Powderpuff Compromise Changes the Game


Kiki Immel, Opinion Editor

Every year during homecoming, the Miramonte classes battle in a competitive game of Powderpuff football for spirit cup points to see which class will come out on top. Powderpuff football is one of the highly anticipated lunchtime events of Miramonte students. Students gather around the quad, cheer on their class, and watch the classes battle on the quad. Powderpuff is a game of touch football open to girls, with every school having their own traditions of playing. Some schools put together their best team to play a rival high school or, like Miramonte, some schools have a tournament-style game where each grade battles.

On October 20, 1945 the first documented powderpuff game was played at Eastern State Teachers College in South Dakota. As a result of World War II, there were only three men enrolled in the high school. However, this did not deter the girls from starting their own football team. The tradition has continued to flourish as high schools across the country participate in their own versions of the game.

At Campolindo High School, each grade squares off in a tournament structure. Seniors play sophomores, juniors play freshman and then the finalists compete. All of the games take place on the football field and they adhere to the established rules and regulations of touch football.

Rooted in tradition, Powerpuff has been a staple of Miramonte for years. Similarly to Campolindo, each grade plays each other in a tournament structure—seniors v. freshmen, juniors v. sophomores, and the winners square off for the final game. However, instead of playing on the football field, the event used to take place on the quad during lunch. The shorter field made it easier to score points as the players did not have to drive down a hundred yard field. Hosting this event on the quad also allowed students to view the spectacle easily during lunch.

However after much controversy, Miramonte will be moving the game to the football field. There have been concerns over the game being sexist and violent due to the name and nature of the game. However, the origin of the game begs to differ. Miramonte’s traditional Powderpuff rules will be altered to adhere to the new standards requested by administration. The girls will play on the full hundred yard field and adhere to the established rules of flag football. “For blocking you must hold your hands behind your back and use your body. You also must use flags and can not touch [each other] at all,” senior Claire Tarkoff said.

“Changes were made this year to make the game inclusive and [encourage] community building. There had been some things that happened last year from words between girls to actual physical injuries.” Principal Julie Park said. Last year one girl broke a finger last year. In any sport, however, the players run the risk of injuring themselves.