Court tackles boys playing girls’ sports in Pa.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state judge has declined to intervene in the growing issue of boys playing sports traditionally reserved for girls, saying a previous court ruling does not necessarily prohibit the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association from banning the practice.
Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson on Tuesday turned down a request by the PIAA to modify a landmark 1975 state court ruling that required schools to let girls play on boys’ teams.
“If PIAA, as the primary policymaking body for interscholastic competition in the Commonwealth, believes it is appropriate to take action in this area, then it should take the first step into the breach and create a policy,” Brobson wrote. “Only then, if that policy is challenged in a court of law, may its constitutionality be evaluated.”
A lawyer for the PIAA, which has about 1,400 member schools and some 350,000 student participants, said the organization’s board would likely put the topic on its October meeting agenda. If a new policy is adopted, it would not take effect for at least a year.
PIAA general counsel Alan Boynton said the organization was “pretty satisfied” with Brobson’s ruling. “It wasn’t everything we wanted, but it gives the PIAA the option of doing what it thinks is appropriate,” he said.
Boynton said some schools do ban boys on girls’ teams, while others do not. He said member schools have been pressuring the PIAA to address the problem.