IHSAA Reverses Field, Allowing Female Student Athlete To Play Baseball

Apr 11, 2008

The Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) has agreed to permit Heather Bauduin, a 16-year-old Wabash, Indiana high school junior, to try out for her school’s previously all-male baseball team, both this season and next.
Bauduin was originally informed that she was barred from participating in baseball by an IHSAA state-wide rule, which prohibits girls from participating in high school baseball if the school offers softball.
The rule was challenged by Public Justice, a Washington D.C.-based entity that represents the interests of Trial lawyers of Public Justice. Public Justice had put forth a demand letter on February 4, which alleged that the IHSAA’s rule violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection as well as Title IX.
Representing Public Justice in the endeavor was Sharon McKee of Hangley, Aronchick, Segal & Pudlin (HASP) in Philadelphia, who presented expert testimony at a hearing before an IHSAA review committee, showing that softball and baseball require different skill sets, especially for overhand baseball pitchers like Bauduin. On February 28, after the conclusion of the hearing, the review committee reversed the Commissioner’s decision and gave Bauduin the right to go out for baseball at Wabash High.
“We are thrilled that this quick resolution ensures that Heather will be able to participate this spring,” McKee said. “We hope that this case prompts the IHSAA to revise its rules so that no other Indiana girls are excluded from sports simply because they are girls. The rule barring girls from playing baseball is unconstitutional.”
To read the demand letter, go to: http://www.publicjustice.net/briefs/Bauduin_DemandLetter_022808.pdf


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