Confirmed victory

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.

Letter 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
and 1 other
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Leslie Davila
Stop Discrimination - Change the CYO Football Rule - Allow Girls to Play. It is one of the lone remaining organizations that discriminate against girls in football. The ability of a girl to be able to participate and compete safely has been proven. Girls are allowed to play Pop Warner football and even the NFL has no "male-only" rule. Caroline Pla has been fortunate enough to be part of a special CYO team the last two years, where she got to experience the camaraderie and ultimate team atmosphere of football, while representing her local CYO program. She was physically able to compete, and was a contributer and equal part of the team. According to the rule, she is no longer allowed to continue, as the CYO office looks to enforce this archaic language in their handbook - that football is for boys. The rule, as it stands now, will prevent any girl in the future from participating in and be part of a CYO football team. Moreover, because schools in the Archdiocese take federal funds, it may also be a violation of Title IX to discontinue allowing girls to play. Caroline wants more than anything that this rule be updated and modernized to reflect the times. Simply change the rule and allow girls to play.