Let girls play football
  • Petitioned Archdiocese of Philadelphia CYO Office

This petition was delivered to:

Office of CYO Sports
Archdiocese of Philadelphia CYO Office
Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Kenneth A. Gavin
Archbishop of Plhiladelphia
Archbishop Charles Chaput
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Leslie Davila

Let girls play football

    1. Marycecelia Pla
    2. Petition by

      Marycecelia Pla

      doylestown, PA

March 2013


VICTORY! From CNN: Members of a panel selected by the archdiocese voted to continue the boys-only policy as written. Despite the panel's recommendation, on Thursday Archbishop Charles Chaput ordered the archdiocese to allow girls to play CYO football, according to a statement. "The Archdiocese will allow for co-ed participation in CYO football, effective in the 2013 season," the statement said, adding that the rule was provisional and will be reviewed in future seasons. http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/14/us/philadelphia-archdiocese-boys-only-football/index.html?iref=allsearch

My daughter Caroline, who has played football since age 5, has been fortunate enough to be part of a special team the last two years, where she got to experience the camaraderie and ultimate team atmosphere of the sport, while representing our local Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) program. She was physically able to compete, and was a contributor and equal part of the team.

My husband George and I, who have been active in the church and CYO for decades, were told in the middle of the season that Caroline could no longer play because “football is for boys.” The news came despite the fact that Caroline is considered an all-star junior varsity player by her teammates. 

CYO is one of the lone remaining organizations that discriminates against girls in football even though the ability of a girl to be able to participate and compete safely has been proven. Even the NFL and Pop-Warner leagues have no male-only rule and thousands of women play full-tackle high-school football each year in America. According to the CYO rule, Caroline will no longer be allowed to play, as the CYO office looks to enforce this archaic language in their handbook. What's worse is that the rule, as it stands now, will prevent any girl in the future from being a part of a CYO football team.

My daughter wants more than anything for this rule to be updated and modernized to reflect the times. Simply change the rule and allow girls to play.

Recent signatures


    1. Hail Mary Pass- Hope will never fade!

      Marycecelia Pla
      Petition Organizer
      Mom tosses Hail Mary pass for her daughter

      In the coming week, Archbishop Charles Chaput will decide whether to uphold a ban on females playing CYO co-ed contact football. The issue stems from the situation involving my daughter, Caroline Pla, a JV member of Romans Football in Bucks County.

    2. Reached 100,000 signatures
    3. Reached 30,000 signatures
    4. Reached 8,000 signatures
    5. Girl banned from CYO football

      Marycecelia Pla
      Petition Organizer
      Bucks County Girl, 11, Banned From Sport She Loves

      Who says girls can't play the same sports as boys? The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) told Caroline Pla, a 6th grader at Cold Spring Elementary in Doylestown, she can no longer play football. "They told me this season that there's a rule in CYO that girls can't play that it's only for boys and that I'm not allowed to return after this season," Caroline explained.

    6. Reached 6,000 signatures
    7. Reached 250 signatures



    Jan 10, 2013

    The @TheEllenShow also supports girl football player, Caroline Pla: "I urge you to sign this petition http://t.co/6K2kAuvf"

    Sam Gordon


    Jan 09, 2013

    Caroline Pla, I support you. If you think girls should be allowed to play football, I urge you to sign this petition http://t.co/A3oBPJyM

    Ellen DeGeneres

    Reasons for signing

    • Mark Rauterkus PGH, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      Sportsmanship is more than a guy thing. Let any kid play if he or she wants to play.

    • leslie ruth CLAYTON, DE
      • over 1 year ago

      What happened to this situation?

    • Czariyyah Flores MANILA, PHILIPPINES
      • over 1 year ago

      i want to be a footballer too :)

    • Diana Mazurek MISSISSAUGA, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      She & all girls should be able to play!!

    • Lebbeus Lam HONG KONG, HONG KONG
      • over 1 year ago

      Let em' girls play so football can get into the Olympics!


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