Southhampton boy banned from playing field hockey

SOUTHHAMPTON - The only boy playing field hockey on Long Island has been banned from playing next season because a committee has deemed him too good at the sport. Keeling Pilaro, 13, has been playing field hockey for the Southampton School District for the past two years and made the varsity team this season. But now, Section XI's Mixed Competition Committee has ruled that Pilaro can't play on the girls varsity team because he's too good. According to the ruling, Pilaro's participation next season would have a significantly adverse effect on the females' success in interschool field hockey competitions. Pilaro's mom disagrees, saying they have five letters from coaches of opposing teams, as well as a letter from each of his teammates, that say they don't feel Pilaro has an adverse effect on their games. "There are definitely girls on my team and in my league that are a lot better than me and that I can learn and improve from," Pilaro says. Pilaro, who lived in Ireland for most of his life, says he learned his field hockey skills there, where boys play as well. He says he doesn't care if it's considered a "girl sport" here, as long as he gets to play, too.

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