Sometimes adults have to stop being adults, and be kids again.
Our sports department covered this story yesterday, and I read the article with amazement. The Lake George volleyball team was really hosed by the adults in this situation, and months of hard work that pushed a team to a top-two state ranking is gone for what is really an inconsequential, technical violation of a relatively minor rule.
Basically, the undefeated team played an extra match, and got the death penalty.
It would be one thing if the school used an ineligible player, or was found to have cheated during a match in some fashion. But playing one too many matches, when the school/team were under the impression one of those matches was a scrimmage? Seriously?
These coaches and athletic directors are all supposed to know the rules, so it's hard to believe that the team and district in this case would intentionally schedule an extra game. And really, what advantage did the team gain from this extra match anyway?
Unfortunately New York state's high school athletics policies in these situations seems inconsistent at best, as shocking as that may be.
Queensbury's football team played a team in the sectional playoffs last weekend that had to forfeit two games earlier in the season because it used an ineligible player. It was termed an "innocent mistake" involving paperwork for a transfer, student but Lake George's indiscretion isn't equally as innocent?
That school, LaSalle Academy, was still allowed to participate in the playoffs though, despite an on-field infraction that seems far worse than playing one extra match that was supposed to have been a scrimmage.
We try to teach our kids that in our criminal justice system, the punishment should fit the crime.
Roll through a stop sign, you get a ticket, not the death penalty.
In this case, forfeiting the extra match that was called into question, or some other lesser sanction affection sectional seeding, would have been appropriate.
But to end a high school team's season because of an adult's minor mistake is unconscionable under the circumstances, frankly.
-- Don Lehman