All right boys, explain this one. A high school team in Arizona opted to forfeit its chance at a championship because they didn’t want to play a team with a girl on it. Think about that and remind yourselves that it’s 2012. The team, which attends Our Lady of Sorrows Academy, forfeited the game rather than face off Mesa Preparatory Academy because Mesa’s second-baseman is 15-year-old Paige Sultzbach.
You see, Our Lady Of Sorrows isn’t any old Catholic school — they’re a part of the Society of St. Pius X, a pre-Vatican II sect of Catholicism which isn’t recognized by the Catholic Church. And according to the school,
This decision is pursuant to school policy which rules out participation in co-ed sports. This policy is consistent with the traditional approach to education. As a Catholic school we promote the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years, especially in physical education. Our school aims to instill in our boys a profound respect for women and girls. Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we choose not to place them in an athletic competition where proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty.
So, because the boys at Sorrows are supposed to “respect” women so much, they’re not allowed to play sports with them. This makes total sense, especially because baseball is hardly a high-contact sport. As Paige’s mom Pamela Sultzbach posits, “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.”
In the fall, Our Lady of Sorrows also pulled out of some football games because there were female players on the opposing teams.
Thankfully, her coaches and teammates at Mesa are standing behind Sultzbach, and Paige herself seems like she understands the issue pretty clearly. “I felt like any passionate athletic person would feel (in that situation),” she told the Arizona Republic. “I don’t want our very first high-school baseball team to win the championship on a forfeit.” [Arizona Central]