Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bullies and stupidity

Sometimes the governing bodies of sporting entities can be stupid, and like to enforce rules either improperly (rules in which there is no room for "interpretation," yet they still subject the rule to their own "interpretation"), or they enforce rules that don't actually exist, but one is close, so that's what they enforce.

Sure, I'm being cryptic here, but you really need to click on the links and read the stories. These are about two female athletes being screwed by the system. One being screwed due to her religion - she's Muslim, the other because she wants to play baseball, and the powers that be in Florida are telling her she can't because softball is available to her (note that her school has said that it has no problem with her playing baseball).

The issue for the girl in Florida -

Providence School is keeping the seventh-grader off the field by pointing to the state regulation, which says girls could participate on a boys interscholastic athletic team in a sport if the school does not sponsor a girls interscholastic athletic team in that sport, but girls may not participate on a boys interscholastic athletic team in a sport if the school sponsors a girls interscholastic athletic team in that sport.
The school is saying that the issue is with the Florida High School Athletic Association, about whom the school's headmaster said the following, "Since we have a softball team, the state has indicated to us that she will not be permitted to play baseball."

Of course the issue for the FHSAA is that baseball and softball are not the same sport. Different rules, different infield sizes, different names. This goes to court, the FHSAA loses. Period. And they lose because the officials at the state can't read their own rules.

Closer to home for me, in Washington DC, I don't even know where to start. It's just stupid, and local officials don't have a leg to stand on if this goes to court. Read these stories and let me know what you think - there's a lot of stupidity out there.


Teresa said...

Here is what sucks for the girl in DC and you are right, it would not hold up in court, but this meet is in TWO WEEKS. She isn't going to get a chance to perform in front of those recruiters again. They are seriously messing with her future.

And the girl in Florida needs to send them the two different pages out of the Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th edition, that clearly indicates that baseball and softball are indeed two different sports. I wish she lived her, girls play baseball if they want.

Kevin Smith said...

It really is a shame about the young lady in DC. And you're right, unless she gets a big name lawyer who can at least get some form of injunction between now and then, it's not happening.

As for Florida - that just blows my mind. I played little league against girls and much later I coached wide receivers for the Philadelphia Liberty Belles (now the Phoenix) back in 2001 and 2002 (we played the Pensacola Power in 2001 for the league championship). Full contact women's football. Ironic that there are semi-pro women's football teams in a state that won't let a girl play baseball.

Suldog said...

That's amazingly stupid. I played baseball as a kid, and have played fast-pitch softball for over 30 years as an adult. They are entirely different disciplines, albeit with some surface similarities. You're right, of course. It is an easy win in court.