Girls Basketball Team Forfeits Playoff Game Instead Of Playing Against Biological Male

A Vermont Christian school has forfeited a playoff game in which its girl’s basketball team was scheduled to play against a team with a biological male on the roster. Although the state of Vermont has decided to allow biological males to play against biological girls in sporting events, The Mid Vermont Christian School has decided against playing the game due to a lack of fairness and safety.

The 12-seeded Eagles of Mid Vermont Christian School were scheduled to play against the 5-seed Long Trail Mountain Lions. The forfeit ensured that the Mountain Lions advanced to the next round of the playoffs. Head of School at MVCS Vicky Fogg penned an email to the Valley News, saying: “We believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players. Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”Lauren Thomas from the Vermont Principal’s Association admitted to Valley News that this is not the first occasion of a team or school sending a message regarding biological males playing in leagues meant for biological girls. She did add, however, that no issue had escalated to the extent of a forfeit, saying:

“I have received calls (from schools) asking for best practices and how to go forward knowing they were going to play a team with a [biological male] on it. We just supported our stance and our best practices through our inclusivity statement.”The Mid Vermont Christian School girls basketball team withdrew from the Vermont Division IV state tournament because of a refusal to play against an opponent with a biological male student-athlete. The school’s head of school, Vicky Fogg, stated that playing against a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of their players. Vermont law allows biological male students who identify as females to play on girls’ sports teams, and the Vermont Principals’ Association supports best practices through their inclusivity statement. The school had earlier submitted a letter asserting that it reserved the right not to follow all of Vermont’s anti-discrimination laws.As a religious organization, the school has a statutory and constitutional right to make decisions based on its religious beliefs, including hiring and disciplining employees, associating with others, and in its admissions, conduct, and operations policies and procedures. By signing this form, the Mid Vermont Christian School does not waive any such rights.”

The letter also added that there are topics that the school outright refuses to teach in accordance with state rules since they go against the school’s religious beliefs, “including on marriage and sexuality.” According to the letter, “the school has not included that language in its handbook or online, nor can it affirm that particular aspect of the Vermont Public Accommodations Act.”

Aaron Warner of the Vermont Daily Chronicle wrote about the player who he believes is the biological male on the Mountain Lions, saying: “Johnson’s nickname is also Rose “Not in This House” Johnson for his prowess in blocking shots. In one game he had seven blocked shots. That means seven shots, typically closer to the basket so much more likely to go in, were blocked by the guy who is taller than every other girl on the floor, can jump higher and likely is significantly stronger. In what world is this even remotely fair to other Vermont Division IV girls?”

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