GOODING - The Gooding Recreation District has overturned its ban on girls playing youth football.

The recreation district's board voted unanimously to kill the rule after it was enforced against two girls who wanted to play football this season.

The Magic Valley Youth Football League allows boys and girls to play on its fifth- and sixth-grade teams, but it doesn't have enforcement powers over individual districts.

Gooding was the only participating district to not permit girls to play in the league.

Check back to MagicValley.com or read Thursday's Times-News for more on this story.

(3) comments

DianaR
DianaR

From one of the moms who attended this afternoon's Rec District Board Meeting...

"We attended the Gooding Recreation district board meeting this afternoon in support of two girls who were removed from the 5th and 6th grade football team team for being female. I was sorely disappointed in the turnout. I was under the impression that all the people sharing the article on Facebook cared enough to do more than just click a button, but I stand corrected. Those that did attend saw a great change to the rec district's policy on allowing girls in Football. The two little gals who fought bravely for a place on the team returned to practice shortly after the decision.

I was shocked and appalled by the behavior of Some recreation district board members.

They made lame attempts at redirecting attention to the fact that one girl had turned in her registration slip, fees, and physical evaluation after the due date, but more than 5 practice sessions before her first game. I mean common, how many time has the rec district "broken" that rule by allowing late registrations to fill team rosters. They have offered to do it for my step children who come for summer visitation after the summer sports start on several occasions. The other girl, well, they have no record of her paperwork. She happens to also be the step daughter of the Coach. Maybe, maybe not, but her paperwork and fees are turned in now, and I am sure that the coaches will make sure she has the required 5 practices before her first game.

Another appalling behavior I saw at the meeting was after the board all but accused the coach of intentionally trying to mislead the rec district board members as to the involvement of female players on his team. One board member actually pointed her finger in his face and yelled "You are not allowed to speak here. I'll give you the rules for speaking in just a few minutes" as she walked toward the back of the room where the sign in sheet was located. Is it that hard to say something polite? "If you will give me just a minute to collect the sign in sheet, I will explain forum decorum so we can proceed with this matter properly."

The Coach for the team asked where he can find a copy of the rec district's rules so he can avoid further violation. NONE of the board members could give a strait answer to the question, and all avoidance's were made to answer. Eventually it was determined that they must be in the minutes from a board meeting that took place approximately 20 years ago. But, nobody know where those minutes are located so the rules can be reviewed, Not even the board members. So basically, the Rec district has been making the rules up as they go. This is where our tax dollars are going?

Strange that this issue was only brought up the first business day AFTER the deadline to register as an election candidate for the rec district board. Of course, the board claims they had no knowledge of female participants, but aren't physicals for males and females different? Last time I checked they were, and they openly admitted to receiving a physical for one of the female participants. It appears to me to be much more of political timing move than anything else. I don't believe that the voters in Gooding would intentionally elect an openly sexist leader for our children and I don't believe the candidates would go unchallenged after such a deceleration.

All in all, these parents had the board by the sensitive parts. With one gal being properly registered, there was no way to deny that the girls had been removed from the team just for being Female and not for a violation of the rules and policies that nobody currently has a copy of.

After this meeting, I hold this coaches in the highest regard. They stood for the kids and almost took one on the chin. These are the kinds of people we need leading our youth!"

My own personal comments:
Several of us were unable to attend due to work schedules. Several of us believe the time of the meeting may have been deliberately chosen to keep attendance down. It was also suggested that the original time of the meeting was scheduled for 6pm. I would like to know if/when/where this PUBLIC meeting notice was PUBLICLY posted. If the time was changed, I would like to know WHEN it was changed and WHY.

I also want to remind people that it is NOT too late to run as a write-in for a position on the Rec District board. Message me and I'll send you the form. From what I'm hearing, it would not be difficult to win.

I really really hate to be a "conspiracy theorist" (lol!) but this just doesn't feel right to me. I would like to think that errors were made (as we all do) and were/will be corrected, but it wouldn't hurt to be paying attention, get involved, and hold some people accountable. We elect people and trust they will do their jobs, but if we don't pay attention to our employees, sometimes things can get out of control. This may or may not be the case but for our kids and the people/coaches/volunteers who care about them, it is OUR DUTY to step up and make sure.

This isn't personal... I'm trying to forget that I know and like some of these people. This is about our kids and our community.

begi
begi

First of all, a coward of a man sneakily got those girl on the field. He did not even ask for permission first. Secondly, what happens when those girls get to highschool, title 9 says no. Thirdly, hire many women play professional, or even college football. What a joke. As a man, i guess i can join the miss america padgent. As a woman i guess i can now play basketball in a mans league. All i learned from this situation is that if i don't like the rules, teach my children that it is okay to be sneaky, then act like a victim when the penalty comes f from breaking the crime. What a great thing kids need in this society Everything has its appropriate place and time. C`mon man.

begi
begi

Dianr, it says directly on the registration form 5th grade boys only and 6 th grade boys only, if that not plain as day in describing the rules? Quit making excuses.

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