Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oregon Dad Challenges Softball Team's Exclusion from Premier Field

The Oregonian reports that parent Randy Anderson has filed an intent to sue the Seaside School District to challenge a disparity in athletic fields.  The city recently constructed a state-of-the-art athletic complex, which includes an astroturf football field and baseball field for the high school boys' teams to play on.  In contrast, the Seaside High School girls' softball team, on which Anderson's daughter plays, uses an 11-year-old former baseball field that was constructed on a wetland and prone to flooding.  Anderson says about the new "million dollar field" that "everyone and their brother can play on it -- except the girls."  Moreover, the remedy he is seeking is very modest -- he says the city could install a portable pitching mound and move the bases to allow the field to be used for both baseball and softball.  Hopefully, the school district and the city will agree that that's a much easier solution than litigating what appears to be a strong case. 

The case against Seaside isn't the only softball-related dispute in the news these days.   Here's a similar story about a former coach challenging disparities between softball and baseball facilities used  by the Homewood-Flossmoor School District in Illinois.  The article makes the point that while this disparity is the only one mentioned in the complaint, other schools in the area have similar problems resulting from what appears to be a trend in constructing stadium-like facilities for baseball provide far more amenities to the boys who play there than are available at even the very good softball fields that exist for girls.