at a first grade game of rugby league”.

“She was saying things like ‘we’ll get in there early and flatten them. Once you drop ’em, they won’t come back at you’. I did a double-take when I realised it was a female teacher,” he said.

Well it is rugby league. They are, after all, following in the steps of professional rugby league players. Apparently though, even when playing rugby league girls are supposed to be ‘girly’ and non-agressive.

In other news, apparently Australia is done for now that we’ve lost the Ashes, were beaten by the All Blacks in [proper] rugby, and our Miss Australia came fourth in the Miss Universe contest. Can things get any worse?

Categories: arts & entertainment, gender & feminism, media

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5 replies

  1. A quick Google would seem to indicate that team suspension for brawling is pretty common, especially at junior level. But I’m surprised at the parent’s shock at a coach using “the sort of language you’d hear at a first-level rugby game” – those are your kids’ sporting role models, aren’t they? Whether or not it’s appropriate at any game is another question entirely.

  2. Yes. Boy teams get suspended for brawling as well.
    One of my sons played Rugby for school a few years back. His team was suspended as was the other side. Who according to my darling: ‘ started it all, we didn’t do a thing’.

  3. In NZ we’re actually having a lovely stoush at the moment regarding the length of suspensions handed down to boys from two schools who brawled on the rugby field. Quite innocuously, the boys from the white/rich/privileged/big-name/good-rep school got 6-week suspensions and the boys from the brown/lower class/bogan neighbourhood/small-name/bad-rep school got … up to 16 months.
    It is also a total coincidence that one of the people on the panel setting the sentences has a child at aforementioned white/privileged school.
    /off-topic – but yes, it happens with boys sports teams in NZ (at least, rugby, not league) too.

  4. I’m somewhat surprised at such occurring in school sport nowadays.
    I was teaching and supervising sports during the days when the ‘ugly parent’ syndrome was addressed quite forcibly by our school sports association, SAPSSA [I’ve forgotten the exact acronym].
    One strike, by anyone, and you’re out re poor behaviour.
    Similarly the ‘win at all costs’ or even ‘the aim is too win/no prizes for coming second’ ethos disappeared, or I thought it did, to be replaced by have a go , have fun, etc..
    I spent a week at my grandson’s SAPSSA organized country schools hockey tournament a few months ago and it was really good to see the game played in the spirit it was and enjoyed win or lose [we lost] by everyone there.
    It was credit to all concerned.
    I would have assumed that other junior school sports were played in a similar spirit.
    I even have a totally untested hypothesis that we are witnessing a major social change in ethics taught to the young by groups like SAPSSA in this regard.
    The way schoolkids games are taught, coached and watched today is quite different to the way I was brought up.
    So yes I find the reports above a little disturbing.

  5. Maybe its training for the future…just a thought.

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