Students protest 'sexist' intramural soccer rule that doubles points when women score

Appalachian State University awards two points when a female scores a goal and just one point when a male scores.

Students are working to change this rule, calling it unfair and sexist.

A state university intramural soccer program is under fire by students for it's "sexist" policy of awarding two points when a female scores a goal and just one point if a male scores.

Intramural faculty at Appalachian State University (ASU) said the co-ed league implemented the policy when the program was just getting started in an effort to encourage female participants to join.

Kate Rhudy, a sophomore music therapy student, says the system is outdated and is no longer applicable with the league’s high volume of participants.

“These rules haven’t been evaluated in 20 years and there might have been a reason to have them in the past, but they’re not relevant today,” Rhudy said. “It results in the development of a different game of soccer and it perpetuates a stereotypical gender rule.”

Rhudy has played soccer since she was a child, and says the scoring system perpetuates sexism throughout the intramural community.

“I just want the game to reflect fairness to both sexes and be the real game of soccer,” Rhudy told The Appalachian. “The strategy is not teamwork, but to play based on gender.”

Rhudy is now working to change the policy and hopes get support from other students who have taken issue with it. Players say the system changes the game because the female players are always put on offense while men are stuck on defense.

“Women do not need an incentive to play, we are athletically capable beings with an honest desire to compete alongside our male peers in an environment of equality,” said Sunnit Ryan, Rhudy’s teammate. “I personally do not want to be rewarded because I am perceived as weaker and less likely to score a goal, I want to play the game I love the way it was meant to be played.”

Curious if the scoring discrepancy is common throughout ASU’s intramural sports, Rhudy searched and found that other intramural sports were also affected. The intramural football team has similar policies in their scoring system; A touchdown, normally worth six points, is worth nine points if a female scores or throws a touchdown pass, as confirmed by ASU’s activity coordinator Chelsea Watson.

Watson told Campus Reform that the policy was an “industry standard” and that the “majority of intramural programs at different universities play that way as well.” When asked if that was required of a university to comply with such standards, Watson confirmed that ASU made an administrative decision that would increase female participation.

“The rule is in place to ensure that when females sign in and are on the field that they are actually passed to and involved in the play,” Watson told Campus Reform.

When asked if the female participation problem had been resolved, Watson confirmed that the co-ed semi-pro program was the largest division in the intramural system and that participation was no longer an issue. However, she said the policy will continue to stand so long as the university feels it is necessary.

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