Should boys compete in girls high school sports leagues?

In Massachusetts, Norwood High School's star swimmer Will Higgins broke a 26-year-old meet record in the 50-yard freestyle in the state's swimming and diving championships regional meet...for girls. Yes, because his high school has no boys swim team, by state law Higgins is allowed to compete on the girls team. While he broke that meet record and set a school record in the 100-free, he wasn't completely dominant: He finished 13th in the latter swim. And he wasn't the only boy at the meet, which saw, according to one coach, the most male competitors ever at the meet.

It raises a big question: Should boys be allowed to play on girls teams? And is that answer different when you're talking about individual sports like swimming and track versus team sports like basketball and field hockey?

To be clear, we're not talking about transgender athletes here. There are steps, including surgery and hormone treatments, a MTF trans athlete can take to participate as a female. These boys haven't taken those steps.

I feel badly for everyone involved. One coach talked about a girl who lost out on a state championship years ago because she was beaten by a boy. And you know the boy must hear about it in school. But if a boy doesn't have a male team at his high school, should he skip the sport all together? Is that fair?

Tough issue.

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