AN Arizona Catholic high school has forfeited an opportunity to play in a baseball final, as the rival team fielded a girl on second base.
Our Lady of Sorrows, a fundamentalist Catholic school in Phoenix, chose to forfeit the championship final rather than play against Mesa Preparatory Academy, because the school has a 15-year-old girl Paige Sultzbach on their team.
Paige had set out two games already against Our Lady of Sorrows out of defence to the school’s opposition to coeducational sports – but she dreamed of playing the championship game, and was included on the team sheet by the school’s coach for the final.
Our Lady of Sorrows explained their stance to the local news station: "Our school aims to instil 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."
However Paige’s mother Pamela hit out at the Catholic school’s boycott: "This is not a contact sport, it shouldn't be an issue. 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."
The athletic director of Mesa Prep Amy Arnold who have now won the championship by default commented :"I respect their views, but it's a bit out of the 18th century.” The coach said she was angry that her team did not get to compete in the final: "What true athlete would want to win or lose a championship game by forfeit?"
According to Fox news reports Our Lady of Sorrows is affiliated with the U.S. branch of the Society of Saint Pius X, a traditionalist group of Catholics that grew out of opposition to the second Vatican council.