Girls high-school basketball team forfeits after trans player injures 3 players in Massachusetts

"Once the third was injured, the remaining five expressed concern to him about continuing to play."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A Massachusetts charter school ended a girls’ varsity basketball game at halftime on February 8 after multiple players were injured by a trans-identified male on the opposing team.

The coach of the Collegiate Charter School of Lowell Girls’ Basketball Team made the decision to end the game against KIPP Academy "after watching a third player injured in the game," a press release from the school states.

"The bench was already depleted going into the game with the 12-player roster having four players unable to play. When the coach saw three more girls go down in the first half leaving him with five players, he made the call to end to end the game early."

The school wrote in the press release that Charter School playoffs were approaching, "and he needed a healthy and robust bench in four days."

"Once the third was injured, the remaining five expressed concern to him about continuing to play. The players feared getting injured and not being able to compete in the playoffs."

The school wrote that it "supports this decision and reiterates its values of both inclusivity and safety for all students."

"We take the standards set by the MIAA and our Board of Trustees seriously and strive to uphold them on and off the court. We also follow the guidance from the MIAA and state laws regarding equity and access for all student-athletes."

One video of the game showed the biological male player, standing taller than the female players, ripping the ball out of a female Collegiate Charter School of Lowell player’s hands. She was seen clutching her back while she laid on the ground, grimacing in pain as team members surrounded her.

According to the ItemLive, KIPP led at halftime 31-14. The trans-identified male player is reportedly over 6 feet tall, and has facial hair.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athlete Association (MIAA) states in its handbook that "If a school offers a single team in a particular sport, it may not restrict eligibility based on gender unless such a restriction is necessary to ensure that the school’s gendered designation of athletic opportunities complies with Title IX."

"A student shall not be excluded from participation on a gender-specific sports team that is consistent with the student’s bona fide gender identity," the handbook adds.

Collegiate Charter School of Lowell Athletic Director Kyle Pelczar told ItemLive that he and Coach Kevin Ortins knew ahead of time that the trans-identified male played on the team, as they have played that school before this season. The trans-identified male has been on the girls roster since the start of the season.

“No, and coach knew going into the game, already, because we had them at home the first game of the year and nothing happened then, so he knew going into the game,” Pelczar said.

The previous game, which took place on December 12, resulted in KIPP winning 36-29 against Collegiate Charter School.

“So, he felt that his girls were getting injured, basically, all game,” Pelczar said. “He has a playoff game on Monday, so he didn’t want to have any more of his girls go down.”

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