Girls play sports too: 2,747 female vs. 2,654 male athletes

Charlie Gruner, In-Depth Editor

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For the last three years, ETHS has had more total female athletes than male athletes across all three seasons.

In the past three years there have been 2,747 female athletes and 2,654 male athletes participating in the fall, winter and spring. This surge of female participation can be attributed to the Girls Play Sports program, which sends ETHS female student athletes to local Elementary schools to teach the young kids young girls how to get started with the sport.

“All of the young girls who participated were very interested in high school sports,” says Christina Schumm, senior and a coach for the program. “They really looked up to everyone.”
Despite the increased participation of female athletes, attendance at girls games still doesn’t match the boys.

“Attendance at games is definitely not equitable,” says Chris Livatino, athletic director. “Unfortunately, I don’t think our students come out and support our girls teams as much as they do boys relative to the same sport.”

According to Livatino, the sport with the biggest imbalance is basketball. Given that both the girls and boys teams are very similar in their overall makeup and performance, attendance should be about the same, but it is not even close.

“I believe that we are not treated as equally as the boys team, for a multitude of reasons,” says girls basketball team captain, senior Abby Rosenbaum. “It’s not that we don’t get recognition at all, but they do get a lot more than us. They do have one of the top ranked players in the state on their team, so naturally there will be a lot more eyes on them.”
In an attempt to raise attendance at the girls basketball game against New Trier last Wednesday, the boys game was moved to 6 p.m. with the girls right after at 7:30, the opposite of when they have tipped-off in the past.

“It’s frustrating,” says Livatino. “To our girls, to all our coaches and to me. But I think it’s a reflection on our society as a whole. If you watch Sportscenter, the amount of coverage on women’s athletics is terrible.”
Along with basketball, the other most recognized sport in the winter season is swim and dive, with 34 more female swimmers in the last year than there were males.

The Athletic Dept. does all that it can to promote both genders equally. Both boys and girls sports get equal funding, support at pep rallies and announcements on places like Twitter (@ETHSports) and over the intercom for the entire school to hear every morning.

National sports media heavily favors men’s over women’s athletics. Even with the constant recognition of men’s sports above all on television and in the press, the ETHS community strives for equality when it comes to recognition of achievement in sports.