Some controversial baseball news from the high school ranks made the rounds of the sporting blogs last week. Our Lady of Sorrows (that’s not a made up, ironic name, but actually the name of the school) was slated to play Mesa Prep for a state high school championship, but chose to forfeit the game rather than play against a girl.
15 year old Paige Sultzbach, the female player in question, sat out 2 regular season games against Our Lady of Sorrows in deference to their beliefs. Her mother said, ‘”This is not a contact sport, it shouldn’t be an issue. It wasn’t that they were afraid they were going to hurt or injure her, it’s that (they believe) that a girl’s place is not on a field.”
The school disagreed, releasing a statement that said, ‘Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we choose not to place them in an athletic competition where proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty. Our school aims to instill in our boys a profound respect for women and girls.’
As coaches and supporters of all who aspire to be a private baseball coach
, we thought this issue worthy of a discussion. While we do not wish to insult anyone’s beliefs, our position is to treat male and female athletes with equal respect and dignity. We choose other means to teach young men to respect young women, and think it is a shame that the players on Our Lady of Sorrows were denied the chance to compete in a championship game under the guise of respect for women.
We look forward to hearing additional thoughts on this.