I probably mention it a lot, but in case I don’t/you’re new to my blog, I play this weird sport called quidditch. Yep, it’s based off of Harry Potter, although it’s shifted away from being a geeky hobby to more of an athletic one. Although it’s fun, there can be certain struggles playing as a female player.
There’s six-seven players from each team that are on the field at a time (seven would be when the snitch/seekers are released), and quidditch, being co-ed, also has a gender rule. There has to be at least two players from the minority gender (almost always female) on the field at a time. The sport can also be physical since one-arm tackling is allowed.
Playing a co-ed sport isn’t easy, especially when you’re in the minority. I’m not familiar with any other competitive sports that are co-ed (well, I guess there’s disc golf but that’s not a physical sport), but I could see the same problems showing up in others. Throughout my five years of playing, here are some of the things that I’ve learned:
- There’s more pressure to do well. If you don’t make a catch, chances are your teammates might not pass to you the rest of the game.
- You won’t get taken seriously. I mean, this can be more of an advantage since the other team might not guard you/won’t expect you to charge the hoops.
- Lots of opponents are bigger than you. And probably faster and stronger too. The key is not to get intimidated, and you’ll do fine.
- You can get your ass kicked. Some guys are hesitant to tackle girls, but some are not. I never really had a problem with it (normally the guys are the ones still on the ground while I’m up ready to go), but it can happen.
- Male players get a lot of the attention. They make a lot of the plays and, to be honest, are essential to winning. They’ll primarily be the ones getting clapped on the back at the end of the game (and I mean, they’re your teammates who did a great job so you can’t even be mad).
- Sometimes you feel like you just get playing time because there’s a gender rule. Which kinda sucks, but whatever.
- Even if your captain thinks you’re good, they probably won’t be fond of other female players. I get told to play the whole game pretty often. While this might be a compliment to me, there’s still the issue that the other girls don’t even get a chance to play.
Despite all these struggles, you can still do well! To end the post, here are a few mindsets to keep.
- Train hard. If you put the work into it, then you’ll get better.
- Don’t get intimidated. I’m not a trainer or a doctor or anything of that sort, but I always heard that when you tense up, you’re more likely to get injured. Besides, you’ll never know if you’ll succeed unless you try.
- Stand your ground. On defense? Scrap for that ball as hard as you can.
- Be a good teammate. Work with your teammates and find ways to optimize their skills with your own.
- Look up to other female players (and guys too of course). After watching World Cup (the national championship for US Quidditch), you can clearly see that teams who advance to the final rounds utilize their female players. They seriously kick some ass and are great role models to be honest.
Have you ever played a co-ed sport, whether professionally/for recreation? How were your experiences?