Among other changes, spectators will no longer have to choose between watching Boys Varsity Hockey and Girls Varsity Basketball at this year’s Winter Andover/Exeter games. For the first time, the Athletics Department scheduled this year’s boys and girls games at different times so that spectators will have to choose between sports, as opposed to gender.
The Winter Andover/Exeter schedule change, as well as new efforts to increase more gender-conscious scheduling for all weekly interscholastic sports games, is a clear example of the concrete results of recent gender discussions on campus.
Though the change in athletic scheduling will help to even out attendance between boys and girls games, it is not a cure-all. As students, we must take it upon ourselves to support all of the teams competing—both boys and girls. For example, though timing will no longer get in the way of attending both Boys Hockey and Girls Basketball games, students still need to make a conscious effort to support girls teams just as much as boys teams.
Atmosphere plays a large role in not only the spectator’s experience, but also the player’s performance. With boys and girls now evenly sharing prime Friday and Saturday evening time slots, all teams have a more equal shot at attracting a large crowd. A large and spirited audience brings a new level of energy to games, especially at the high school level where friends and family encourage the players from just behind the sidelines.
The student body should encourage and support all student athletes, just like in any other aspect of life on campus. Making the effort to cheer on a dormmate at her cross country meet is just as important as counting the Blue Key Heads’ push-ups after a touchdown. Athletics are meant to unify the student body through school spirit. By making the effort to attend both girls and boys games, the positive effects of the new changes in game scheduling can be maximized.
This editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXVI.