Turkey Bowl changes the spirit of Powder Puff


Mr. John Scozzaro making a play during the Turkey Bowl.

The tradition of the all girl flag football game began in the 1940’s. This name Powder Puff was a reference to the puff women used to powder their faces. The idea for an all girls game arose during World War Two when families returned home to watch homecoming games. Since men were at war, they couldn’t play football, so girls acted as substitutes.

Powder Puff has been a tradition for over 20 years at EIS. This year at Edison Intermediate School (EIS) the traditional Powder Puff game the day before Thanksgiving was changed to the Turkey Bowl. It included all genders in the game. Principal of EIS, Dr. Matthew Bolton explained, “Turkey Bowl is a more inclusive and appropriate way to run this event. The change includes everyone. It was only female students participating in Powder Puff. Having all genders play is a better way for people to feel welcomed.”

Although the school’s intentions were good, the Powder Puff game shouldn’t have been changed because it diminished the point of the game and it made the girls feel not as empowered by the event. 

Powder Puff was created for the purpose of girls to have fun and try something new but Edison Intermediate school is ruining that opportunity. Eighth grader Elise Dowden explained her concerns of this opportunity being taken away from girls. “I think it is stupid because the whole point was for girl to play and now it defeats the whole purpose.” 

In addition, breaking this tradition made some girls feel awkward and excluded during the event. Including males made the girls feel excluded and weird in a way. Eighth grader Sydney Schultz shared her opinion and feelings on this change: “The Powder Puff event, from what other students told me, was so much fun in the past. Girls should do it for themselves. I don’t want to stop the new Turkey Bowl from happening, but girls should be more involved next time and have something of their own. Boys already play football, and girls don’t, so they should have a better opportunity to play.” 

This quote proves that girls enjoyed playing the gender exclusive Powder Puff but did not feel not as confident and welcome at the modified event. Eighth grader Sophia La Vigne noticed something that changed drastically in this event.“I don’t like  how we got rid of Powder Puff. The boys aren’t including girls now. It is like the boys are orchestrating the event.” 

Many girls shared Sophia’s feeling that the event they loved was taken over by the boys. As a result, girls may not participate next year, and we will have the same problem that people claimed we had before–football is only for boys. Powder Puff is an important event to show that girls can have something fun to do at school with just the girls.

A traditional Powder Puff game is a way to show that women are strong enough and can try things that boys are doing. Even though there have been advances in the ways people consider gender stereotypes, people can sometimes still be closed minded on what girls can do. Powder Puff is an outlet where girls can feel proud and try new things with their peers without pressure to fit in athletically with boys.

Some ideas for a solution to this problem is, we can make everyone still be involved but keep playing Powder Puff to girls only. Girls could play and boys could be the coaches or cheerleaders. Anyone else who doesn’t identify as those pronouns can choose what they want to do. We can make other events that expand people’s comfort zone. But this event is important for girls to feel welcome and for them to have fun. Powder Puff can be fun for girls but still inclusive of everyone.