Fireworks Over Field Hockey

Was it poor scheduling or was this incident related to gender bias?


Photo by Creative Commons

In light of the incident involving the UMaine field hockey team, it begs the question: How would you feel if your sport was overshadowed by another?

The University of Maine v. Temple University’s Field Hockey game had an unusual outcome when played on September 7th. The final score did not exist, in fact, the game was declared a “no contest” finish.

The universities were playing a neutral-site game which is when both teams competing are considered to be “away” — this is almost like meeting in the middle. This neutral-site game was being played at Kent State University.

The game was scoreless in regulation and the first overtime. Before the second overtime could start, further play was prohibited. The team was told that the field needed to be cleared for pre-game fireworks that were scheduled to happen before a Kent State football game.

“I would be really upset if this happened to me,” said field hockey player Eliana Godoy. “We work really hard, just as hard as any other team. One sport is not more important than the other.”

Many were upset with the results of the game especially the women of the team and their coaches. A large number of people are claiming this had something to do with a gender bias and if the roles were reversed, this would not have occurred.

“There is always a lot more that plays into an event than meets the eye, it all depends on the scheduling and contracts for the event,” said NYSPHSAA Representative on the Section XI Executive Board, Patti Trombetta. “However, I would hope that the outcome would have been the same for any sport regardless of the sex of the athlete.”

Title IX and Sex Discriminaiton laws have actually been in place with the U.S. Department of Education since 1972. These laws state that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program.”

Knowing all the information before judging a situation is key. The scheduling of both games obviously did not leave room in case of a double overtime, however the teams knew what time the game had to be finished by.