To the editor:
I am a representative from the National Organization for Women (NOW) which is an organization devoted to equity in all areas including school, work and home. We recently learned about the scoring policy in various intramural leagues. For instance, in co-ed noncompetitive broomball, men are allotted one point for each goal scored while women are allotted two.
We were interested in why there was a difference based on gender in the scoring policy, so we decided to conduct a survey with the intramural captains. The survey included questions such as, "If there was a difference in policies for men and women, did you feel that this enhanced or detracted from the sport and why?" and "If these differences in policies for men and women were removed, do you think that in general women would be less likely to be active participants (not passed to as often, less playing time, etc)?".
We received mixed answers to these questions, particularly based on demographic. We had the participants self-identify themselves as male or female and by the league they participated in, whether it was competitive or noncompetitive.
A female competitive participant said, "Ideally, the active participants would be those who were good/talented. However, honestly, I think women would be less likely to actively participate." A male recreation participant stated, "[The different scoring] detracted. Some girls are very good and as many if not more than some guys."
Since our survey results were mixed, we were inconclusive about NOW's stance on the issue. We debated over the idea between equality and equality of opportunity. We decided that equality would be defined as equal policies for all genders, while equality of opportunity would adjust the policies to give women the opportunity to be equal to men.
We feared that by petitioning the policy to be changed that women may no longer be active participants in the co-ed league. However, we also felt that by opting to participate in a co-ed league, both men and women would understand that they would be playing with other genders and that there need not be a further distinction through scoring. Additionally, we felt that the 1:2 scoring ratio was an inappropriate proportion for men's ability to women's, as it implies that men are doubly better than women at the particular sport.
NOW has not taken a stance on whether or not the intramural scoring policy should be changed; we are still internally debating the issue. We encourage any feedback that faculty, staff, and students have by submitting a letter to The Lamron or e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org