Girl fights to play in Catholic football league

By By MARYCLAIRE DALE

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — An 11-year-old girl who's been playing football since kindergarten wants Philadelphia's Roman Catholic archdiocese to overturn a boys-only rule.

Caroline Pla (plah) has played the last two years in a Catholic youth league in suburban Bucks County.

But the archdiocese let her know last year the league doesn't accept girls.

At least a few dioceses around the country let girls play football, and about 1,600 play in U.S. high schools.

The Women's Sports Foundation argues that co-ed sports foster mutual respect among boys and girls. And the foundation says contact sports are safe for pre-adolescents.

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput (SHAP'-yoo) says he'll review the football policy this spring, after hearing from a panel of parents, coaches and doctors.

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