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Many American high schools host flag powder-puff. It is a no-contact version in which girls stop their opponents by pulling flags off their belts, rather than wrestling them to the ground. But Florida schools already offer girls' flag football as an interscholastic sport.

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Osborne and her friends, Caitlin Walsh, Megan Mendoza and Sophie Garcia, said their principal also made another suggestion that they found demeaning. His suggestion was that they play a modified kickball game, and have the runner bob for apples at second base, or spin around at third. Frank acknowledges suggesting several alternative events, but would not be specific.

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The members of the Class of were filled with glee recalling last year's 50th anniversary game. Their class lost to the Class of Donning pads.


Strapping on helmets. Hearing the crowd as they sprinted into the stadium. The hits. The fumbles and bumbles. Another chimes in, "One girl got hit so hard her helmet flew off. Girls get hurt cheerleading and playing soccer and basketball. They asked, why not ban those sports, too? They also note that Florida allows girls to play on boys' high school football teams. Several female kickers have played, as well as a girl who substituted at quarterback in the neighboring county.

For now, at least, the game is over. The powder puff game attracts more people than the boys team because if boys have to dress up like girls to do cheerleading than now girls have to dress up like boys so now it is even. The powder-puff game attracts more peoples than the boy's team because everything is opposite. Also, the boys are dressed up as girls and its funny to watch everything they do.

My high school hosts flag football every year, but I would love to play tackle. The girls were more interesting. The boys are good and all but the girls are more unique than the boys. I can't believe that the football thing was played at least more than 50 years. But also I never knew that while boys dress like female cheerleaders in tight shorts, crop tops and wigs, the girls get to experience the thrill of competing before a crowd instead of playing softball or soccer in front of a few dozen parents and friends.

The girl's game attracts more viewers because it is something unusual that only happens once a year whereas the boy's team plays every week for 10 weeks in a row. Because it is a special event for Jupiter High.

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It is a school event full of history that lets high school girls switch places with the people they see each Friday night on the field. Everyone is going to hurt no matter what, whether they are playing a sport or simply doing normal tasks. They should not take away the option for girls to tackle.

Instead they should prepare the girls for the special and legitimate event they are partaking in. The girls get more people in the crowd because it's more interesting to watch the girls. The powder-puff game attracts more people because it's different than what we're used to; girls are playing football. I'm an athlete and I would really like to establish powder-puff as an actual competitive sport. The powder-puff game attracts more people than the boys team because it is a lot more common to see boys playing football rather than girls.

Girls playing football goes against gender-roles which people probably like to see. I am sad to hear that this isn't happening again because it would have raised a lot of money for the school and people enjoyed watching. I don't think it was a good idea because the article said, "The game fills the stands, something the Jupiter boys' team rarely does.

I love it! I worried that these conversational tics had become a little beyond my control. I was sure that once home, they would start popping out of me, at the school gate, for instance, and I knew that my Australian friends would never let me live down the pretentiousness of it all. Moi aussi! I would say as my friend Sarah sank to the ground weeping with laughter.

Puff no more in public places

But it never happened, because, as soon as I got home, it was like a curtain fell over our French life and it disappeared completely. Australian children were suddenly bigger, rushed without warning into the awkward bloom of puberty, and the babies I left had grown into people, but other than that, everything seemed just as we had left it a year ago.

Puff The Magic Dragon -- Peter, Paul & Mary ~ Live 1965

Rue Taillade: gone like a puff of smoke. No more talking to Bastien the glamorous winemaker and groaning at the approach of aging punk Scotsman Barry, dressed like Keith Richards, and always drunk. No more laughing with my school mums Clemence and Steph and Estelle and Emilie and Ghislaine at the gates of La Condamine, trying to keep up with their rapid-fire gags and gossip. No more three-cheek kisses. No more walking arm in arm and drunk at midnight up Rue Taillade with beloved, fierce Elizabetta. No more watching paper lanterns float over the Roman bridge or wandering the markets with Australian Naomi, with whom I could suspend my efforts to speak clearly, relaxing with relief into Australian jokes and loose, slangy mumbling.

No more efficient trips to the Intermarche supermarket, where I knew the aisles so well; planning my menus and stocking up for visitors. The Intermarche was where I felt in my element, and spoke my best French. It helped a lot with my self-esteem, which sometimes took a little battering; village idiot that I was. The transition seems so sudden, so final, made even more so by the geographical distance of France. The struggle I had adjusting to being home came as something of a surprise.

I think I had the bumpiest re-entry of all five of us. On arrival, Keith was back at work down in his cowshed in the backyard, and the kids were back at school. We bought a car, I filled in hundreds of forms to sort out schools and health funds and insurance and house stuff, and before I could blink, our Australian life was in the full and fecund flowering of spring, expanding under the weight of playdates and sports and piano practice and extended family. Suddenly, my mental load felt overwhelming. This is how I feel at home. Like I am failing, all the time, in little ways, at everything.

Like all this constant work is invisible. Digging through crates exhumed from the shed in a hunt for school uniforms what is uniform? What is lunchbox? I clattered the washing-up pots, muttered darkly to myself and lay sleepless in the early hours, lonely and overwhelmed.

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One morning, my low level, simmering resentment burst into a rolling boil and l blew as Keith sat, deer-in-headlights, taking the force of my tears.