By Michael Najarian
FRAMINGHAM – The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has proposed boys field hockey be added as a sport in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Sherry Bryant of the MIAA said that “The proposal put forward to possibly add boys’ field hockey to the list of MIAA sports is not for the upcoming fall season. The proposal is included as part of our MIAA rule change proposal packet in consideration for implementation for the 2021-2023 school years.”
Keefe Tech Athletic Director Chris Kane, when asked about the possibility of field hockey coming to Keefe Tech, said “generally, I push adding a new sport if there is enough interest throughout the school in that sport. It has to be a realistic interest in the sport that is trying to be added at Keefe to move forward with it.”
Lincoln-Sudbury Athletic Director Art Reilly said “at this point we have not had any request or interest from any boys to play field hockey. Generally we would consider adding a sport if the community has youth programs or there is strong interest at the middle and high school level.”
Framingham High School graduate and field hockey player Cameron Adler is in favor of the proposal, but does have a few concerns.
The problem I think that the MIAA will run into is that there might not be enough boys to play the sport, said Adler.”When I played my senior year the only boys that I saw play for myself, my teammate David Covarrubias, and another boy from Newton South. I think for this proposal to work we need to see more male athletes come out to the sport, only then will the proposal truly pas,” said Adler.
Framingham High Athletic Director Paul Spear said “anytime new athletic opportunities are introduced, I think it’s a good idea because it’s an opportunity for more boys and girls to be playing sports at the high school level. If it gets added by the MIAA, I would love to bring it to FHS.”
Despite this, Framingham High girls field hockey Coach Ellen Sowa had other thoughts.
“No, I do not think this proposal is a good idea,’said Sowa. “This has been an issue for many years and some coaches have wanted this proposal to happen for a while. I also do not think there would be enough interest at FHS to have an all-boys team.”
There have long been girls field hockey teams offered at most schools in Massachusetts, despite there being no boys team.
If boys field hockey gets added to the fall sports calendar by the MIAA, it’s first season would be the 2021-2022 school year at the earliest.
At the Olympics level, field hockey has been a male sport predominately.
A female version was added in 1980.
The game of field hockey dates back to 510 BC, and the Greeks.
Women’s field hockey was first played at British universities and schools in the late 1880s.
The game of field hockey is played typically on a turf field or grass. Players move a ball with a stick and try to move the ball pass a goalie covering a net to score.
In Massachusetts, many of the girls team’s uniforms consist of a short skirt or kilt.
In 1979, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided that an MIAA rule prohibiting boys from playing on girls’ teams was not legal. An thus boys have been allowed to complete on the field hockey team for spots along with girls.
For that reason, many field hockey teams are co-ed or gender-neutral teams, although the majority of the players are female.
Framingham High has had the most boys on the field hockey team in recent years of the SOURCE communities, and only a couple.
Michael Najarian is a Framingham SOURCE intern, and a student at Keefe Technical High School.
Petroni Media Company photo from 2016