One of the most important goals of amateur team sports is to get non-professionals to play their favorite sport in organized leagues. That goal is achieved only when the players can exercise, have fun and enjoy the games safely.
To get there, amateur sport leagues are organized by level of play and/or by age group. In each division, we usually have men’s leagues and women’s leagues. However, in many adult divisions there are an increasing number of Co-ed leagues; these include both men and women and are rapidly gaining popularity.
In Co-ed leagues, each team must have a minimum number of players of the opposite sex on the field at all times during the game.
Here are the Pros of Co-ed team sports:
- Players behave more responsibly when they play with or against the opposite sex. Most Co-ed leagues are recreational and it obliges stronger players to be less aggressive than when playing with players of the same sex.
- There are generally fewer injuries in Co-ed games compared to same sex games. Stronger players either make a conscious effort to slow down, or do so sub-consciously when faced with players of the opposite sex.
- Co-ed leagues are very social because they represent both sexes and are more representative of the society.
- Players with partners of the opposite sex can enjoy the activity as a couple by playing in the same Co-ed team.
- The speed of the game is always acceptable and enjoyable. At a given skill level, Co-ed games are generally slower than men’s games and faster than women’s games.
- Co-ed games bring out the best in players from both sexes: There are fewer complaints, almost no trash talk and very few fights in comparison with same-sex games.
- Co-ed games encourage men to develop more patience. Women benefit by improving their skills and strength to keep up as men are generally faster and stronger players than women.
- Players are always excited about the opportunity to meet and socialize with players of the opposite sex and it gives them another reason to go out and play and behave responsibly.
Despite all the nice things said above, Co-ed games also have some disadvantages. Here are the cons of Co-ed games:
- Some teams have difficulty finding the requisite number of players of the opposite sex and end up losing the game by default because of it.
- When Co-ed teams are lacking in players of a specific sex, the few players available are obliged to play much longer than usual. They are often very tired by the end of the game and team performance generally suffers for it.
- Many men, who are usually faster and stronger than women, get frustrated when they face women and find they have to slow down. They may end up not enjoying themselves and may also feel they can’t express themselves fully.
- Women can experience frustration as well. Often, they are not taken seriously during the game by men who are afraid of hurting or overpowering them.
- The fact that players in Co-ed leagues try to be gentle with one another can affect the game in a negative way. More competitive players might not enjoy the game as much.
- Injuries that occur when weaker players try to perform at the same level as stronger players of the opposite sex can be dangerous.
- The potential attraction between players of opposing sexes can sometimes create conflicts and jealousy from other players and this can affect the game negatively.
In conclusion, I think that Co-ed games have more positive points than negative. However, I recommend it for mature, older players as they are more likely to have the patience and self-control to enjoy this type of game.
Here are some resources about Co-ed vs traditional games: