The attendance for a girls high school volleyball game is noticeably lower than a boys high school football game. Is this because football is such a popular sport originating in America? Is this because the teams’ roster size is bigger, increasing their fan base?
In the majority of high schools, most boys are given an opportunity to try out for fall football. Increasing the number of teams also increases the chances of being placed on a roster. According to a Nebraska high school football player in the class of 2023, in football, athletes are placed on a roster, no matter skill, athleticism, or knowledge of the game.
For a Nebraska Class A football team, 70 medals are awarded after the state championship game, while allowing for the roster to exceed 70 suited players. “A school may dress any number of players” according to NSAA. This means boys football teams allow for an extensive amount of players to be added to their roster.
As for volleyball, the roster is limited to no more than 14 girls during subdistricts, districts, district finals and state games.
Most sports rosters are limited in Nebraska. These include volleyball, softball, golf, swimming and diving, basketball, soccer, and tennis, with the exceptions of track and field and cross country.
I think that it should be more encouraged to attend other high school sporting events, despite the popularity of football in America.
Girls do not have a sport with a wide-ranging roster that embraces culture beyond the game.
Football is a male dominant sport with a large fanbase surrounding high school, college, and professional teams. This culture amplifies the attendance and energy of the sport.
High school sports in the Metro area have recently been allowed a limited senior-only student section during the pandemic. Students are encouraged to attend these events, but how can we destroy the bias that comes with gender and sports?
I think that there is no manageable solution; girls simply don’t have a sport parallel to football.
I myself am guilty of attending football and boys basketball games over volleyball and girls basketball games. I see a lot of my classmates do this as well. We are perpetuating the bias in sports every time we choose “friday night lights” over Saturday morning volleyball tournaments. Why isn’t supporting our own classmates and school enough to make us consistent fans?
How can you say you “love sports,” not attend your own high school’s volleyball game, but tailgate at a college football game the next Saturday? For many, it seems as though the event’s popularity draws people to a game more than an interest.
High school sports may involve a bias with girls and boy sports, but fans coming together shows organization and unity. The Class of 2021 is given an opportunity not everyone has, to be allowed to go to these games. They are granted a new atmosphere of sports, new opportunities, and no excuses. To those seniors who missed Marian events and school spirit during their months in quarantine, why wouldn’t you be in the stands at every game you can?
Although the bias in high school sports is evident and possibly unbreakable, it is still an opportunity worth taking to help change this for your current friends and future Marian girls.