Author Topic: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference  (Read 23629 times)

Offline raefil

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2014, 10:12:58 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D

Offline bilbobaggins

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2014, 11:04:08 PM »
Most of our daughters are at uni/ college, we are not Taliban or any other restrictive society.
Men vs women do not ( thanks to our work) need handicapping.  Men vs women football is a nonsense.  Its different and it's foolish to suggest otherwise. I hope that your old school had ad many women doing woodwork, technical drawing etc, all Areas  where women can excell.

Offline davey

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2014, 02:40:34 PM »
Playing men v women (football) has its uses, but is pointless at a pure competitive level due to massive discrepancies of speed and strength. I have seen a good girls team destroy a boys team at U14 level, but a high % of the boys were still lagging behind the girls in maturity, which is the norm at this age. Girls in mixed teams at junior school age fit in well and can compete equally with the boys. It all becomes pointless as they progress into mid/late teens. However, well organised friendlies against mens teams, purely for training purposes are very, very useful for women, giving insight into how quick the game can be, improving match fitness and technical skills. And thats only a good mens local league team. Now funding and wages for women-that's another thing, but you have to put it into perspective:- in my profession, I am equal in all aspects to my male colleagues and that's because I have the same qualifications and work just as hard as the guys and we share out the bad stuff equally. If I wasn't as competent or qualified (equating to strong and fast) as my colleagues, then I would expect to be paid less. In my profession, this applies to all sexes, religions, ethnicities. The problem is that womens football is way,way behind men in funding,wages etc and that is where we should be focussing our energy, not in making a noise about level playing fields in competitions. There is a petition going around at the moment to get the FA to increase funding for womens football at grass roots level. It's a start.

Offline Alan

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Legal query
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2014, 04:46:04 PM »
. .  as the law is so unambiguous, there would probably be no need for formal legal involvement.   Any school would be advised to acquiesce to such a complaint from a pupil at an early stage in the procedure – and that procedure is very simple.  The possibility of court proceedings would be remote, so, as with many laws, will most likely remain unsupported by case law.
Thanks for the legal opinions, much appreciated.  Do you know anything about football as well? :) . . women's football is fine in the hands of the people that create the sport - those who put their time and effort into playing it, and the dedicated people who put their time and effort into training them . . :).  People who take part in sports know that lawyers have little to contribute (outside top-level ocean yacht racing, that is :)).   
Alltid. Uansett.

Offline David

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Re: Legal query
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2014, 10:29:39 PM »
. .  as the law is so unambiguous, there would probably be no need for formal legal involvement.   Any school would be advised to acquiesce to such a complaint from a pupil at an early stage in the procedure – and that procedure is very simple.  The possibility of court proceedings would be remote, so, as with many laws, will most likely remain unsupported by case law.



Do you know anything about football as well? :)


I'm afraid the answer to that will be no Alan :-)

Many members want me to ban him but the hysterical laughter he provides has made me not do that yet….


Offline BillyBoy

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2014, 04:20:19 PM »
I do find some of the responses attracted here discomforting, and a little bit like 'wolf pack' behaviour to be honest.

New ideas and approaches are often ridiculed, but as I believe Wernher Von Braun is sometimes quoted as having said 'You're just a crackpot until you hit the jackpot', and so maybe it's human nature to laugh and poke fun.

Anyway, fairfootball, having read your basic point that you are making, which is below:

I have had cause to read, and reread, the Equality Act 2010, many times.  Section 195 of the Act makes it crystal clear that the opt-out, allowing sport to discriminate by gender, does not extend to children.  Paragraph 4 specifically excludes them.  Furthermore, Part 6 of the Act, which covers all education, makes no reference to, or concessions for, sport whatsoever.
In short this means that schools up and down the country, that are, on a daily basis, either, segregating the sexes for physical education, offering different sports for boys and girls, or, using gender-affected activities, in any form, without good reason, are doing so illegally.  Children, of either sex, or their parents, would be well within their rights to seek legal redress.

I can understand the point that you are making, but when I read Section 195 of the Act I got the impression that sport could be an exception. I'm no legal expert of any kind and legislation is never the most riveting read, but that's what I concluded.

I then thought that what you had raised probably wasn't entirely new, and had probably already been covered somewhere. So searching the internet there appears to be guidance for schools in England on the Equality Act 2010, which is here:

http://www.educationengland.org.uk/documents/pdfs/2012-guidance-2010-equality-act.pdf

More specifically Section 3.20 (Single Sex Sport) states:

3.20 Although the Equality Act forbids discrimination in access to benefits, facilities and services; the Act does contain an exception which permits single sex sports. It applies to participation in any sport or game, or other activity of a competitive nature, where the physical strength, stamina or physique of the average woman (or girl) would put her at a disadvantage in competition with the average man (or boy). But while this exception might permit a mixed school to have a boys only football team, the school would still have to allow girls equal opportunities to participate in comparable sporting activities. The judgment on whether girls would be at a physical disadvantage needs to take into account the particular group in question, so it is much less likely to justify segregated sports for younger children. Where separate teams exist, it would be unlawful discrimination for a school to treat one group less favourably – for example by providing the boys’ hockey or cricket team with much better resources than the girls’.

I admit that this is only a superficial search for information, but it doesn't seem to me that the assertion that you are originally making is totally sound or crystal clear. That's just my thoughts. (Everybody will hopefully now sleep much better tonight.  :D)

« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 04:23:14 PM by BillyBoy »

Offline David

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2014, 06:55:53 PM »
Thanks for the sensible reply BB :-)

Offline fairfootball

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2014, 08:33:40 PM »
Playing men v women (football) has its uses, but is pointless at a pure competitive level due to massive discrepancies of speed and strength. I have seen a good girls team destroy a boys team at U14 level, but a high % of the boys were still lagging behind the girls in maturity, which is the norm at this age. Girls in mixed teams at junior school age fit in well and can compete equally with the boys. It all becomes pointless as they progress into mid/late teens. However, well organised friendlies against mens teams, purely for training purposes are very, very useful for women, giving insight into how quick the game can be, improving match fitness and technical skills. And thats only a good mens local league team. Now funding and wages for women-that's another thing, but you have to put it into perspective:- in my profession, I am equal in all aspects to my male colleagues and that's because I have the same qualifications and work just as hard as the guys and we share out the bad stuff equally. If I wasn't as competent or qualified (equating to strong and fast) as my colleagues, then I would expect to be paid less. In my profession, this applies to all sexes, religions, ethnicities. The problem is that womens football is way,way behind men in funding,wages etc and that is where we should be focussing our energy, not in making a noise about level playing fields in competitions. There is a petition going around at the moment to get the FA to increase funding for womens football at grass roots level. It's a start.

I completely agree with you.  You have however, understandably, misunderstood my views, because you have been misled by contributors to this site.    If you are interested please go to fairfootball.co.uk .   Thank you for your polite and reasoned reply – a breath of fresh air. 

Offline fairfootball

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2014, 08:38:50 PM »
Most of our daughters are at uni/ college, we are not Taliban or any other restrictive society.
Men vs women do not ( thanks to our work) need handicapping.  Men vs women football is a nonsense.  Its different and it's foolish to suggest otherwise. I hope that your old school had ad many women doing woodwork, technical drawing etc, all Areas  where women can excell.
You continue to misrepresent my views in order to divert attention away from my posting.   To make it clear to all the readers, the Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful* for any school to segregate the genders for football.   There are lots of people (and apparently even some regular contributors to this site) who do not want you to know that.

*there are very limited and exceptional circumstances where the defence of ‘positive action’ could be used.

Offline fairfootball

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2014, 08:53:30 PM »
I do find some of the responses attracted here discomforting, and a little bit like 'wolf pack' behaviour to be honest.

New ideas and approaches are often ridiculed, but as I believe Wernher Von Braun is sometimes quoted as having said 'You're just a crackpot until you hit the jackpot', and so maybe it's human nature to laugh and poke fun.

Anyway, fairfootball, having read your basic point that you are making, which is below:

I have had cause to read, and reread, the Equality Act 2010, many times.  Section 195 of the Act makes it crystal clear that the opt-out, allowing sport to discriminate by gender, does not extend to children.  Paragraph 4 specifically excludes them.  Furthermore, Part 6 of the Act, which covers all education, makes no reference to, or concessions for, sport whatsoever.
In short this means that schools up and down the country, that are, on a daily basis, either, segregating the sexes for physical education, offering different sports for boys and girls, or, using gender-affected activities, in any form, without good reason, are doing so illegally.  Children, of either sex, or their parents, would be well within their rights to seek legal redress.

I can understand the point that you are making, but when I read Section 195 of the Act I got the impression that sport could be an exception. I'm no legal expert of any kind and legislation is never the most riveting read, but that's what I concluded.

I then thought that what you had raised probably wasn't entirely new, and had probably already been covered somewhere. So searching the internet there appears to be guidance for schools in England on the Equality Act 2010, which is here:

http://www.educationengland.org.uk/documents/pdfs/2012-guidance-2010-equality-act.pdf

More specifically Section 3.20 (Single Sex Sport) states:

3.20 Although the Equality Act forbids discrimination in access to benefits, facilities and services; the Act does contain an exception which permits single sex sports. It applies to participation in any sport or game, or other activity of a competitive nature, where the physical strength, stamina or physique of the average woman (or girl) would put her at a disadvantage in competition with the average man (or boy). But while this exception might permit a mixed school to have a boys only football team, the school would still have to allow girls equal opportunities to participate in comparable sporting activities. The judgment on whether girls would be at a physical disadvantage needs to take into account the particular group in question, so it is much less likely to justify segregated sports for younger children. Where separate teams exist, it would be unlawful discrimination for a school to treat one group less favourably – for example by providing the boys’ hockey or cricket team with much better resources than the girls’.

I admit that this is only a superficial search for information, but it doesn't seem to me that the assertion that you are originally making is totally sound or crystal clear. That's just my thoughts. (Everybody will hopefully now sleep much better tonight.  :D)


At last a more considered response.  To keep it brief:

Firstly what Para195 really says is that the opt-out for sport does not apply to children.   The FA has already raised the age for mixed football to U15 children (effectively Year 10).  I cannot see any possible defence that a school will have for segregating football when its governing body has made such a decision.  Could be one of the most important decisions the FA has ever made in relation to women’s equality.  And as football is one of the most physical games played in most schools it would also apply to all the other sports. Please don’t mention rugby – that already has serious issues of safety and duty of care troubling it.

Secondly Section 3.20 is for guidance only and has not been ratified by Parliament.  It is not supported by the Act, has not been thought through, and would be ripped to shreds by any half decent lawyer.  As with other advice from the EHRC there are too many mays, mights and phrases that seem to have been plucked from the air, to be of much use.

Thirdly the Act makes no exemptions (apart from specific minor technical ones) for education.   The opt-out quite specifically applies to sport only – that is unless you call education a sport!  As far as I can make out any educational establishment in receipt of public money would have to follow a non-segregation policy.

The law is a mess and has presented women with a golden opportunity for a huge step toward true equality!!!!

  I’m very grateful for the effort that you have made and your open-mindedness.

Offline BillyBoy

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2014, 10:14:06 PM »
OK thanks for giving that extra detail. The guidance is from the department of education and the .gov.uk site. I doubt that we'll be able to 'bottom this out' on here, but I can appreciate what you are saying.

I would add though, in my eyes at least, that the law is there to serve the people, and the responses on here indicate to me that a radical change to football at school wouldn't be welcomed or regarded as necessary. So, even if there is an inequality within the current law there is no desire to pursue it. And presumably the law can also be amended to reflect the will of the people.

I take your point about it also applying to other sports too.

Offline bilbobaggins

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2014, 10:22:44 PM »
it takes  a small flame to cause the fire that is fairfootball, even his name is an oxymoron.
again, if young girls are forced to play against young men, then they will give up the sport!

Offline law10

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2014, 10:55:28 PM »
In a supremely ironic fashion, when you try to have an intelligent conversation with someone and they fail to listen or acknowledge your viewpoint, after a while it gets on your nerves.  And if anyone's hard done by, it's people who fail to have their clear and universally-accepted opinions appreciated, considered, or weighed.

This topic isn't a wolfpack, it's a meme for attempting to talk solve the madness of mankind.

Offline fairfootball

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2014, 11:00:16 AM »
OK thanks for giving that extra detail. The guidance is from the department of education and the .gov.uk site. I doubt that we'll be able to 'bottom this out' on here, but I can appreciate what you are saying.

I would add though, in my eyes at least, that the law is there to serve the people, and the responses on here indicate to me that a radical change to football at school wouldn't be welcomed or regarded as necessary. So, even if there is an inequality within the current law there is no desire to pursue it. And presumably the law can also be amended to reflect the will of the people.

I take your point about it also applying to other sports too.

When I was teaching I was aware of many girls who wanted to play football with boys.   It is my opinion that especially where children are concerned, we all have a civic duty to ensure their rights are upheld, no matter what our own personal views are.  Looking the other way is not an option for me.

Offline fairfootball

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2014, 11:04:38 AM »
it takes  a small flame to cause the fire that is fairfootball, even his name is an oxymoron.
again, if young girls are forced to play against young men, then they will give up the sport!

You are still trying to peddle misinformation about FairFootball .  It promotes the idea of boys and girls playing cooperatively rather than against each other.   Have you ever read my proposal let alone understood it?  Also it is my understanding from the figures that, despite all the hype, participation figures for girls are on the way down – so present system is hardly a raging success.


Offline fairfootball

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2014, 11:07:35 AM »
In a supremely ironic fashion, when you try to have an intelligent conversation with someone and they fail to listen or acknowledge your viewpoint, after a while it gets on your nerves.  And if anyone's hard done by, it's people who fail to have their clear and universally-accepted opinions appreciated, considered, or weighed.

This topic isn't a wolfpack, it's a meme for attempting to talk solve the madness of mankind.


I’m sorry but I don’t understand the point you are making.  If you are saying that universally accepted options are right, and therefore should not be challenged, then this forum would have no purpose.

Offline andydinger

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2014, 12:50:08 AM »
You are still trying to peddle misinformation about FairFootball .  It promotes the idea of boys and girls playing cooperatively rather than against each other.

Fortunately most schools are moving away from the bad old days of "cooperative" PE where everyone got a medal just for "trying hard" & are returning to the true ethos of competitive sport where you have to have determination & courage to win. In that situation you don't change the rules of the sport to allow everyone to participate but separate the competition by group. There's no more reason for teenage girls to play boys than the blind to play against the amputees or the under 10s play the under 14s.

BTW has anyone ever tried to play your game? If so, what was their feedback?

Offline fairfootball

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2014, 10:11:59 AM »
Your question has nothing to do with the original posting.  As for FairFootball, it is a proposal that allows a team of boys and girls to play cooperatively together against another team of boys and girls – it not a non-competitive game.  I would like to know if you have actually read my proposal (it can be seen at www.fairfootball.co.uk ). Even as the author I readily admit it took me several weeks to fully appreciate the implications.

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2014, 11:10:56 AM »
Looking again at the setup. Tactically the game would be a disaster. That's not dispariging the idea but for example the positioning of a back four when narrow wouldnt work neither, would overlapping fullbacks and having rotation of position with in the chosen formation. It wuold be horrible to watch freekicks all over the place for transgressing into designated areas.

Offline law10

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Re: Censored Question to Women Play Sport 2013 Conference
« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2014, 02:07:21 PM »
I've coached girls for 35 years.  We used to put talented girls with boys like the Germans up to 16 or later, but it never works out socially as well for the girls past the age of 9 or 10.  We put them with older girls and women now.  The women's game allows this because the amount of danger and intent is a small fraction of the men's.