Funny how fast things can change. And with
those changes comes a lot of free-falling impact on many different
groups. Here is a case in point. In the November 2000 Newsletter
(Welcome) I mentioned the five states that played girl's high
school basketball in the fall rather than in the winter. Virginia
was one of those states. After a lengthy court battle involving
11 girls the judge ruled there was discrimination and ruled to
move girl's basketball to the winter. A decision was made in
recent weeks by the VHSL Executive Committee to not appeal the
ruling. This will align the girl's basketball season beginning
in 2003 to be played simultaneously with boys basketball.
There was a statement from the VHSL executive director that indicated
that they believe this settlement to be in the best interest
of all concerned. They further indicated the general sentiment
of the majority of the state high schools (A and AA) is now more
favorable to having the girls play in the winter. Additional
reasons were to effectively deal with long-distance travel and
missed class time, and scheduling competition across group lines
as other points of support. School coaches and administrators
in the area of the state in which I live have not supported that
position (nor does anyone with rational thinking). Administrators
have voiced the obvious problems and concerns as it relates to
facility and schedule problems, late practices, less and lack
of media coverage, and officiating concern.
The officiating concern stems primarily
from the fact that the current core of officials will be asked
to referee a dual season for boys and girls during a winter season.
It is clear that the current number of officials in local associations
will not allow this transition to happen without a diminish in
quality of service unless a major effort to insure recruitment
and training of basketball officials in Virginia is put in place
to prepare for 2003. This is the only acceptable solution in
order for the players and coaches to be insured that the state
will provide non-diminished officiating in girls basketball
at the A and AA level.
I could have understood the VHSL not pursuing
the appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for financial
reasons. I do not agree with the in the best interest of
everyone statement. This will certainly be a case where
the wishes of the few will have a negative affect on the many.
Each of us can judge as to whether the court ruling has provided
the girls in the state of Virginia progress. Time will
And this call will be blatant and obvious.