Archd. Philadelphia: Catholic High School might wrestle girl in tourney

How stupid do things have to get before we either come to our senses and start behaving normally or have violent whiplashes?

From CBS in Philly.

Catholic League Wrestler Will Not Wrestle Girl In District Tournament

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After the Philadelphia Archdiocese revised its rule and for the first time was going to allow a Catholic league male wrestler to take on a female wrestler, a new development has switched things up.  [The Archdiocese revised its rule?]

Another wrestler had to drop out of the tournament. Now, Tatyana Ortiz, from Mariana Bracetti Charter School, will take on a male from the public league.

For Catholic high schools in Philadelphia, men and women competing in contact sports has been a no-no. That rule almost meant a potentially career-ending forfeit for Tim McCall this weekend.

That is until a surprising change of heart.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Philadelphia Archdiocese earlier in the week and prompted this response:

“The decision to take part in any post season individual championship PIAA wrestling match will be at the discretion of the individual student and his parents.” – Ken Gavin, Archdiocese of Philadelphia Spokesperson.

Meaning Tim McCall could wrestle Tatyana Ortiz after all. But again, with the bracket revision, she will now take on a boy from the public league instead of Father Judge’s McCall.

Who thinks this is a dreadful idea?

What does a guy do in a situation like this?   Go into the ring and bust her in half?  Would that be right?   Go into the ring and risk losing because you can’t do what is necessary to win and still be … decent?

I am reminded of Chariots of Fire… of Sandy Koufax….

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Pò sì jiù, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, You must be joking! and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. MrsMacD says:

    “What does a guy do in a situation like this?” Just refuse, walk away, nobody is making you fight.

  2. mburn16 says:

    I wrestled in high school, and we were actually in the unique position of having two girls on our team. They won as often as they lost….indeed, they won as often as most other people on the team. Scholastic wrestling is a sport that demands skill just as much – in fact, probably moreso – than strength. Combine with the fact that: 1) wrestlers are divided into weight classes, so the strength advantage men normally have over women is substantially less than you would think, and 2) the girls who do choose to wrestle tend to be made of particularly “tough stuff”….and generally I would say that it is perfectly safe, and that the answer to “what does a guy do in this situation” is….go out there and attempt to win just as you would against any other opponent.

    [What a sad response.]

  3. Manducat in the hat says:

    As a man who participated in combat sports against women, I find it hard to believe that a woman would ever get a fair shake and win. The guys who didn’t hold back snapped the women in half. The guys who held back got beaten, but it’s a victory with an asterisk because the guy didn’t compete to the best of his ability against the woman. She beat him because he is a decent human being, not because she was legitimately more skilled at the sport.

  4. spock says:

    Our 6th grade nephew had to wrestle an eighth grade girl. I could not believe when I heard about it. He won. She wasn’t permanently damaged. The point is well taken. The boy can either bow out or knock the @#/%^# out of her. Either way it’s humiliating, either the boy is humiliated losing to a girl or the 8th grader is humiliated by losing to a 6th grader. Not very sensible.

  5. tominrichmond says:

    Not the first time this has come up… my boys both wrestled at a Catholic high school, and although there was no policy I’m aware of, none of our boys would wrestle a girl, and would rather take a forfeit. And, um, anyone who’s seen a wrestling match knows that there is no way a parent, a school that cares anything about morality, or a well-raised young man would or should ever even consider this. That some Catholic school thinks this is OK is a sign of how far we’ve fallen.

  6. torch621 says:

    Honestly? Forfeit.

  7. aliceinstpaul says:

    This is nothing. This year, schools across the country have biologically male minors participating on girls’ sports teams as they claim to be “transgender”, and the Catholic schools are in sports leagues with those schools, and will or have played against them.

  8. frjim4321 says:

    “What does a guy do in a situation like this? Go into the ring and bust her in half? Would that be right? Go into the ring and risk losing because you can’t do what is necessary to win and still be … decent?”

    Uhm, I think their real concern is that the girl would pin the boy.

    [Their real concern is that it’s Just Plain Wrong.]

  9. moon1234 says:

    This is not new. It was happening when I was in high school in 1996 in Wisconsin. There was ONE girl who demanded to wrestle. There was no such thing as girl’s wrestling league. She did not wrestle for our high school. NONE of the boys would wrestle her and she won each match by default. She was NOT a small or breakable girl either. She rather looked like a linebacker with short hair. We all figured she was a certain persuasion so wanted NOTHING to do with wrestling. (Much less the thought of possibly losing to girl in front of all of the other guys).

    This type of stuff must stop. Young men need male only sports. It has always been this way. It does not diminish a girl/young woman in any way.

  10. Moro says:

    I don’t for a minute believe the Archdiocese ok’d this. Coed Baseball, tennis, or soccer is one thing. But Wrestling? You’ve got to be kidding me. The fact that this even merits an explanation shows how low our culture has gone.

    On a side note, while I think sports are a good thing, I don’t understand why they are always linked to schools. Schools are for intellectual development not beating each other up for fun. Getting rid of them and letting people organize their own community sports would help school budgets immensely, not to mention avoid controversies like this.

  11. Lavrans says:

    Wrestling involves things like “crotch throws” in which a competitor grips the inner thigh/crotch/butt of the opponent in order to flip or lift him. At other times, the opponent’s crotch/butt is firmly planted on the face of the other. In a singlet. While I’m not sure why anyone would want to do this, male or female, I cannot fathom having my son or daughter involved in a sweaty, violent, sex-like act. And you know what? Watch it in slow-motion and it looks just like the prelude to a rape. I’m not even kidding. Go to You Tube and search for “mixed wrestling” “girl vs. boy” and you will quickly see that this is a stupid and vulgar venture.

  12. cwillia1 says:

    No male should wrestle a female, no matter how evenly matched. And the reason is that the behavior is fundamentally incompatible with how men and women should treat each other. For that matter there is something bizarre about women wrestling each other. A man’s duty is to fight if necessary to defend his community. Contact sports prepare men for this. So at a time when sexual identities are forming and some kids experience confusion over this and during a brief period when girls’ physical development on average surpasses that of boys we encourage boys and girls to behave in a way that fundamentally contradicts their natures as young men and women. It is madness.

  13. DonL says:

    I can’t help feel that this cave will merely help precipitate the social engineer’s pet goal–women in foxholes. We’ll hear more on this if trump/Hillary match opens up the “war on women” meme.

  14. oldconvert says:

    Do they have a handicap system or something like it? Basic physiology ensures that a boy and girl (or man and woman) of the same weight, and age, who have undergone the same training, will still have different physical strengths, the female having less. It’s to do with testosterone and its role in muscular development. It’s just a fact of life. So how on earth can such contests be fair, and that’s before we get into the area of propriety.

    Why wrestling, I wonder? Are there mixed teams in other strength-based sports, ones which don’t involve pubescent children writhing around one another. Like weight-lifting or tug-of-war. If not, why not?

  15. PTK_70 says:

    Personally, I find girls’ involvement in wrestling uncivilized……even ‘girl on girl’ wrestling. Girl on girl judo or kendo, different story.

    In my state, until recently boys and girls wrestled one another all the way up through the state championships. Because someone had an agenda to try and prove that boys and girls are the same, I guess. But the boys dominated the state championships. So now (surely in a nod to reality?) the boys and girls compete separately at state.

  16. MrsMacD says:

    It points to the heart of what is wrong with our society, by painting girls as equal/superior men, we lose sight of the true dignity of the woman, the handmaid, and we make male monsters by telling them that something evil is good (grabbing/smashing women). (Let’s just close our eyes and concupisence will not matter.). I’m so fed up with this world in which people are so blinded (there but for the grace of God go I) by the lies of the gospel of television. Men and women ARE different. l

    frjim4321 I hope your Mother ‘pins’ your ears and you get a little common sense in the process.

    That said, it would be good for our ladies to be able to defend themselves, so what is a viable option?

  17. RecoveringFeminist says:

    I pose this question to those that allow their daughters to wrestle (yes, here in Wisconsin): What’s the difference if their daughter were molested on the street by a stranger or molested on the wrestling mat by a stranger? And we wonder why our children are “confused” about their sexuality?

  18. If we allow stuff like this, maybe we deserve a chastisement. This is why it would be homeschooling for my children if I ever had the chance to have any.

  19. Sconnius says:

    When I was a junior in HS (~2007) at state, there was a female wrestler at 103 lbs who, as a senior, finished the season something like 43-4 and runner up at the tournament. The WIAA individuals state tournament. She was good. She ended up on the US women’s olypmic wrestling team.

    And to clear something up, the “crotch-throws” Lavrans mentions aren’t legal in the folkstyle wrestling done at the scholastic and NCAA level. That’s freestyle. Freestyle and Greco-Roman are the forms followed in international competition, like the Olympics.

    Also, there aren’t any handicap systems in place, unless one wrestler is blind (that’s the only thing I can think of). Factors like strength can be mitigated by an opponent’s speed, skill-set, move combinations, balance, dexterity.
    Some of the worst guys I ever went against were super strong, and that was it.

    My younger sister also got into the sport, having followed my brother and I all over the state for all those years. She competed in high school, and is now a licensed WIAA wrestling official. It’s part of my family’s tradition I guess. My aunts and my grandma are just a good a coach as my dad or uncles have been. My mom never really liked it though.

    I don’t know how PA post-season tournaments are set up, in WI we have regionals, sectionals, and then state. Top 2 per weight class from regionals go to sectionals, top 3 from sectionals go to state for 12 man brackets, except for the larger schools (DI) who have 16 man brackets. So this sounds like it is the first level of the true postseason, where a forfiet could prevent Mr. McCall from being in a position to advance.

    To answer Fr. Z’s question what is a guy to do? If he’s good and she’s not, he’ll go out there and tech fall her (win by 15) in the first period. If both wrestlers are even, then it’s an even match, and if she is better, then she’ll win whether he holds back or no.

    But if the female athlete is at such a disadvantage that she has absolutely no chance, none of the coaches I know would ask her to go out there. The coach would forfiet that match and go on to the next weight class.

  20. Sconnius says:

    But to follow up, I wrestled at 160 lbs, and the high school me wouldn’t have wanted to wrestle a girl in my weight class. I would have forfeited, but not quite for the reason that my adult self would.

    Wrestling is a sport that does have a sizable female participation, but it’s an underserved group. A few years ago WI began holding an all-girl’s state postseason that my sister participated in. A girl from our neighboring school district made it to the final tournament and won 2 times.

  21. Lavrans says:

    Well, Sconnius, the you tube videos that I viewed were high school kids. The girls had their hands tightly attached to the crotches of the boys. At other times, the Giles were straddling the boys, or had their crotches in the face of the boys. How is this a sport? It is ridiculous and, frankly, disgusting. I hope it dies out. I will never have my kids involved in it either. I stand by the facts that are available for all to see on you tube. If it wasn’t on a mat, one would assume it was the prelude to a rape. It is the same concept…render a person unable to move or fight back. Gross. Get rid of it.

  22. mlmc says:

    Sconnius-it is quite legal & common for wrestlers to have their hands high up in the opponents thigh or crotch. Two of the most common “riding” techniques are the spiral & the claw ride and both frequently have the top wrestlers hands in the others thigh. Many Throws are legal in folk style and moves such as “the ball & chain” clearly place the hands in the crotch region(those interested can google it). Many “tilts”- which are the rage in wrestling- have your hand/arm in the crotch region. That said, I have been an assistant coach at a HS with a female wrestler- she was tough but I would never want my daughter to wrestle. She was able to defeat guys who weren’t technical wrestlers b/c she was fairly experienced- but the good ones mauled her. Females are at a disadvantage if for no other reason than the “fat test” requires they maintain a higher fat percentage then men (appropriately so). Two of my sons wrestled but neither faced a female wrestler. We had HS boys who would refuse to wrestle girls and others who had no compunction about trashing them. But many boys clearly wrestled them differently, if for no other reason than they feared being accused of taking liberties. They also saw it as a no win- in their eyes if they didn’t crush her they lost. The elementary school age wrestling boys often were afraid to hurt the girls- many of the kids I coached came from families with traditional values and those boys took to heart the lesson you don’t hurt girls.

  23. everett says:

    When I was in 7th grade at a public school, I had to wrestle a girl. Going in, my coach told me that the only thing I was allowed to do was a half nelson. Everything else was off limits. I wasn’t much of a wrestler, but pinned her in the first period. It wasn’t remotely fun, it was just all kinds of awkward.

  24. PTK_70 says:

    Thank you Lavrans and mlmc.

    That an experienced, older girl in the lightest division may be able to out-wrestle most of her male competition (usually freshmen and sophomores in the lightest division) is the exception that proves the rule. But then, “competitiveness” is not even the most important factor. As Lavrans has so well pointed out, look at what happens in wrestling. The spread eagle is reason enough to not have boys and girls wrestle one another. Of course the spread eagle can be countered……if you’re good enough and strong enough! But the spread eagle is just one example of how girls on the wrestling mat are in immediate danger of being put in undignified and compromising positions.

    Through the miracle of international travel and modern communication, we Westerners have come to learn of various martial arts from the Orient. I want to suggest that girls may licitly and gainfully participate in (girl on girl) judo, for example, or kendo.

  25. stuart reiss says:

    I agree. This is more sad than boys and girls being allowed to wrestle.
    Men and women tangle that way once they are married. Otherwise the only body part allowed to touch should be hands when wishing each other a good day. Do Americans lack decorum? This is terrible.

  26. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    This makes me curious as to the history of school wrestling. A long time ago, when we wrestled in pre-pubescent gym class, I don’t remember crotches ever being involved (or that boys and girls wrestled each other).

    MrsMacD has an interesting question with “it would be good for our ladies to be able to defend themselves, so what is a viable option?” In unarmed self-defense training, is simulated attack on a female student by a male instructor/fellow student judicious, or perhaps even preferable, or quite unnecessary?

  27. hilltop says:

    What a high school wrestler boy (forgive that redundancy) should be able to do is say, “Sorry Miss Mugilla, we cannot wrestle because the Principal forbids it and he is in full agreement with the Bishop on this question, and besides, it’s against the rules of the Archdiocesan sports leagues for girls to wrestle.”
    Instead this young man will have to see the church adults pass the buck to the kids.
    Where in hades are the leaders in the Church?

  28. oklip955 says:

    I never could see the point of wrestling. I think it should be banded at the jr hi/high school level. I don’t have a problem with women’s contact sports just not coed. By the way, I did compete at track in high school as a girl who ran mostly against guys. Nope was not good at even running the few times against other girls but again because of the few of us on the team nothing like running the 660 then next race the mile.

  29. Cincinnati Priest says:

    When I hear unfortunate stories like this one, I have to wonder: What kind of parents would want/allow their daughter to wrestle with a boy?

    Yes, I know: the same ones who were brainwashed into thinking that there is “no difference between the sexes” and that “gender” is merely a “social construct” in the 70s and 80s.

    Sad. Sad. Sad.

    And, as Fr. Z mentions, any Catholic school allowing it is Just. Plain. Wrong.

  30. mlmc says:

    Lavrans- Did you mean you hoped coed wrestling dies out? Many young men desire to be challenged and wrestling is by far the toughest sport in high school. I have seen many young men start to wrestle as overweight, weak and undisciplined freshman and thru wrestling become strong, tough, self confident young men who are justifiably proud of the transformation wrestling has made in them both mentally & physically. Particularly for the smaller young men who aren’t suited to football(which has serious issues with concussions & may really nosedive in participation) wrestling gives them an avenue for competition in a “combat” sport with low risk of long term injury-unlike football, boxing, MMA etc. Our society offers too few opportunities for young men to test them selves in an appropriate setting.

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