Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's not an Onion story

A story about the baseball team from Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows Academy forfeiting a state championship because there was a girl playing on the opposing team.
I thought it was a farce.
It is ridiculous--but it is true.
The academy, located in Arizona, is founded and adheres to the principles of the Society of Saint Pius X, a separatist branch of the Catholic Church. One of these tenets is the separate teaching of boys and girls--which extends to sports.
Perpetual Sorrows is a regular season opponent of Mesa Prep--the state winner, by default--but the players in questions, second baseperson Paige Sultzbach had voluntarily sat out of previous encounters. But she didn't think it was fair to forfeit her own rightful place as a player in a state championship. So Perpetual Sorrows opted not to compete.
It's their right to do so of course.  But I wonder what lessons their students are learning from this?

Opting out is not new. Stories about male wrestlers "choosing" not to wrestle female competitors abound. Some have invoke Christianity--i.e., it's not Christian for men to use force against women. I guess it is Christian-like then for women to use force against men? Or for men to use brute, disabling force against other men--like all those Christian-identified football players?
And other St. Pius X schools have either opted out or mandated that people play by their rules. St. Mary's Academy in Kansas successfully (kind of) prevented a female from referring their boys' basketball game. Well, once, at least. The secular high school sports governance body in the state did not seem to condone this. The same school also refused to let its football team play another school whose team had a female student-athlete.

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