Girls's softball is not only a great benefit for girls, but it also is getting more popular every year. It is a great way for girls to make friends. I know from experience that both my sister and I have made some of our best friends from our softball teams. It is also a good opportunity for girls to improve their skills and get exercise. With the immense homework loads, softball is something that girls can look forward to, not only as a break from school, but also to exercise and have fun with their friends. Softball is a great family activity.

Parents can be actively involved with their child's team. Whether they are coach, manager, or volunteer in any other position, it makes it more fun for the family and the team. Because softball has so many advantages, it is growing larger each year. As every new season starts, more and more girls are registering. Having more girls who want to play softball is wonderful, but Navajo Girls Softball has a problem.

At Lake Murray, the Navajo home fields, there are only two full size fields while San Carlos Little League has five fields. Navajo cannot grow with so few fields. With the situation that Navajo is in right now, I see only two possible solutions. The first solution, and not a very happy one at that, is to limit the number of girls who can register. After a certain number of girls sign up, Navajo would have to close the registration and turn down all of the girls who were too late. I do not know about anyone else, but I know I sure would not want to be the one who had to tell anyone they could not play softball.

There is another possibility, but just like the last one, it is not a good choice. Navajo could accept registration for all the girls who want to play, but limit the number of teams. This would mean having very large teams, most likely with thirteen or fourteen girls on a team. When there are more kids on a team, everyone gets less playing time - especially the new and less experienced players.

The new kids spend the majority of their time on the bench, and believe me - from experience - being on the bench for most of the season is not fun. It is often very discouraging and after a while, a kid's self esteem is lowered - often leaving the child feeling useless. She cannot learn much by sitting on the bench, she does not have a good softball experience, and probably the worst of all, she does not have fun. When girls cannot play sports because of the lack of space, it is depriving them of their.

It has been proven that playing sports has a positive impact on girls. According to the Women's Sports Foundation: "Women student-athletes graduate at a significantly higher rate (68%) than women students in general (59%). [... ] Teenage female athletes are less likely to use marijuana, cocaine, or 'other' illicit drugs (such as LSD, PCP, speed or heroin), less likely to be suicidal, [and] less likely to smoke." The Women's Sport Foundation also says that: "Teenage female athletes are less than half as likely to get pregnant as female nonathletes (5% and 11%, respectively), more likely to report that they had never had sexual intercourse than female nonathletes (54% and 41%, respectively)." If more girls were allowed to play sports then Navajo would have happier and healthier girls in our community. Aren't those the kind of girls we want in our community? Not only should we be fair to the girls who want to play softball, we also have a legal obligation to them.

Title IX, a federal law passed in 1972, mandates that equal facilities are provided for both genders; is this community following this law? If not, what are we going to do about it? By getting more field access, all of the girls who want to play for Navajo can have a chance. The more girls Navajo has playing softball, the more girls can have a better experience and grow up to be better people. With that, I propose a challenge to the Navajo community: What are you going to do? How are you going to support your girls? Works Cited Women's Sports and Fitness Facts and Statistics. 15 July 2002. Women's Sports Foundation. < web 123.

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