Do kids still play shirts vs. skins in school or pick me up basketball? I saw a website called shirtsvsskins.org and it had no pix of bare-chested players. In eight grade we played that way and I remember being shocked to see chest hairs on one more mature boy. But that was the 70's. I can imagine that in today's world it may be considered harassment to force a boy to take his shirt off. What are your experiences?
Pick-up basketball, yes -- at the Y and on outdoor courts, but not in military gyms where the rule is no bare abs for men or women, so guys can't take their shirts off and girls can't work out I sports bras.
It sounds like US military culture has become a lot more like the rest of the puritanical towel dancing American culture.
Witnessed a towel dance today!
The first time I ever experienced playing shirts and skins was in gym class in 8th grade back in 1973. I had just started going to this school and had previously gone to school in Brooklyn where we never had that in gym class. At my new school that particular day we were playing basketball indoors and I was selected to be on the skins team. When we were told to take off our shirts I was absolutely mortified to do this in front of other people. I was a very shy kid at 14 years old and to me this was so humiliating. I have never forgotten that incident after all these years. Now as an adult I am proud of my body and would feel very comfortable being on the skins team if I were playing sports with other guys especially outdoors in the summer on a hot sunny day.
Your story reminds me of when I was a youth counselor in Sweden at a confirmation camp for coed 14 year olds. One of the first "ice breaker" games was to break up into teams and see what team could make the longest line of clothes. Soon everyone was in their underwear and didn't seem to think much of it. One kid was from a Swedish missionary family in Africa, which is very modest with clothes, and he was mortified. The other kids encouraged him and eventually he took his shirt off. Yes this was a church camp and I was very aware that I was not in the US.