The Arizona Charter Athletic Association state championship baseball game wasn't played Thursday night because Mesa Prep's second baseman is a girl.
Paige Sultzbach, a freshman, is playing baseball because her high school doesn't offer girls softball. But the school Mesa Prep was to face in the final, Our Lady of Sorrows Academy, said its boys would not compete against a team with a girl and forfeited the game - and the state title - to Mesa Prep.
"As a Catholic school, we promote the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years, especially in physical education,â€ť Our Lady of Sorrows said in a statement, according to CNN affiliate KTVK.
â€śIt takes tremendous moral courage to stand by what it is you believe, and they are doing what they think is right,â€ť Mesa Prep Headmaster Robert Wagner told KTVK.
But Sultzbach's mother, Pamela Sultzbach, said her daughter and the Mesa Prep team were being done a disservice.
"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," Pamela Sultzbach told the Arizona Republic.
"I respect their views, but it's a bit out of the 18th century," Amy Arnold, Mesa Prep's athletic director, told the Republic.
Mesa Prep and Our Lady of Sorrows played twice during the regular season, but Sultzbach sat out, as they were away games for her team.
â€śIt was on their field, and I felt the need to respect their rules,â€ť she told KTVK.
The final would have been on a neutral field, and Sultzbach wanted to play.
Now, despite being hailed as state champions, Mesa Prep will feel like they've missed something, Pamela Sultzbach said.
"This team has worked so hard," she said. "They're undefeated. They had one game left. At our school, we're taught that when you start something, you complete it, and they weren't done."
Honestly, not that big of a deal. Although I disagree completely with the Catholic schools beliefs on this topic, at least they didn't throw a tantrum about it, they simply forfeited. You can agree or disagree with that decision but at least it's consistent with their ideology.
Refusing to play a championship game is tantamount to a MAJOR tantrum.
"I'm just going to take my ball and GO HOME since you won't do things my way!"
You mean keeping the focus on boys' asses instead of girls?
It's one thing for the Catholic school to forbid girls on its "boys'" teams; it's another to refuse to play another school that rightly allows a girl the chance to play. Poor girl.
This is nothing new. The Catholic religion has been on the wrong side of history for centuries. They do much good all over the world and I appreciate that. But there ideology is always a century or two behind the rest of society; I might add, along with Muslims and Fundamentalist Protestants.
Aren't you just the superior being, then.
Our Lady of Sorrows Academy has a truly sorry outlook on things!
They were afraid to lose to a team who had a girl playing for them but used religion as an excuse to back out. Grow a set and play ball. To me, this is discrimination. If they had done this because of a black, asian, hindu, etc. person, you would see the lawsuits flying – but it's ok in this instance as the person is a girl. Give me a break. Not sure where the Bible says an all boys team cannot play baseball against a team with one girl but it's 2012, time to integrate boys and girls together.
Why don't you show some respect to a religious belief? you can promote peace and not realize that many religions have principles that might differ from our own but they should not be subject to harassment – which is what you are doing – by simply practicing them.
Well done to Ms. Sultzbach; She showed excellent character in respecting the beliefs of others and sitting out on their field. That Our Lady of Sorrows Academy didn't so the same in the final is a discredit to them. However, they have the right to free speech. It's just a shame the contest was resolved on the grounds of belief and not on the field.
Its sad, but does this mean we should have males playing softball if they dont offer baseball? Its a boys baseball team and thats the way it should be. If thats a problem make a seperate league with CO-ED baseball.
It was not a problem for the team that has the girl on it or any of the other teams. The only problem seems to be from one little school with a very narrow view of the world. I have yet to hear one valid argument against her being on the team. Just a lot of "because that is what I think" arguments.
Pamela sounds like an ignorant, disrespectful idiot. The school has an ideal they are committed to. It has nothing to do with them not letting girls on the field – they want girls to play girls and boys to play boys because they believe segrated educations are better for children. Her daughter was educated enough to show respect for the school in the earlier games, too bad the mother can't take a lesson from her kid.
That school also wants to dictate their beliefs onto others. Frankly, they should just bow out of competi.tive sports if it is not compatible with their beliefs. Frankly, I think it was ridiculous for her to have to sit out the other games. Plus 10 points for style on her part, but minus several hundred points for religious bigotry.
Another example of why religion is crap. They treat women like second class citizens. NO god. Know peace.
Whatever. They were scared of losing to a girl. Wimps.
Man, this is really sad. Where I live there was a parallel situation where a Catholic school had a girl on the soccer team, because there was no girls' soccer team and the Baptist school refused to play them . This is inane
@Stephen – 1) This was not about academic segregation so that argument is BS. 2) What's your source behind the caim that the "best prep schools are all male, or all female"...or is just one of those "that's what I believe so it must be true?
It's kind of old fashioned, but Catholic schools still don't think that high school boys should be getting to second base with a girl just yet.
From reports about their prior games with that team, it does not seem likely that they would get to second base all that often. Maybe they were just getting tired of rejection?
Tremendous courage??? Tremendous courage??? More like tremendously cowardly little boys.
What a terrible man made religion to be part of, , they might as well spit in her face for being a girl. I hope someone up above investigates what they are teaching at that school. They believe a girls place is not on a field so I would love to know where they actually believe a girl/woman place should be? At the end of the day she is still a person and shouldn't have been treated like that.. . . It's just a game ----> Grow up
I would probably be tempted to bean the Catholic boys team. It's also part of my religious conviction.
At first I thought this was an article about a sports game in Afghanistan!