I can't tell you the amount of times newcomers to the sport go to watch the game on TV or look at pictures and they ask "Why do the girls wear skirts?". This question has been discussed several times and has now grown to be a debate of shorts vs. skirts.
In fact, this debate came up so much in our locker room, that during our 2012 season I wrote an entire research paper for my Women and Sports class I was taking. I later shortened many of my findings and thoughts into a blog for Lacrosse Magazine which you can read here.
The short answer to why women's lacrosse players wear shorts is tradition. Since the beginning, women have worn kilts, skirts, or skorts. That was until Northwestern University broke the mold and began to wear shorts in 2008. They went on to dominate the lacrosse field, earning seven consecutive NCAA titles. I'm not saying here that shorts are equivalent to excellence, but I was so curious why so many friends and teammates were opposed to the notion of shorts.
Here's an excerpt from my previous blog about where I attribute that resistance to:
"The perception of how a typical female athlete should look and dress in society brings forth great controversy. The "norms" by which female athletes typically conform to seem very paradoxical. In the United States, men, especially in the media, dominate sports. Some women who choose to participate in sports are automatically deemed too masculine because of the male domination in sports. Society's acceptance of women in the sporting world follows only when the athlete's femininity becomes enhanced. The enhancement of an athlete's femininity proves to bring publication and recognition in the media. The enhancing behaviors include wearing makeup or wearing slimmer clothing while in competition.
Now, I'll try not to throw too much theory at you, but it is interesting to see how it lines up with this issue. It's not hard to notice that beauty is sometimes portrayed over athletic ability in different aspects of the media, one of the reasons I feel that girls are resistant to the change."
It is all very interesting to learn and discuss. There are more teams at each level every year deciding to play with shorts, which is exciting to see.
I hope now you know a little more about the issue, and why all our WINNERS girls rock shorts on game day!