'Pla' On: Catholic Youth Organization To Allow Co-Ed Football - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

'Pla' On: Philly Catholic Youth Organization To Allow Co-Ed Football

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Caroline Pla, a sixth-grader from Doylestown, says she has played football since the age of 5. Caroline Pla, a sixth-grader from Doylestown, says she has played football since the age of 5.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Thursday it will allow for both boys and girls to participate in Catholic Youth Organization football games, for now.

The decision comes after a request was made by the family of Caroline Pla, a sixth-grader from Doylestown who was banned from playing football, to review the current rules.

"Saying that girls aren't allowed to play isn't  really a good  message
to girls. Especially when they're little because you'll think girls aren't able to do as much...as boys," said Caroline Pla

FOX 29 first told you about Pla in December.

In a statement, the archdiocese said a panel of coaches, parents, pastors and experts in sports medicine and pediatrics created at the request of Archbishop Charles Chaput voted to continue the policy as it was currently written.

The archdiocese said in order to obtain input from the "broadest possible spectrum," it also reviewed feedback from various other sources that it says were both "critical and supportive of the policy."

"Lastly, all factors were considered, including the expectations of coaches, parents and pastors, common current practice, legal circumstances and the CYO policies of diocese around the country," the statement read.

The archdiocese says the decision came at the direction of the archbishop. For now, the decision is provisional and will be reviewed and revised in the coming several seasons.

"I want to thank Archbishop Chaput," said the 11-year-old football player. "It did lie in his hands and he allowed me and other girls to play in the CYO which is a big thing. So I just want to thank him for that. "

I think every girl or anyone of any race or demographic should have the opportunity to go play and earn their own sense of respect, " said Pla's former coach Jim Reichwein.


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