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13-year-old girl legally barred from playing on boys basketball team in New Jersey

What’s a girl without a basketball team to do? For one 13-year-old girl in New Jersey, the answer seemed simple — play on the boys team.

However, the Archdiocese of Newark doesn’t see it the same way, and barred her from playing for the boys team because it was against the rules of the catholic school she has been attending.

The church’s position has been that allowing Sydney Phillips to bend the rules would mean that they would then have to bend the rules for every other person who comes up with a special case, according to the New York Post:

“We have rules or we don’t, the Archdiocese’s lawyer Chris Westrick said. “If we have to break rules for the Phillips family, we have to break rules for everybody.”

“What we have here is a situation where people don’t want to be bound by the rules that everybody else is bound by,” Westrick told the judge.

The judge, Donald Kessler, agreed with the thoughts of the Archdiocese and refused to grant a preliminary injunction, allowing Sydney to play on the boys team while this legal battle is fought.

In his ruling, the judge noted that a change like this would be a change to the “status quo” and that allowing her to play on the boys team wasn’t a “circumstance which now does exist.”

Of course, this is something that could be dealt with for the next school season, with a change in the rules as they stand today.

As for any hope of a discrimination-based lawsuit, the judge also threw out that notion by noting the protected status of the church under New Jersey state law.

[New York Post]

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a college football and soccer enthusiast turned avid sports writer. He is a member of the FWAA and a contributor to The Comeback, as well as publisher of talking10 and a managing editor of MadTownBadgers and 32flags.

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