Girls basketball

A group of fifth-grade girls in Hoover, Alabama was forced to play in against boys in a recreational youth league. And not only did they compete, they also beat the boys and won the league’s championship – but the league decided not to give them the trophy or name them champions.

The girls have played in a competitive girls’ league for three years but were told they could not continue to use the city’s gyms for their practices unless they joined the city’s youth recreational league, meaning they would have to play with boys. They did that and fought their way to the league’s championship game. But before the game, they were told that they could play in the game, but would not be allowed to have the trophy if they won, according to Jayme Mashayekh, whose daughter was on the team.

The girls did indeed win the game, but the trophy was awarded to the losing boys team, instead.

“Excuse me? What? What did they do to get disqualified? Did they not pay their dues? Did they not play up a level in competition? Oh, it’s because they’re GIRLS?!?!” Mashayekh wrote in a Facebook post. “So sure enough these 5th grade girls played their hearts out, left it all on the floor and battled their male counterparts only to be told, ‘No, I’m sorry you don’t count.’”

Mashayekh eventually updated the post revealing that the Hoover Rec Center offered to “make things right for the girls,” although it’s not exactly clear how.

“On Wednesday, March 1st, 2023, the City of Hoover and the Hoover Parks and Recreation Board became aware of concerns about a recent youth basketball tournament. We are currently working to provide proper recognition to all the teams that were successful in that tournament. Also, we are reviewing the full extent of what occurred to ensure all future programs are handled appropriately,” Hoover City Administrator Allan Rice told in a statement.

Hopefully, the girls are rightfully awarded their trophy.