13-Year-Old Boy Keeling Pilaro Granted Permission to Play on Varsity Girls Field Hockey Team

keeling pilaro girls varsity field hockey

Usually when there is a controversy over boys and girls playing on the same team, we’re talking about a girl who wants to play on a boys team. That was the case last week when we told you about the ultraconservative Our Lady of Sorrows Academy in Arizona, which forfeited a championship baseball game because the opponent had a girl playing second base.

But sometimes the controversy surrounds a boy who wants to play on a girls team. That’s the story we have for you today out of Smithtown, New York.

Earlier this year, a group of officials in Suffolk County, New York, ruled that, after two seasons, 13-year-old Keeling Pilaro would no longer be allowed to play on the Southampton High School varsity girls field hockey team. The reason: he was getting too good.

Pilaro lived with his family in Dublin, Ireland, until two years ago, which is where he picked up his love for field hockey. When his family moved to New York state he had to apply for permission from Suffolk county’s mixed competition committee in order to play on the girls varsity team. And permission was granted. But last year Keeling notched 10 goals and 8 assists and was named to the all-conference team. So the same folks who gave him permission to play two years ago revoked their permission, arguing that he was now too good and would have “a significant adverse effect” on girls’ opportunity to participate in school sports.

Obviously, Keeling and his parents appealed the decision. After all, the kid is 4’8″—he couldn’t possibly be that good. And on Tuesday they got good news: a new 40-member competition committee had decided that he would be allowed to play on the Southampton varsity field hockey team—for this season, anyway.

“I was jumping up and down; I was so excited when I heard,” Pilaro told a reporter after hearing of the decision. “I can play!”

Yes you can. Have fun, kid.

Hat Tip – [Fox Sports]

Tags: field hockey, high school sports, hockey,