Alabama city pushes back on claim that girls basketball team wasn’t awarded trophy because of gender
A City in Alabama A youth is defending himself against criticism after a basketball tournament where parents of a fifth-grade girls’ team claimed they were not awarded a first-place trophy after defeating a boys’ recreational team in the title game because they There were girls.
Jaime Mashayek, whose daughter A Competitive Girls League Spain, representing Park, wrote in a Facebook post last week that the Hoover City Schools all-student team was told mid-season that they could no longer use Hoover facilities to practice unless they were allowed by the district. do not pay to play in recreational leagues.
“They were asked to stay together as a team in which they had to play up to a level in competition and play with 5th grade boys,” Mashekh said in the post.
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He added that before the championship, the team was told that they could participate but the trophy would not be awarded if they won.
“‘Excuse me? What?’ What did they do to be disqualified? Did they not pay their dues? Did they not play up to a level in the competition? Oh, it’s because they’re girls?!?!” Mashekh wrote.
“So sure these 5th grade girls played their hearts out, left it all on the floor and fought their male counterparts only to be told, “No, I’m sorry you don’t count.”
Mashaikh called the situation a “hard lesson” that she did not believe “we should be teaching our boys or girls in this day and age.”
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But the city issued a statement Monday clarifying that the decision had nothing to do with the gender of the team, but with Hoover Parks and Recreation Department (HPRD) regulations.
“For many years, HPRD has allowed ‘elite’ teams based in Hoover to participate in tournaments that it conducts. Those ‘elite’ teams are not solicited by HPRD, but rather come to HPRD and participate. members of the ‘elite’. Teams are hand-picked. They do not go through the same talent evaluations that regular recreational league teams participate in. Therefore, ‘elite’ teams within their grade level or are prepared to compete against recreational teams in a separate division against those teams above their grade level to ensure fair competition for all youth athletes.”
“If an ‘elite’ team participates in an HPRD Youth Tournament and reaches the championship round, they are not eligible to receive any awards/trophies. Only regular recreational teams receive awards/trophies,” the statement added. are eligible for.”
The statement also noted that these teams are made “aware and agree” to rules that do not allow them to collect trophies or awards if they advance to a championship game.
“It is important to note that the same provisions always apply to both the girls’ and boys’ ‘elite’ teams. HPRD has never treated any team differently based on gender or any other factor, some teams” Except for elite” status.”
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The city also said that in the same tournament, a boys’ “elite team” won a championship and was not awarded a trophy.
“They were not eligible because of their ‘elite’ status. This winning team included the son of an elected Hoover official, indicating that the same rules apply to all teams, regardless of gender. “
The city said it plans to review its current policies “to ensure that the competition and accreditation process are fair to all participants” and invited both winning teams to attend the Hoover City Council on Monday evening. So that they can be recognized for their recent victories.”