What transgender athletes will do to high school sports

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What transgender athletes will do to high school sports

Blog­ger on the left many years ago

By John Ruberry

Last week in this space I dis­cussed the prob­lems of allow­ing trans­gen­der ath­letes to par­tic­i­pate in women’s sports, which was inspired by a since-​deleted Tweet from ten­nis leg­end Mar­tina Navratilova, “You can’t just pro­claim your­self a female and be able to com­pete against women,” she wrote ear­lier this month. “There must be some stan­dards and hav­ing a penis and com­pet­ing as a woman would not fit that standard.”

That post received a spir­ited response on Twit­ter and Face­book, and much of that feed­back was cen­tered on trans­gen­der ath­letes in high school sports. Last year a trans­gen­dered fresh­man, Andraya Year­wood, was the Con­necti­cut Class M state cham­pion in the 100 meter dash.

After her win Jeff Jacobs of the Hart­ford Courant, in a mostly favor­able col­umn about Year­wood com­mented that she “has yet to undergo any hor­monal treat­ment on the long process toward sex reas­sign­ment surgery.”

In that first Da Tech Guy entry about trans­gen­derism in sports, I out­lined the phys­i­cal advan­tages male ath­letes – and of course those born male who now con­sider them­selves female – and they include pos­sess­ing more testos­terone, but also hav­ing big­ger lungs, a larger heart, more mus­cle mass, and nar­rower hips. Males have larger bones – a draw­back for long dis­tance run­ners but a boon for sprint­ers – and they have more fast-​twitch mus­cles, also known as type 2 fibers. Those mus­cles greatly aid short dis­tance runners.

Defend­ers of Year­wood opine about her feel­ings and rights, but what about the feel­ings of the girl who fin­ished sec­ond? Does she not have hopes and dreams? As for rights, Con­necti­cut law appears to favor Year­wood. But when some­thing is legal that doesn’t auto­mat­i­cally make it right or fair.

Youth sports are impor­tant for devel­op­ing bod­ies and minds. Decades after my final high school race I’m still run­ning and I’m in very good shape. I’m not over­weight, my blood pres­sure is per­fect, I feel great, and at least Mrs. Marathon Pun­dit says I look good. Despite my method­i­cal train­ing and prepa­ra­tion all those years ago some­times the result on the track or cross coun­try course didn’t pan out. I forced myself not to cry and pout. I learned to toil to improve upon dis­ap­point­ment and fail­ure the next time the start­ing gun was fired.

Team work is empha­sized even in seem­ingly indi­vid­ual sports such as run­ning. When I was in high school it was a hard rule that all ath­letes must arrive together and leave together, gen­er­ally on a school bus. There was no tol­er­a­tion for “heli­copter stars” and we had two state cham­pion run­ners on our team. They were not prima don­nas. Usu­ally my race was over early and some­times, in the case of track invi­ta­tion­als, the meets would last eight hours or more. What did I do then? I cheered on my team­mates in their races and some­times aided them as they stretched before their con­tests. As a cit­i­zen, or even as an employee, when the oppor­tu­nity arises, I try to help out some­one. Did I gain that trait from my sports expe­ri­ences? I believe so. As for the jerk in the cubi­cle next to you who is always “too busy” to lend a hand, I’ll bet you that per­son didn’t par­tic­i­pate much in orga­nized youth sports.

Sports builds char­ac­ter. Sure there are vile coaches who allow their play­ers to act like gang­bangers. Some teams cheat. While some get away with it, oth­ers don’t. Back to my high school days: Our chief rival in cross coun­try was caught train­ing out of state, a vio­la­tion of Illi­nois High School Asso­ci­a­tion rules. They were banned from par­tic­i­pat­ing in the state cham­pi­onship qual­i­fy­ing meet. That coach should have been fired but wasn’t. It was a mixed vic­tory for fairness.

I sus­pect that there will be many more trans­gen­der ath­letes in high school sports as gen­der increas­ingly becomes a notion instead of a some­thing you are born with. This year Year­wood didn’t suc­cess­fully defend her Con­necti­cut state cham­pi­onship title. She fin­ished sec­ond–to a another trans ath­lete–one who also cap­tured first place in the 200 meter dash. In Texas an ath­lete born female who is, accord­ing to Fox News Wire Ser­vice, tak­ing testos­terone because she is tran­si­tion­ing to being a male, won a girl’s state cham­pi­onship as a wrestler.

Last week here I all but pre­dicted that inter­est, which includes spon­sor­ship, ticket sales, and tele­vi­sion rat­ings, in big time women’s sports will dimin­ish as more trans­gen­dered ath­letes take part. That dis­in­ter­est will carry over into men’s sports, espe­cially in regards to world cham­pi­onships and the Olympics. We are no longer a male-​centered world, and that’s a good thing.

If par­tic­i­pa­tion lev­els decline at the high school level for girls sports, boys will suf­fer too, as tax­payer fund­ing will dry up.

And if that hap­pens soci­ety will be worse off.

John Ruberry reg­u­larly blogs at Marathon Pun­dit.

http://​dat​e​chguy​blog​.com/​2018​/​12​/​30​/​110583/

Blogger on the left many years ago

By John Ruberry

Last week in this space I discussed the problems of allowing transgender athletes to participate in women’s sports, which was inspired by a since-deleted Tweet from tennis legend Martina Navratilova, “You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women,” she wrote earlier this month. “There must be some standards and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”

That post received a spirited response on Twitter and Facebook, and much of that feedback was centered on transgender athletes in high school sports. Last year a transgendered freshman, Andraya Yearwood, was the Connecticut Class M state champion in the 100 meter dash.

After her win Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant, in a mostly favorable column about Yearwood commented that she “has yet to undergo any hormonal treatment on the long process toward sex reassignment surgery.”

In that first Da Tech Guy entry about transgenderism in sports, I outlined the physical advantages male athletes–and of course those born male who now consider themselves female–and they include possessing more testosterone, but also having bigger lungs, a larger heart, more muscle mass, and narrower hips. Males have larger bones–a drawback for long distance runners but a boon for sprinters–and they have more fast-twitch muscles, also known as type 2 fibers. Those muscles greatly aid short distance runners.

Defenders of Yearwood opine about her feelings and rights, but what about the feelings of the girl who finished second? Does she not have hopes and dreams? As for rights, Connecticut law appears to favor Yearwood. But when something is legal that doesn’t automatically make it right or fair.

Youth sports are important for developing bodies and minds. Decades after my final high school race I’m still running and I’m in very good shape. I’m not overweight, my blood pressure is perfect, I feel great, and at least Mrs. Marathon Pundit says I look good. Despite my methodical training and preparation all those years ago sometimes the result on the track or cross country course didn’t pan out. I forced myself not to cry and pout. I learned to toil to improve upon disappointment and failure the next time the starting gun was fired.

Team work is emphasized even in seemingly individual sports such as running. When I was in high school it was a hard rule that all athletes must arrive together and leave together, generally on a school bus. There was no toleration for “helicopter stars” and we had two state champion runners on our team. They were not prima donnas. Usually my race was over early and sometimes, in the case of track invitationals, the meets would last eight hours or more. What did I do then? I cheered on my teammates in their races and sometimes aided them as they stretched before their contests. As a citizen, or even as an employee, when the opportunity arises, I try to help out someone. Did I gain that trait from my sports experiences? I believe so. As for the jerk in the cubicle next to you who is always “too busy” to lend a hand, I’ll bet you that person didn’t participate much in organized youth sports.

Sports builds character. Sure there are vile coaches who allow their players to act like gangbangers. Some teams cheat. While some get away with it, others don’t. Back to my high school days: Our chief rival in cross country was caught training out of state, a violation of Illinois High School Association rules. They were banned from participating in the state championship qualifying meet. That coach should have been fired but wasn’t. It was a mixed victory for fairness.

I suspect that there will be many more transgender athletes in high school sports as gender increasingly becomes a notion instead of a something you are born with. This year Yearwood didn’t successfully defend her Connecticut state championship title. She finished second–to a another trans athlete–one who also captured first place in the 200 meter dash. In Texas an athlete born female who is, according to Fox News Wire Service, taking testosterone because she is transitioning to being a male, won a girl’s state championship as a wrestler.

Last week here I all but predicted that interest, which includes sponsorship, ticket sales, and television ratings, in big time women’s sports will diminish as more transgendered athletes take part. That disinterest will carry over into men’s sports, especially in regards to world championships and the Olympics. We are no longer a male-centered world, and that’s a good thing.

If participation levels decline at the high school level for girls sports, boys will suffer too, as taxpayer funding will dry up.

And if that happens society will be worse off.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

http://datechguyblog.com/2018/12/30/110583/