Hockey debate heats up

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

The debate sparked by Tuesday's column about the high-school-playing Pasternak twin sisters in Winnipeg and their quest to earn a tryout for the boy's team was quite impassioned.

My reader mailbox began to fill almost immediately upon the paper hitting the streets.

First to chime in was Abisaac. He saw my point and had first-hand experience. His daughter Risa had tried out and earned a spot on the Thornhill High School boy's basketball team. (There is no girl's squad.) She was one of the team's leading scorers when bad news came mid-season. The school board said being a girl made her ineligible.

Glen agrees that the Pasternak's parents might see things differently if they had boys playing on the team in Winnipeg. "I'm sure their parents would not have encouraged their lawsuit if they had sons of their own. Boys bond as a team in a completely different way than the girls and "vive la difference".

A man who claims to have been "playing with men and women for 45 years", George thinks that I have missed the mark completely and feels sports is all about competition: "Teaching other girls to skate and play is not the same as playing to your full."

Still others empathize with the Pasternaks' competitive spirit, like Kush, "if I were to put myself in the situation that these girls are in (and I'm a guy, btw), I would have a hard time not trying to get into the best developmental situation I could." He added that this indeed was a can of worms that could be debated ad nauseum.

Colin was fired up: "It is such a sorry state when the we are so bombarded with personal glory and win-at- all-cost attitude that our youth miss the ability to grow leadership abilities. I coached at the amateur level and find that chauvinism is alive and well in Canadian sport."

Obviously there is no right or wrong here -- only an opinion-filled discussion, and with the news that the Pasternak sisters were among 13 cuts on the West Kildonan Wolverines Boy's Hockey team, the coaches have given theirs.

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Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.


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