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Judge in girls football lawsuit orders survey to gauge interest

April 30, 2019 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
The fate of girls high school football in Utah could come down to a statewide survey, which will determine whether there’s enough interest in the sport.

In 2017, the parents of six high school girls filed a lawsuit against three school districts and the state association for not providing opportunities for girls-only football. The schools believe there isn’t enough interest to warrant such programs, but they could soon learn whether that’s true.

Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Dustin Pead ordered both sides to negotiate the language of a survey to measure statewide interest. Sam Gordon, a 16-year-old football player involved in the lawsuit, has already created a league that attracted more than 400 girls, according to the Associated Press. However, school districts say that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s interest across the state.

Utah allows for girls to participate with boys in football, but Gordon said it wouldn’t be safe. Title IX specifically allows for “separate teams for men and women where selection is based on competitive skill or when the activity is a contact sport. Contact sports under the Title IX regulation include boxing, wrestling, rugby, ice hockey, football, basketball and other sports in which the purpose or major activity involves bodily contact.”

Read more from the Associated Press.


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