Coed sports and children?
From Sally S. Harris, M.D., MPH
At what age is it appropriate to participate in coed sports, organized sports and competitive sports?
Prior to age six years, most children do not have the motor skills necessary to participate in organized sports. Prior to puberty, there are no significant differences between boys and girls in height, strength or endurance. Therefore, children can participate equitably in all sports and physical activities on a coeducational basis until puberty. Prior to age ten, most children do not have the cognitive ability to understand and remember strategies required for competition, and also are not able to master complex motor skills required for most competitive sports. Throughout childhood, skill development, fun and participation should take priority over competition.