I must admit that as a child I was known to wear skorts. I’ve never been a big shorts person, so skorts were a good compromise. Seems like they work well for some athletes as well.
Not for most female badminton players though. May brought more attention than usual to the sport of badminton after the governing body declared that all female players must wear skirts or dresses in competition. The rule change happened in advance of the 2012 Olympics in the hopes of increasing the sports popularity (In any event, the proposed rule change certainly increased the sport’s notoriety…). I first read about the Badminton World Federation’s decision in early May, in stories like this very interesting one published on May 4th; but the decision didn’t get broader attention until The New York Times ran this story on May 26th (Incidentally, people ask me why I use Twitter and this is a perfect example– you just get a lot of news faster than you do through the mainstream media). After intense pressure from players, sports journalists, and leadership within the Federation, the rule was reversed in advance of the June 1 deadline. It seems likely that the women’s dress code will still be undergoing revision, but not all players will be forced to wear skirts– a key victory for Muslim players who would have to wear a skirt over long pants. Who knows what will happen to the men’s dress code, but I love the sentiment expressed in this article: “‘What I would really wish is to see male players in skirts,’ Sertaç Sehlikoglu, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge and author of the blog Muslim Women in Sports told HuffPost. ‘That would most certainly promote badminton much more than any woman’s skirt can ever do.’”
But skirts–or at least skorts– do work very well for another group of female athletes. The talented women of Dunbar High School’s Track and Field team, in Washington, D.C., have excelled at meets this year wearing new uniforms that consist of skorts. They report that the skorts make them feel more confident as they don’t worry about any wardrobe malfunctions. It doesn’t hurt that they feel “cute” in them as well. This appears to be the first high school team to use skorts and it sounds like they might just be trendsetters.
Another trendsetter (not related to skirts, skorts, or shorts though) is Kari Sickles. I came across her story today: Sickles is the first female wrestler to be recruited to wrestle at Davidson College. On the men’s team. The Florida wrestler will compete in the 125-pound weight division in the NCAA. I’ve been fascinated by female wrestlers before, so it will be interesting to see how her collegiate career develops. I’m guessing she won’t be wrestling in either skirts or skorts. Clearly shrinking and pinking continues…