One Name, Two Sports

It’s hard to imagine the sport of lacrosse ever being equal across genders with all the contrast between the two games: different equipment, different styles of play, different face-offs and even different positions. The rules governing the two versions of the game are vastly different and ultimately have created two different sports. 

Boys’ lacrosse allows for a much more physical style of play, while girls’ lacrosse is largely non-contact. While these differences in rules may seem harmless, they are actually rooted in sexist ideas about gender and physical ability.

There is a thought that boys’ lacrosse is more aggressive simply because boys are more physical. This stereotype not only perpetuates harmful gender norms, but it also ignores the fact that there are many girls who are just as capable as boys. Girls’ lacrosse rules that prohibit physical contact assume that girls are weaker and need to be protected, which is both condescending and unfair.

Some argue that the differences in rules are necessary for safety reasons. However, there are ways to make the game safer for both boys and girls without relying on outdated gender stereotypes. For example, protective gear can be improved for both genders, and rules can be adjusted to allow for more physical contact in both versions of the sport.