A 14-year-old Indiana girl has sued the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and the Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) last month, alleging that the defendants discriminated against her in violation of Title IX by not allowing her to try out for and play for her high school’s baseball team.
Plaintiff Logan Young, a freshman at Bloomington High School South, is an avid baseball player, who expected to be able to be able to try out for her school’s baseball team this March. The IHSAA, however, has promulgated a rule, enforced by MCCSC, that prohibits her from trying out for her high school’s freshman baseball team because she is a girl.
The lawsuit charges that IHSAA and MCCSC have violated Logan’s rights under both the Constitution and Title IX. The lawsuit also seeks an injunction to stop the IHSAA and MCCSC from enforcing its rule, which prohibits all high school girls from trying out for baseball if the school offers a softball team, unless they can establish through a quasi-administrative process that barring her from the sport would create an “extreme hardship,” a procedural hurdle and standard that no boy in Logan’s position is required to meet, according to the complaint.
“Deprived of an opportunity to participate in high school baseball that is given to similarly situated boys,” argued the plaintiff’s attorneys, “Logan will be irreparably harmed by losing the chance to play baseball with her peers and to develop skills to enable her to progress to the next level of baseball; Logan will be irreparably harmed by being denied other tangible and intangible benefits of baseball participation made available to similarly situated boys. Having an opportunity to play softball will not adequately compensate Logan for losing the opportunity to play baseball, and will place
her at a substantial disadvantage compared to her peers who played baseball.”
Young is represented by lead counsel Sharon F. McKee of Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin in Philadelphia, PA. McKee said she attempted to get the IHSAA to change the rule without resort to litigation.
“We have brought this lawsuit because the IHSAA refuses to change its rule,” said McKee. “It’s clear that without the help of the court, the IHSAA intends to keep Logan and girls like her from trying to make the team and play the sport they love.”
Aside from McKee, Public Justice’s legal team consists of Public Justice Staff Attorney Victoria Ni, Tae Sture, of Sture Legal Services in Fishers, Indiana, and Public Justice’s Goldberg, Waters & Kraus fellow Amy Radon.
For a copy of the complaint, visit: http://www.publicjustice.net/briefs/Young_finalized_complaint_112108.pdf