The archbishop of Philadelphia says he'll allow the region's Roman Catholic youth sports league to field coed football teams.
The decision announced Thursday comes in response to a request from an 11-year-old girl who's been playing football since kindergarten.
Caroline Pla has played the past two years in a Catholic Youth Organization in suburban Bucks County. She learned during last season that an overlooked boys-only rule would be enforced next year.
Now, Archbishop Charles Chaput says girls will be able to play football in the coming season. He says the approval is conditional and subject to review.
Pla's mother says "it's a great step for the future of the church." She said Thursday afternoon that Caroline is still in school and hasn't yet learned of the decision.