Coed Sports: When Should Boys and Girls Play Separately?

No matter what sport your child wants to be involved in, there's always a range of decisions to make, from picking the activity itself to deciding what type of league to join. When the option of coed teams presents itself, how do you make the right call?

Benefits of Coed Sports 

For children who haven't hit puberty--which generally occurs between ages 10 and 12--coed leagues can be beneficial for both genders. 

To start, choosing a coed team can allow boys and girls to join a group based on ability rather than solely on gender. This promotes a great level of competition, increases skills and it can help prevent less naturally talented children from feeling out of among their peers.  

More: 6 Benefits of Team Sports for Kids

Placing boys and girls together on one team also goes a long way in combatting gender stereotypes and preconceived ideas about girls in sports. Coed teams create a great social environment for kids and can counter the notion that females can't be as competitive as their male counterparts.

In some cases, there might not be enough interest in a given sport for all-girls or all-boys groups, meaning that going coed might be the only way for local leagues to field teams. In situations like this, bringing boys and girls together grants children a greater opportunity to discover a sport they enjoy and excel at, whether that be a girl playing football or a boy hitting the volleyball court.

Finally, having both genders on one team can change how the game is played for the better. Girls tend to be more pass-oriented, while boys usually focus more on their own success in a game. Coed teams can help both sides grow and adapt, giving children a wider set of skills as they move forward in their preferred sport.

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About the Author

Melissa Flandreau

Melissa Flandreau grew up spending her summers playing soccer in the Texas sun. After receiving a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina ? and enjoying the natural beauty of the Tar Heel State ? she headed back to Dallas. Her work has appeared in Southwest: The Magazine, Coastal Living, and Durham Magazine.

Melissa Flandreau grew up spending her summers playing soccer in the Texas sun. After receiving a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina ? and enjoying the natural beauty of the Tar Heel State ? she headed back to Dallas. Her work has appeared in Southwest: The Magazine, Coastal Living, and Durham Magazine.

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