(Generic Photo) Field Hockey, Getty Images
New York-- It's a story that may have you asking does gender matter when it comes to sports.
In the case of a 13-year-old New York boy, that answer may be yes.
The boy played field hockey growing up in Ireland and his family is now living in America. The student has been told that after two years as a member of the Southampton High School girls' team, he is now too skilled to qualify for an exemption allowing him to compete with - and against - girls next season, according to CBS News.
Keeling Pilaro, whose 10 goals and eight assists earned him all-conference honors on suburban Long Island - he was the only boy in any league - is appealing the decision by the governing body for high school sports in Suffolk County, and a lawyer for his family suggests a court battle could ensue if the ball doesn't bounce Keeling's way.
An appeals committee said it looked only at his skills, not size or strength, when upholding the decision to keep him off the field. That raises a question of discrimination.
Keeling's fight appears to be a rare example of a young man seeking to take advantage of Title IX, a 40-year-old law enacted to provide women equal access to athletic opportunities. There are no boys' high school field hockey teams anywhere on Long Island, or, for that matter, in most of the country.
"It's really annoying," the eighth-grader said in a recent interview. "I'm just 4-foot-8 and 82 pounds, so I don't see why I shouldn't be allowed to play. I don't really care if I'm on a girls' team or a boys' team, I just want to play."
Southampton school administrators agree, but they don't have the final say.
"The decision to support him represents our commitment to provide meaningful opportunities to each of our students," Superintendent Dr. J. Richard Boyes said in a statement. "Our community, including the girls on our field hockey team, embraced Keeling Pilaro and we couldn't be more proud of him."
Click on CBS to read the full story.