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The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

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SGA, MCPS flag down Powderpuff tradition

Students+at+Richard+Montgomery+share+their+opinions+on+the+cancellation+of+the+powderpuff+tradition+this+year.+
Chloe Choi
Students at Richard Montgomery share their opinions on the cancellation of the powderpuff tradition this year.

The Powderpuff games have been an annual and anticipated tradition at RM for several years where girls engage in flag football games. This event’s purpose is to encourage women to go out and play a sport usually dominated by men while raising money through fundraisers at the same time. Last year, the Powderpuff games had a pink theme to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research.

However, the Powderpuff games aren’t a recent invention at RM or in our country. According to an article posted in the State Register Journal, “The tradition of Powder Puff disappeared for a while, but it came back in the ‘70s — this time, it came to the high schools. Over the years, the tradition spread from school to school, and the tradition turned into an annual game at central Illinois high schools between junior and senior girls.” 

RM has always promoted the Powderpuff games, encouraging students to watch and support their grade as girls compete in several flag football matches during lunch hours. There usually will be student-athletes from the RM football team from each grade to support as well as coach the girls in the same grade to prepare and get ready for the games. Based on a playoff schedule, the four grades were split into two games, each grade competing against a different grade, in which the winner from those two games would go on and play in the final championship game.

Due to a recent discussion in the county as well at RM, the Powderpuff games will no longer continue in 2023. “MCPS and some members at our school who have raised their opinions about the game have felt that the game had become too old and outdated,” senior and SGA president Lucas Roca said. “However, from the [lack of] attendance of our last year’s Powderpuff, the lack of enthusiasm for it, and the amount of effort put into making it happen, the SGA decided it was the best decision to stop Powderpuff and figure out an alternative.” 

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There have also been several questions and concerns around the county about inclusivity in the game for all genders. “There was a strong push from MCPS to end the powderpuff games. We received communication from central office that there were concerns over gender roles and ‘it has been and is extremely offensive to many members of the LGBTQ+ student community in schools.’ Based on this information we decided to end the powderpuff games,” economics teacher and SGA sponsor Chris Hinsvark said. “We believe some students will be upset about this annual tradition ending, but we feel like the pressure from MCPS will eventually end the games and we decided to be proactive by ending it at RM.”

Overall, some students at RM have expressed their disappointment that the Powderpuff games, which were once filled with competition and excitement, have now come to an end. “I think it was a way to bring a diverse playing field for the girls of RM,” junior Naomi Kiawu said. “I was actually pretty interested in it this year, and when I heard about it being canceled I was pretty sad. I know as well that many other girls would have been disappointed too.”

RM and the SGA look forward to one day substituting the Powderpuff games for another activity, to spark more attention and pride, as well as being more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community. “The SGA is always open to making a new alternative. One event coming up [that] we created was Capture the Flag, where any gender and person can participate,” Roca said.

Mr. Hinsvark seconds this.“We would love to hear feedback from the student body,” he said.

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About the Contributors
Kenichi Takato, Sports Writer
Kenichi Takato is a junior at RM. In his free time, he loves to go out with friends and workout at the gym. He also loves making new friends and meeting new people. He believes that talking about sports can get people excited and create new friendships and bonds.
Chloe Choi, Assistant Graphics Editor
Chloe Choi has been creating graphics for the Tide since her freshman year, and has also served as an assistant Business Manager and a Crosswords contributor. When she’s not drawing, she’s either looking at birds, stressing over the daily NYT crossword, or reading a good Wikipedia article.