THE attorney for a 13-year-old Long Island boy who was kicked off his high school’s girls’ field hockey team for being too dominant says his client will most likely be reinstated.
"We are confident that a court will see the discrimination in this case," Frank Scagluso, the attorney for Keeling Pilaro said.
Scagluso said Keeling has support from his school district, other coaches and players in the league and that he has not heard any criticism about the boy’s participation in games.
Keeling, who played for Southampton High School's varsity girls' field hockey team for the past two years, was told he could no longer play next year after becoming the team's star.
Section 11, which oversees Suffolk County's high school sports, determined that as a boy, Keeling had too significant an advantage over the other players.
"(Keeling is) having a significant adverse effect on some of his opposing female players," Section 11 claimed, according to MyFoxNY. "The rules state he would be allowed to play if he wasn't the dominant player."
Section 11's executive director, Ed Cinelli, told MyFoxNY, "As a sport, it's a girls sport. When a boy plays, it leads the way for other male players to come in and take over."
Andrew Pilaro, Keeling’s father, said his son was raised in Ireland and played field hockey most his life. In many European countries, the sport is widely popular. But on Long Island, there were no field hockey leagues with boys available for Keeling compete, his father said.
At 4 feet, 8 inches tall and 82 pounds, Keeling says he does not feel he is at an advantage, or that he is even significantly better than his opponents. He says some of the girls he has played against are faster and stronger than he is.