Zamfir wrote:I don't even think being a guy is the essential point. If instead of a guy, the team had got a professional female hockey player from Germany, it would have made the game less fun for many others too.
While true, in that case, assuming the woman was the proper age, they probably wouldn't have even thought of removing her from the league. A lot of NHL players up here (yes I know different hockey) are quite young. If they decided to quit playing in the NHL and go back to college should they be prevented from joining the local college team just because they have more training and are better than the other players?
If those college teams were purely recreational teams (not serious, top-level amateur teams), those NHL players would be arses if they joined and played at anything resembling full skill. I suspect they would be told so too, perhaps subtly. A lot of such things are handled by personal contact, not by sticking to the rules.
Recreational sports works best if people can compete against people of roughly the same skill level. So we have age divisions, gender divisions and often multiple leagues with a different level of skill and seriousness. Age and gender happen to be relatively simple tricks to keep an even playing field, the rest is harder. Many leagues solve this by forcing the team that wins this year's competition to move up to the next league. Most clubs do something similar at the individual level, using more social pressure than hard rules to move the better people to the higher teams.
If you are a better player than any recreational team around, you are in a bind. Joining a team below your level is more pleasant perhaps than not playing, but it takes playing time and pleasure away from your team mates and their opponents. For your team mates, that might be partially compensated by more wins, but winning because someone else plays is only so much fun in the end. If the skill difference is limited, it's OK. If it turns out the difference too big, the best thing for you to do is quit, or for example only train with the team but not play in the competition.
So this guy tried,a s he had every right to do, and it turned out that the difference really was big. Presumably, being a guy made people more sensitive to the difference than would otherwise have been the case. That's a side effect of having gender-divided teams around, a practice that in itself helps to keep the games more fun.
Still, I don;t see the big thing. If instead of an effectively female-only league, there had been an official female-only league, he would just have picked another sport. Perhaps that's best anyway.