Wrestler Defaults to Avoid Facing Female Opponent


A high school wrestler in Iowa refused to compete against a girl at a state tournament last week because doing so, he said, would have conflicted with his religious beliefs. In defaulting, he gave up the chance to be a champion, but was allowed to compete in consolation rounds with other teammates.

The female competitor was one of the first two girls to make the state wrestling tournament in its 85-year history.

The player who defaulted, himself a standout wrestler, issued the following statement:

“…wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa.”

The violence issue is one thing.

But if I were a parent, I’d have a much bigger problem with my teenage daughter rolling around on the mat with a teenage boy in nothing but wrestling singlets.

Sex education is one thing, but I think that’s a little too much physical contact.

I have nothing wrong with women competing in “men’s sports,” but I think there are some sports where a separation of the sexes still isn’t a bad idea.

What do you think? If you were the parent of either wrestler, would you have any concerns about this? Do you think it’s appropriate for teens of the opposite sex to compete this way?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.


  • I personally don't think boys and girls should be wrestling against each other as sanctioned sports. The reason it is happening is because of Title IX, etc., which says something about how many sports for each gender there should be and rules about joining teams of opposite gender if the sport isn't offered for your gender, etc.

  • It seems ridiculous to me. I went to camp at 15 and participated in a mudwrestling contest, wrestling both boy and girl opponents; everybody wore bathing suits. There wasn't anything sexual to it. These kinds of problems are created by the parents' puritan attitudes. You can turn anything into a big deal by giving it enough unnecessary attention of the wrong kind.

    However, if it's necessary to put a sexual spin on it: if I had a son, were he to squirm around sweating, spandex-clad, and his hands going all over the place, I'd prefer it were with a female.

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