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Women Play Touch Football? Difference Is Only Skin Deep


Women are the latest addition to freshman touch football, at least unofficially.

The traditionally all male intramural competition has been changed by the successful fielding of a coed team by World Hall.

At first the guys didn't know what to expect," Terry Kahn, veteran of two games said yesterday. "They thought we were cheer leaders. After a few touchdowns, though, things changed."

Officially, the Faculty Committee on Athletics has approved in principle a motion to allow women to participate in touch football. Final approval depends upon health, legal, and facility questions.

Athletic directors of Weld and Grays Halls made the original request for women's participation.

"There is no resistence to the proposal," said Baron Pittenger, associate director of athletics and secretary for the committee. The group is awaiting comment by the athletic program's medical director on possible medical dangers for women players and on Dillon Field House's medical facilities for women's injuries.

The Committee is also waiting to determine whether legal problems would result by the "disfigurement" of a woman participant.

One athletic director, Christina Woznick of Grays Hall, said that she feels that the committee is stalling. "We were told 'This is your athletic program,'" she said, "but we haven't been allowed to change it."

The men playing on the coed Weld team said that the girls provide the team with a moral lift and enjoy having them around. "At first, the guys thought we would ruin everything, but attitudes have changed," Kahn added.

Referees' policy on women has varied. At least one Grays team lost a game on a technicality because it could produce only five male players.

"There simply are not enough guys to field a good team (in some dorms), so the boys need the girls to help them out," Woznick said. Any precedent set by the freshman women could be extended to the Houses, which still ban women from "rougher sports," Woznick added.

The games appear to have changed little with the addition of women and competition in the Yard continues as usual. Kahn pointed out one difference. "Our team never plays as skins."

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