In November of 2011, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association (MIAA) saw the worst nightmare of their anti-gender discrimination policies backfire, when a male broke a regional high school girls’ record in the 50 free. The swimmer was ultimately academically ineligible for the State Championship meet, but in the meantime an intense national debate about these policies (girls field hockey teams in the state are dominated by boys) and what the unintended, negative consequence couuld be on women’s athletics.
Today, the MIAA swimming committee is meeting to discuss the fate of this record, and how to address the larger issues that are faced by these non-discrimination policies, especially in indivudalized sports like swimming.
As I discussed in our original examination of the issue, the solution for swimming is pretty easy. It’s easily as cost-effective to add a fall season to the men’s swimming schedule (there’s currently only a men’s season in the winter, whereas women are offered both fall and winter opportunities).
The meeting began at 9:30 Eastern Time, and is open to the public. We’ll update after the meeting with details of the decisions and the discussions.