A girl’s volleyball injury prompted one North Carolina school district to forfeit remaining volleyball games against the other team’s school.
Cherokee County School District approved a motion to forfeit remaining girls volleyball games scheduled with Highlands School, according to a Washington Examiner report. The 5-1 vote during the board of education’s regularly scheduled September meeting reflected safety concerns after the boy severely injured a Cherokee County player during a match.
A Highlands School volleyball player pelted a Hiwassee Dam High School player in the forehead with the ball during a return in a September volleyball tournament.
The Hiwassee Dam girl suffered severe head and neck injuries, resulting in long-term concussion symptoms, according to an Education First report. The girl still has not received medical clearance to play again by either her primary care physician or a neurologist, the report noted.
A video of the volleyball match on the Education First report shows the injury. One player is seen leaping high to spike a return that hits an opposing team member in the head. The girl who was hit in the head immediately falls backwards on the floor, resting on her back.
“I think the odds (of injury) in these non-contact sports aren’t high,” board of education trustee Joe Wood said. “But in particular, in this meeting, a coach of 40 years said they’d never seen a hit like this. That was really what sealed the decision, at least on my part.”
BOE vice-chair Jeff Martin explained the power imbalance of transgender athletes was not on board members’ minds, but safety issues raised forced them to do something.
Volleyball players studied during an international competition revealed males are significantly more effective than females at “attacking” the ball toward their opponent’s side. Body momentum generates incredible power on jump ball returns, study authors concluded, calling it a natural advantage for males.
“The increased capability of men to perform powerful attacks high above the net, which increases the probability of success, is coupled with their significantly increased proportion of faulty blocks in comparison to women,” wrote researchers in a study published in Sage Journals.
The study examined differences between male and female volleyball players in high-level tournament games played at the last four consecutive Olympics.
Outcries about the dominance of the male swimmer, University of Pennsylvania student Lia Thomas who competed with the women’s swim team, prompted changes.
The world’s governing swim body FINA changed its policy in June. FINA’s updated policy prohibits transgender women from competing in swim events unless they began medical treatments to suppress testosterone production before the onset of puberty or by age 12 whichever occurred later.
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