BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The board that oversees Idaho high school sports won’t bar a female golf champion from playing with the boys’ team if not enough girls turn out to form a team of their own.
A proposed rule change that would have blocked Sierra Harr’s participation emerged over the summer at the Idaho High School Activities Association after she helped the Castleford High School boys win the 2012 championship for Idaho’s smallest schools.
Harr, a 16-year-old junior, says the debate came up after rival coaches complained.
Association executive director John Billetz said Wednesday there was just a single vote in favor of the rule change at a meeting in Coeur d’Alene. Billetz says the 11 board members voting in the majority concluded Harr’s situation happens so infrequently, it didn’t merit a big change.
“Nothing has changed, everything is back to the way it was,” he said.
If enough girls turn out to form a Castleford girls’ team in 2013, Harr will play with them.
If not, she can still compete for a spot on the boys’ team.
Taking a brief break in between classes Wednesday, Harr told The Associated Press that a potentially difficult situation has come to a satisfying conclusion — not just for her, but for other girls in Idaho.
“If you believe in something … you should stand up for it,” she said.
Harr says the process has been a learning experience and that the resolution will allow her to focus on golf. Her next tournament is this weekend in Sun Valley.
Two years ago, in Harr’s freshman season at Castleford, she easily won the individual girl’s state title for schools with fewer than 160 students, taking the championship by 6 strokes.
In 2012, however, only three girls turned out for Castleford’s girls’ squad, one too few to field a formal team.
Rather than play as an individual in female competitions, Harr won the Idaho High School Activities Association’s permission to play with Castleford’s boys’ team — provided she qualified every week.
She finished in seventh at the boy’s state tournament in May, helping her 2A school to the team title.
Harr said some opposing coaches then raised concerns, saying she should continue to play with the girls as an individual, rather than being allowed to play for the boys’ team.
After the activities association board voted to consider the proposed change in July, Harr, who is the No. 3 ranked female golfer in Idaho with a 2.2 handicap, openly campaigned against it.
“The mental mind set a golfer gains from golfing for a team cannot be replaced,” she wrote to the association.
Before the vote, lawyers who work on discrimination cases in sports also told the AP that federal Title IX provisions would likely make the proposed rule change illegal because barring Harr from the boys’ team, in the absence of a girls’ squad, would deny her access to equal educational opportunities.
Billetz, the association director, said there was no discussion among board members about Title IX before their decision.
“The bottom line was, this is something that was just like an anomaly,” he said.
More Related Stories
- Fox executive behind "Does Someone Have to Go?" leaving the network
- Hillary Clinton memoir shows up on Amazon
- A brief history of Jennifer Weiner's literary fights
- First look: Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard shine in "The Immigrant”
- No women allowed: Summer music festivals are dudefests, again
- Vivica A. Fox tapes anti-gun PSA in front of poster for her movie
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Mariah Carey's rambling, cursing, dress-popping "Good Morning America" concert
- Fox's new reality TV show threatens regular people with unemployment
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Steamy lesbian-sex movie has Cannes abuzz
- Stop what you're doing and go watch "Borgen"
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- New York chef serves up eight-course meal around "Arrested Development" jokes
- HLN: Jodi Arias "pleading for her life" got us a ratings win!
- Michael Ian Black on Maron feud: He "considered me a poseur"
- Chekhov's story mirrors Russia's own
- Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina denied parole
- Joe Francis apologizes for calling jury "retarded"
- Mary Karr: David Foster Wallace and I kept each other alive
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11