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What are the Pros and Cons of Co-Ed and mixed Sport Teams or games?

Pros and Cons of Co-Ed games or mixed team sports

One of the most important goals of amateur team sports is to get non-professionals to play their favourite 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 or mixed leagues; these include both men and women and are rapidly gaining popularity.

What means Co-Ed?
"Coed is short for coeducational. This means, both men and women can play on the same team. Coeducation is the integrated education of men and women at the same school facilities; co-ed is a shortened adjectival form of co-educational." In Co-ed or mixed team leagues, each team must have a minimum number of players of the opposite sex on the field at all times during the game.

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Based upon our vast experience running and playing in Co-Ed leagues and Co-Ed drop in games in various cities and countries around the world with ShowUpAndPlaySports, we are going to answer the following questions:
  • What are the pros and Cons of Co-Ed games and mixed team sports?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Co-Ed or mixed team sports games?
  • What are the positives and negatives of Co-Ed or mixed team sports games?
  • What are the pros and cons of why boys and girls should be on the same sports team?
  • What are the pros and cons of mixed gender sports?
  • What are the benefits of mixed gender sports?
  • Should Youth Sports be Co-Ed?
  • What are the reasons against co-ed sports?
  • Should Co-Ed Sports be allowed?
  • What are the pros and cons of co-ed sport teams?
  • What are the statistics of co-ed sports?
  • Are there any professional Co-Ed Sports around the world?
  • Should boys and girls play sports together?
Here are the Pros, benefits, advantages, and positives of Co-Ed Games or mixed team sports: - Good Fair Play:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fair play in Co-Ed games is very good and always above average, as men do their best to be seen as gentlemen and women do their best to be seen as nice.
- Fewer Injuries
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  • 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 subconsciously when faced with players of the opposite sex.
  • 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.

- Social and Openness

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- Cost

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  • Co-Ed Leagues are in average cheaper and less expensive that men or women leagues.
  • Couple who play together in Co-Ed Leagues or games save money while carpooling to games or practice.
  • Popular co-ed team sports are soccer and basketball and those sports don't require much in term of equipment. Most co-ed teams equipment consist of simple t-shirts and players can play with their own sneakers for indoors.
Below is a cost comparison between adult co-ed leagues, mens league, women leagues, co-ed drop in leagues.
Seasons Adult Co-Ed League
Roster of 15 players
18 games
Adult Women League
Roster of 15 players
18 Games
Adult Men's League
Roster of 15 players
18 Games
Adult CO-ED Drop in League
Pick Up Games
18 Games
Outdoor $ 3,775.00 per team
$210 per player
$4200 per team
$280 per player
$4500 per team
$300 per player
$5 per game
$90 for 18 games
Indoor $3825 per team
$215 per player
$4500 per team
$300 per player
$4500 per team
$300 per player
$12 per game
$216 for 18 games

- Knowledge of the games

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  • The disparity of skills and knowledge of the games from players playing in Co-Ed games help participants to better understand the games and the rules. Stronger players sometimes have to explain the rules to weaker or new players and it helps everyone understand the games better.

Despite all the nice things said above, Co-ed games or mixed teams also have some disadvantages.

Here are the cons, advantages and negatives of CoEd games or mixed team Sports:

- Less Efficient, Players availability:

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  • 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.

- Lack of Quality:

  • 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.

- Rare, but Severe Injuries:

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  • Sport injuries that occur when weaker players try to perform at the same level as stronger players of the opposite sex can be dangerous.
  • Some players who don't understand the game and get invited just to fill the quota sometimes don't understand the concept of tackle, shield, advantage, "First to the ball" and can create injuries by doing things that the opponents are not expecting. It sometimes results in very bad injuries.
  • Clumsy players who join the game to fill the quota or just to play with their date or partner usually end up hurting themselves or their opponent by not knowing when to slow down or get away from players who are very fast or skillful.

- Jealousy:

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  • The potential attraction between players of opposing sexes can sometimes create conflicts and jealousy from other players and this can affect the game negatively.
  • Some players go to specific teams just to court other players from the opposite sex and the game is not their priority. This can affect the game negatively.
  • Some players can be rejected by a love interest in the same team and they don't always cope well with the rejection. In those cases, the atmosphere of the team is sometimes ruined and the team ends up losing at least one of the players concerned. When teams lose female members, it is hard to replace them and they end up forfeiting some games by not having enough female members.

- Statistics of Co-Ed Sport Teams vs Men Teams and Women Teams:

Teams or Leagues Age Group Availability Cost Comments
Co-Ed U4-U6 Prevalent (80% of community leagues) $85.00 per player per season Grassroots, Co-Ed
GRASSROOTS soccer or basketball contributes to the well-being of children by engaging them in the sport while teaching them the basics. The objective is to get moving and keep active for ages U3-U12.
Girls U4-U6 10% $90 per player per season Very rare to create girls teams only at that age
Boys U4-U6 40% $90 per player per season Some communities have boys team only at that age, but for practical reason, girls are added because girls only team is hard to create at that age.
Co-Ed U7-U10 Rare (10 %) $110.00 per player per season At this age boys are becoming stronger and don't have self control to adjust when they play with or against girls, making Co-Ed teams impractical
Girls U7-U10 40% $150 per player per season Very rare to create girls teams only at that age
Boys U7-U10 50% $150 per player per season Some communities have boys team only at that age, but for practical reason, girls are added because girls only team is hard to create at that age.
Co-Ed U10-U14 Very Rare (5 %) $180.00 per player per season At this age boys are becoming way too stronger and don't have self control to adjust when they play with or against girls, making Co-Ed teams impractical
Girls U10-U14 45% $180 per player per season Most community have girls teams at that age group.
Boys U10-U14 50% $180 per player per season Most communities only have boys or girls team at that age group.
Co-Ed U14-U16 Non existent (1 %) $200 per player per season At this age boys are becoming way too stronger and don't have self control to adjust when they play with or against girls, making Co-Ed teams impractical
Girls U14-U16 50% $200 per player per season Most community have girls teams at that age group.
Boys U14-U16 50% $200 per player per season Most communities only have boys or girls team at that age group.
Co-Ed U14-U16 Non existent (0 %) N/A At this age boys are becoming way too stronger and don't have self control to adjust when they play with or against girls, making Co-Ed teams impractical
Girls U16-U18 50% $220 per player per season Most community have girls teams at that age group.
Boys U16-U18 50% $220 per player per season Most communities only have boys or girls team at that age group.
Co-Ed Adult Over 18 15% $250 per player per season Most cities have adult co-ed leagues, but they are only 20% of men or women only leagues, and are not categorized by multiple divisions as in women or men only leagues.
Women Adult over 18 30% $300 per player per season Most cities or communities have women teams , but still less than men only teams
Men Adult Over 18 55% $300 per player per season Most cities or communities have men only teams or leagues.

To conclude:

  • Co-ed games or mixed team sports have more positives than negatives. 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. Kids under 6 can also play co-ed for a practical reason. At that age, there are not just enough girls to form a complete team in a girl only league. At that age also, boys and girl can safely play together without any need of self control.
  • On a recreational and amateur level, many sports feature co-ed teams and leagues and it is growing very fast. The most notables amateur sports with co-ed leagues and teams are soccer, basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, softball, flag football. Official competitions featuring co-ed or mixed teams so far are limited to ultimate Frisbee, double tennis, equestrian

- My gift to you:

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Here are some other resources about the Pros and Cons of Co-Ed games or mixed team sports:

- Co-Ed Games videos

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International Resources and perspectives about Co-Ed Games and mixed team sports

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Amateur Co-Ed Drop in games listing in various cities in the world

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Professional Co-Ed or Mixed Genders Sports, Organizations and Competitions around the world.

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Co-Ed Soccer - Pro Soccer - Pro Football - Pro Basketball - Pro Hockey - Co-Ed Cricket - Co-Ed Rugby - Co-Ed Tennis - Co-Ed Golf - Pro Cycling - Pro Racing - Pro Boxing - Co-Ed Athletics - Co-Ed Badminton - Co-Ed Curling - Co-Ed Dodgeball - Co-Ed Gymnastics - Co-Ed Lacrosse - Pro Mixed Martial Arts - Co-Ed PickleBall - Pro Rugby - Co-Ed Slo-Pitch - Co-Ed Softball - Co-Ed Squash - Co-Ed Swimming - Co-Ed Ultimate - Co-Ed Volleyball
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