Stupid

Apparently an Arizona Catholic High School forfeited their state finals because the other team was playing *gasp* a girl at second base.  I am not really familiar with this sports league they are in -- it must be made up of smaller schools who choose not to join the AIA, which is the league most high schools (including ours) play in.

These are private schools in a private league, so I guess they can do whatever they want, but this just seems bizarre in the extreme.   I would guess that their players were irate.

My son plays in the smaller division of the AIA, and we run into teams that play girls from time to time in baseball and a bunch of schools that play girls on their soccer team (the rule generally is that girls can play on the boys team if there is no girls' equivalent of that sport at the school).  I have never before heard of another Catholic school having a problem with this, and given that this is Arizona, there are a lot of Catholic schools knocking about.

In fact, I always find it kind of cool to see girls out there.  I remember a few weeks ago we were playing a team who had a girl at third base who the boys thought was pretty attractive.  I laughed pretty hard when my son took a big chance to stretch a double into a triple.  I knew exactly what he was doing --he wanted to be on third base!

I suppose this will be a better object lesson for the Catholic boys than any gender-equality propaganda film.   Adopt Victorian attitudes about women, lose the chance to play for a state championship.

  • Joe

    Don't think I have commented here, but have read this blog for over a year.

    The real question was, did he make it to third?

  • Dan from Gilbert

    "Stupid" might be a bit harsh. If your principles say you can't play males against females in a sport, and you choose to adhere to those principles at the expense of forfeiting such a huge game, I'd say that is kind of admirable. Irrespective of the ideology underpinning the principle.

    Of course, the merits of that principle can be debated, but why? We're all entitled to our own view on life and as long as we're not taking away the liberty of others under the guise of principles, then who are we to say what the relative merit is to that principle? (Unless you're a liberal, of course, in which case you are entitled to judge other's principles.)

    I assume the students that attend that school all adhere to the same principles, so there's really no reason to get our panties in a bunch about it.

    If more people stuck to their principles, despite the fallout, we'd be a much better society.

  • Evil Red Scandi

    Eh, you're forgetting the terrifying threat of cooties.

  • me

    Beautiful innuendo there... although I do wonder how intentional that was ;)

  • Mark2

    Too bad she wasn't a catcher. Your son would have gone for the Home Run :P

  • other joe

    Dan from gilbert, we are totally entitled to judge other people’s opinions and principles. Some principles are pointless, or silly, or even vile. This one seems to definitely be the first 2, and hints at the 3rd. So I say judge away. Now, it’s possible that you can be so impressed by someone adherence to principle that ignore the content of their ideals and just admire their self-discipline. But I don’t’ see that one here. Maybe if there were some more information about why they felt that way I’d feel that way. Or quotes showing it was the team and not the school administrators. But probably not. Mostly this just makes them look silly.

  • a leap at the wheel

    "Of course, the merits of that principle can be debated, but why? We’re all entitled to our own view on life and as long as we’re not taking away the liberty of others under the guise of principles, then who are we to say what the relative merit is to that principle?"

    Because respecting other people's liberty is necessarily for a healthy group activity, but it is not sufficient, and a sports league is very much a group activity. There is more to life than just not getting punched in the face.

  • RealityCheck

    I understand forfeiting a wrestling match, but baseball?

  • Dan from Gilbert

    other joe... you can formulate an opinion about anything. Of course. I meant that it's not a great idea to denigrate someone else's decisions in life when those decisions are based on a set of principles (unless they are illegal or bring harm to others.) Yes, they may look silly to those that don't share the same opinions or decisions. But if those principles are what someone chooses to set up as the framework for their journey through life, how can we have the gall to say it's dumb or should not be followed...etc? This is a slippery road. Let's let people lead their lives how they wish to lead them. Live and let live.

    If anything, decisions like the one they made about the baseball game may serve to crystallize in the minds of some of the students that perhaps the principles of their parents don't conform to their own and it may drive them away from that path. It's all part of the journey in life. Don't be too quick to judge other's journeys. And when I say "judge" I mean to infer that your way is better than someone else's way. I would put forth that that is not a constructive path for you or society, in the long run.

    With all that said, my beef was only with the term "stupid" being ascribed to the decision. Stupid means lacking of intelligence or common sense. Religion is based on beliefs, and beliefs cannot be measured on an intelligence or common sense scale. There are highly intelligent people that have a belief system rooted in religion. I would put forth that there are a lot of intelligent people on that school's faculty and in their student body. Just because someone makes a decision that you would not make, does not prove "stupidity."

    One more point... Warren described his own son's reaction to playing with a girl on the team and wanting to get to that base she was on... etc. He unwittingly hit upon the very basis, most likely, for the team's decision to forfeit rather than play. They most likely have a very strict notion of lust and temperance of young boy's hormonal driven interaction between sexes. Some religions are very strict with the mixes of sexes at an early age. Again, this is the journey they have chosen. Let them walk that path in peace.

  • Dan from Gilbert

    BTW... I have two girls, one of which I am encouraging to play tackle football because she really wants to do it (10 years old.) So, I do not share this principle, myself. But I do have strong Christian principles and would be appalled if someone didn't respect my desire to adhere to them. Hence, my defense of this school's decision.

  • mahtso

    I think Dan from Gilbert has it right.

    As to being part of a league, the news report shows that the school verified that there were no girls on teams in the league before joining.

  • a leap at the wheel

    Dan, I say this as a committed Christian, if you would be appalled by someone not respecting your desire to adhear to your Christian principals, you should get out more and make friends with some heathens.

  • Mark

    I used to coach traveling hockey in Minnesota at the Bantam level (13-14 year old). Back then, girls hockey was in its infancy and on occasion we would play a team that had a female palyer. I thought that it was very unfair to the boys to have girls ont he other team. They simply would not hit the girls as hard (if at all) and you could see them hesitate when they encountered the girls in the corners.

    The high end girl players of the day were as good as almost every boy on my team, but not all of the girl players were of this caliber. Most of them were too good to play on the girl teams, so it was what it was.

  • jdt

    Being a girl is offensive to Catholics? I don't get it.

  • The Other Me

    I'm not surprised to see this from a catholic school. They tend to put up with stupid shit for really long times like priests having sex with boys.

  • chrispy

    Sorry Dan, if your "principle" is that you refuse to play baseball against a girl, then you're pretty fucking stupid.

  • Lawrence

    Pretty simple. If your standard is to not particpate in coed sports for whatever reason, then hold to your standard.

    Besides, it's only a game. BFD.

  • KW

    Wise, your son is.

  • Not Sure

    "Paige played softball and volleyball in junior high, but because Mesa Prep does not have a girls softball team, she decided to try out for the boys baseball team, with the coach's encouragement."

    How likely do you suppose it is that a boy at that school would be encouraged to try out for a girl's team for which there was no boy's equivalent?

  • Not Sure

    "In fact, I always find it kind of cool to see girls out there."

    Would your feeling be the same if it was your son who was the guy cut from the team so the girl could be out there?

  • Dan from Gilbert

    chrispy: I guess you didn't read my post about my girl playing tackle football. It's not against MY principles. But I respect someone else if it's against their principles.

  • me

    Well, I am glad we cleared that up... where in the Bible did it say that sports teams ought to be segregated by gender? Oh, I forgot, it's probably "but think of the children", right?

    Personally, I suspect the key to the forfeiture might have been closer to this quote from the article: "a fundamentalist Catholic school in Phoenix that lost twice to Mesa Prep during the regular season". ;)

    And while I am quoting stuff:
    "Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter." (Russell)

  • Hasdrubal

    That would be a downer, and potentially embarrassing that by high school my boy would be less athletic than a girl. But I would feel likes a complete ass to see a girl cut told she can't play because of her gender despite the fact that she's a better athlete than my son.

  • a_random_guy

    If a school can't support separate boys' and girls' teams, there is nothing wrong with a mixed-gender team. Mixed teams play in the boys' leagues - this is obvious.

    It is unacceptable for the other school to refuse to play. I don't care if this is because of religious principle, or because little green critters from Mars told them so. This is offensive behavior in a modern, western society.

    No, we do not have to respect their religious beliefs. Putting muslim women in shrouds, chopping off children's genitalia, and - yes - refusing to stand on the same ballfield as a girl: these are all religious ideas deserving nothing but contempt.

  • tahoebob

    I have two examples of mixed gender teams.
    When my oldest daughter was 9 or 10, she played on the boys little league team. She wasn't the only girl doing so. She's been very competitive from the start, and at that age she preferred to play on LL baseball. She eventually played on LL softball and fast pitch travel teams. Next year she will be playing NCAA division 1 softball (her brother pitches D1 too). BTW, her HS coach let her play all positions in one of her games last week. She's very good at all positions but pitching and she had a ball!

    Regarding Not Sure's comment about boys playing on girls team: when I was in high school, a boy (Brian Goralski) wanted to play on the girls volleyball team because he was a good player and we did not have a boys team. Thanks to title 9 and an earlier court ruling that allowed it, he played volleyball on the team. Here's a link to a Sports Illustrated article about him: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1090494/2/index.htm

  • Uncle Bill

    I wasn't sure why they would be opposed to playing against a team with girls on it. Unlike, say, football or hockey, there isn't a lot of contact in baseball. So, I was kinda surprised it would even be an issue.

    Then, I think Coyote unwittingly answered it in his fourth paragraph. If the presence of girls on the other team causes players to change they way they play, it is not a good thing. Don't know if it is a good enough reason to cause you to refuse to play against them, however.

    By the way, I am all in favor of reasonable mixture of the sexes in sports (however you define reasonable). Growing up in the early Jurassic period, I had no such contact. I think boys and girls would both benefit from playing sports with the opposite sex. One thing I noticed at work with people my age was that most women were much less "team players" than the average guy. That puzzled me for a long time, and I finally decided it was because they didn't have the experience of competing in teams. I'm retired now, but I wonder how things are with the younger generation.

  • mahtso

    I find the sexist attitudes more interesting than the religious aspects of this (e.g., "Mixed teams play in the boys’ leagues – this is obvious."
    and "That would be a downer, and potentially embarrassing that by high school my boy would be less athletic than a girl.")

    As to boys on the girls' teams: recently there was a story about a boy being kicked off the field hockey team because he was too good.

  • Colin

    It seems I always end up defending the proposed extremists. As Dan from Gilbert already pointed out, these are people following their principles. They haven't broken any laws nor demanded anyone else follow them. So regardless of whether you agree with OLOS there is no reason for the hatred or legal action I see some calling for.

    Having said that, I'm not even convinced it's a bad principle. There are people all over here and the rest of the internet calling this offensive sexism, Victorian attitudes, and denigrating to women. This is simply not the case. This is not a debate about what women or men can do. Nowhere has OLOS claimed that women can't play baseball, or that they can't play baseball better than the OLOS team, or even that women shouldn't play baseball with men.

    *The only statement that OLOS has made is that they don't want their specific school teams to be co-ed.* I haven't been able to find an explanation to their policy (Not too surprising considering they probably don't expect to convince the internet of their reasoning nor care what it has to say). However, as a graduate of an all boys Catholic school I can speculate. It may be they find co-ed teams distracting to the students. When you put teenage boys and girls together they act differently, and that often means they are not nearly as focused on their classes or practice. It may be OLOS is using these teams as a chance to form boys into men, an institutional father-son time as it where, which can be hard with women around. Theirs is certainly not the only way to run a school or a sports team, but I don't believe OLOS ever claimed it was. It is simply how they have chosen to go about it and I don't think they deserve any scorn for doing so.

  • me

    "Then, I think Coyote unwittingly answered it in his fourth paragraph. If the presence of girls on the other team causes players to change they way they play, it is not a good thing. Don’t know if it is a good enough reason to cause you to refuse to play against them, however."

    There is of course the second derivative of this, that goes "maybe that's a reason to ensure that boys play in mixed teams, so that they learn to understand and control their impulses".

  • me

    "As Dan from Gilbert already pointed out, these are people following their principles."

    I think the argument here is that their principles reflect a highly problematic attitude.

    The other reflection on this is that in this case the actions of the fundamentalist school impacted the lives of others (that girl, her team, their parents, for instance). Nothing wrong with that, but the "follow your principles" argument is also overly broad (with apologies and just to illustrate, it stretches all the way, as in "the terrorist were just following their principles" and "the SS Oberstaffelfuehrer was just following his principles and broke no laws").

  • a_random_guy

    I find the sexist attitudes more interesting than the religious aspects of this (e.g., “Mixed teams play in the boys’ leagues – this is obvious.”

    A bias is not "sexist" if it reflects reality.

    Once puberty sets in, boys are (on average) stronger and faster than girls. Allowing boys to play on girls' teams would therefore be unfair to the girls-only teams.

    If you aren't convinced, think of professional sports: Some countries have been caught cheating, by sneaking biological males into women's sports. They never cheat the other way around, do they?

  • ErisGuy

    "this just seems bizarre in the extreme. "

    Certainly plenty of speeches and books exist on how Judaism, Catholicism, Christianity, Socialism, Libertarianism et. al. are bizarre or extreme. Other people's morality always looks odd.

    "This is offensive behavior in a modern, western society"

    Yeah. It is. One more reason to hope our modern, Western society is evolves into a humane and just society.

  • me

    What is this fairness you speak of?

    (boys are on average stronger than girls; however, girls have a distribution of sport-related skills that overlaps boys sport-related skills, so there will inevitably be some girls stronger than some boys)

  • Colin

    “'As Dan from Gilbert already pointed out, these are people following their principles.'
    I think the argument here is that their principles reflect a highly problematic attitude."

    I did not mean to imply that principles are some sort of excuse or that we should refrain from condemning bad policy. That it is principled is important to me for 2 reasons.

    1) It means we shouldn't be judging them simply by this case (forfeiting because of a girl). I doubt they invented their policy with this situation in mind. We should judge the base policy itself and how it fits with everything else they do.

    2) I give people points for actually following the laws they have on the books. Too often I see people so focused on outcomes that they completely ignore how they are achieved. This is why the healthcare bill twists the commerce clause into knots and why the same people who curse government power when the other team is in place laud it 4 years later.

    "There is of course the second derivative of this, that goes “maybe that’s a reason to ensure that boys play in mixed teams, so that they learn to understand and control their impulses”."

    Key word there is "maybe." This is a matter of details and people in good faith can come to different conclusions. Personally speaking, I had many friends and family at the co-ed school down the street. If you looked hard enough you might have been able to find some sort of statistical difference comparing them to those of us at the all boys school, but it would NOT have been better control of their impulses.

  • Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master

    >>> he wanted to be on third base!

    I believe his real goal was to score a home run, not merely to get to third base...

  • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States

    >>> Would your feeling be the same if it was your son who was the guy cut from the team so the girl could be out there?

    Boy, could we get a bigger presumption of facts not in evidence? Are you a liberal, or just in training to be one?

    The girl has no business on the team if she's being put on it solely because she's a girl. She needs to earn her place by the exact same standards used for the boys, or she has no business there. But nothing I've seen in that article suggests that is the case. I mean, there's only 11 players on Mesa's team, so it' hardly likely that she chased anyone else off the team.

    >>> One thing I noticed at work with people my age was that most women were much less “team players” than the average guy. That puzzled me for a long time, and I finally decided it was because they didn’t have the experience of competing in teams. I’m retired now, but I wonder how things are with the younger generation.

    Female social structures are far less group-oriented and much more cutthroat than male ones. Women get painted as paragons of cooperation and compromise, but, as with pretty much all sexist memes, it's a load of bovine excreta.

    I recall some years back a girl I knew, we went out with her sister and a couple of her sister's "best" friends. She wouldn't leave (i.e., go home) the bar we were at, with her sister alone with her friends, because she didn't think that the friends would watch her sister's back if she had too much to drink, etc.

    I can't imagine anyone male whom I considered my friends who I would not expect to have my back if I got too drunk or something. Women DON'T watch each others' backs, even when supposed to be friends.

    They are far more likely to try and steal boyfriends, for example, than guys are to go after a friend's GF -- any guy can tell you that does happen but it's a MAJOR faux pas, and the guy who does it more than once in a lifetime gets the kind of rep where you don't wind up with anyone as a friend.

  • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States

    >>> It may be they find co-ed teams distracting to the students. When you put teenage boys and girls together they act differently, and that often means they are not nearly as focused on their classes or practice.

    Colin, your argument has merit for why THEY don't field a coed team. This is not justified for playing against a coed team. It's hardly a long, drawn out period of interaction, as practices and classes would be over months and months of time.

    The main reason I don't think there's as much debate here is that it's not like the Catholic team was claiming Mesa Prep had to forfeit, they just did it themselves. If their principles call for them to do that, and they do it, more power to them. Doesn't stop me from forming the opinion that their principles are brain-dead stupid, however. As above -- it's one thing to disallow coed teams in your own school for principles. I do not see a justification for refusing TO play a coed team under the same reasoning.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    Sure, why not girls? Why not older kids with fake birth certificates (which happened in a team my son played and the bigger boy broke a players are intentionally)? why not professionals? Why have any rules at all? Why not let the moms and dads decide the close plays their sons/daughters make? Why????

  • Colin

    @IGotBupkis

    By all means call stupid when you see it. I just take exception to those going further to paint this as hateful or sexist. I've seen no evidence of hatred or ill will going on here.

    Why do they object to playing against girls rather than simply keeping women off their team? I don't know their reasoning, it is certainly not the decision I would have made. I imagine it may be a process such as

    A) Our teams will not be coed
    B) We don't want our teams playing in a ALL coed leagues for similar reasons
    C) Therefore coed leagues are off limits

    They verified that the league was single sex before, but that changed. OLOS is technically violating C if they play, and these people follow their own rules.

    Could they have found a better solution? I think so. Would I pull my son or daughter out of the school because of this? Probably not. It hasn't been an issue 99% of the time and they may re-evaluate the rules. I'd be more concerned about whether their AP courses are any good.

  • Beale

    To describe Our Lady of Sorrows as a Catholic school isn't entirely accurate. Read the story again, and see
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_St._Pius_X.

  • Not Sure

    "Are you a liberal, or just in training to be one?"

    If that's what you think, you entirely misunderstood my post. But, hey- nice rant! :)

  • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States

    >>> If that’s what you think, you entirely misunderstood my post.

    Was tying it to the absolute lack of facts to associate with the assumption/question.

    Training it is :^D

  • Not Sure

    "Was tying it to the absolute lack of facts to associate with the assumption/question."

    I'm sure you were doing something. Keep up the good work! :)

  • Mark2

    I surprised in all 42 posts no-one hit the reason why a religious school would not like to have girls play with girls.

    It is precisely because of the reaction by Warren's son. "I laughed pretty hard when my son took a big chance to stretch a double into a triple. I knew exactly what he was doing –he wanted to be on third base!" The more religious schools try to avoid sexual temptation amongst their youth. And being in a contact sport with women (even though baseball is less contact than most) is enough to lead to temptation.

    Whether you think this is silly or not. There has been a move since the 60's to sexualize our youth. My daughters 6 and 9 know more about sex at their age then I did when I was 10. And at 10 I only knew because the school policy was to sexualize youth at 10 with sex education. So we put images in kids minds about desiring sex at an early age, when they really should only be thinking about playing baseball. So we end up with problems like early pregnancy, over-reliance on abortion as birth control, because 10 year olds are less likely to be responsible and use a glove.

    I can understand the schools position. It isn't as weird and far out as presented in this blog.

  • pet

    Slight diversion with a true story, then on topic...

    I was 12 or 13 playing hot stove league in the summer (remember that?). I had just gotten to the hand holding stage with the girl all of us guys were chasing around that summer. She was the superstar good looking softball player in our small town. I was the third or fourth young man she had 'gone through' in the past month or so. So, we were out on the diamond for a mid-summer practice, and the coach calls us over for a huddle and a talk. Lots of goofing around while we had water etc. So, Coach C says "Hey - who is your current girlfriend?". I told him her name. He said "Wow! She really plays the field doesn't she!!". I looked at him dead serious and said "Yeah. Third base!".

    It was years later before it dawned on me why everyone was laughing at me. LOL.

    With regard to this issue, I don't understand why anyone would object. How does the composition of anyone out on that field affect your own participation and performance?? yeah. exactly. worry about your own self.

  • Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master

    Mark2: I can see your point, but
    a) I have news for you, this whole "keep kids ignorant of sex" thing? It's a very recent aberration of human behavior. Hard to keep kids ignorant of sex when they're five or six and see several animals on the farm they live on doing it once or twice a week.
    b) That said, yes, I do concur there's a focus on sex in our society that might, arguably, be a bit overmuch. Arguably, not unquestionably.
    c) The idea that keeping any teenaged boy from social contact with a girl is a Good Idea is really rather stupid. As though that was going to stop teenaged boys from thinking about women? REALLY? Someone doesn't have any recollection of being a teenaged boy, or had an abnormally low libido even as a boy. I dunno about you, but when I was 14 I thought about women whenever the wind changed direction.
    d) Seeing a girl in a sporting situation leads to several things --
    1) seeing them as equals
    2) seeing them as something other than a hole to stick your dick into (yeah, crude, but it's not far from teen boy thought processes -- and that's not "wrong", it's just hormones)
    3) Seeing how else one might interact with a woman besides sex.

    It's not like this is an uncontrolled situation. What, are they gonna sneak off behind the bleachers to get laid? During a GAME?

    So yeah, if not "weird", it's certainly pushing the envelope, being pretty close, intellectually, to a return to the days when this was minimal bathing costume. Or this, more modern attitude.

  • John Moore

    I see someone finally answered the item that had been puzzling me - what "Catholic" school has such a policy for religious reasons? I'm a Catholic. My daughter went to Catholic schools. They didn't have strict segregation like that. This is simply ignorant Catholic bashing, especially since

    1) There is no such thing as a "fundamentalist Catholic" school. Catholic doctrine doesn't vary the way it does between various Protestant outfits.

    2) Hence, this was *not* a Catholic school.

    Even so, why call out a school for following their principles? It strikes me as pretty low to ridicule someone for following their beliefs - unless those beliefs are totally wacko (you know, like stoning women who have been raped)?

    Beyond that, it doesn't even require a religious reason. Schools can choose not to play coed teams if it matches their athletic policy. They might, gasp, have an idea that you should match males to males and females to females. Gasp! Who would ever consider that in sports? They must be neanderthals - or folks who understand biology, like, say, the NFL.

  • Slocum

    The problem is that this principle is not applied equally (boys are commonly disallowed from girls teams even when there's no equivalent boys team and even when the boy isn't bigger and stronger):

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/5ec1b6a914cc4ce18966ebeed6782a25/NY--Field-Hockey-Feud/

    The kid is 4'8" and weighs 82 lbs (quite a bit smaller than most 13 year old girls). But he's gotten 'too good', so he's banned.

  • Mark2

    @John Moore. The church /w school broke away from the Catholic religion because they believed Catholics were becoming too weenie, in their opinion. So yes, it was formerly Catholic, and is now something else.

    When this happens in the Lutheran church they just form a new Synod. But then because of all the Synods when you walk into a Lutheran church, you never know what you get. Could range from anything goes religious pansies, to the ultimate of holey rollers. Martin Luther himself would side with the more devout/strict interpretations of how to engage in religion.