Girls’ basketball team forfeits at halftime against team with male player over 6’ tall with facial hair

The KIPP Academy girls’ basketball game competed against the Collegiate Charter School of Lowell February 8. But things took an unexpected twist, as the match ended abruptly at halftime.

The question that looms large is, why did Collegiate Charter forfeit?

Collegiate Charter conceded defeat after just 16 minutes of play, with KIPP firmly in the lead at 31-14. The outcome was a 10-0 forfeit win for KIPP, and it left spectators and sports enthusiasts puzzled.

Sources reveal a potential explanation for Collegiate Charter’s premature departure – a male player allegedly listed on KIPP’s girls’ basketball roster. The player is said to be over 6 feet tall with facial hair.

This raises questions about compliance with gender regulations.

KIPP officials remain tight-lipped about the player’s gender identification, leaving room for speculation. If the player identifies as female, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (the governing body for high school athletics) may validate the participation, as per Section 43.3.1 of the MIAA Handbook.

The MIAA Handbook emphasizes that gender-specific sports team inclusion aligns with a student’s genuine gender identity. However, it sternly warns against exploiting this rule for a competitive advantage, as outlined in Section 43.3.2.

It states: “A student shall not be excluded from participation on a gender-specific sports team that is consistent with the student’s bona fide gender identity.”

The controversy deepens as reports indicate that the controversial player has been on KIPP’s roster since the beginning of the season. This raises eyebrows, considering the MIAA’s guidelines on eligibility and fair play.

Collegiate Charter School of Lowell Athletic Director Kyle Pelczar asserts that his team was aware of the situation before the game commenced.

Pelczar stated: “No, and Coach (Kevin Ortins) knew going into the game, already, because we had them at home the first game of the year and nothing happened then, so he knew going into the game.”

According to Pelczar, Ortins left for personal reasons. He said: “So, he felt that his girls were getting injured, basically, all game. He has a playoff game on Monday, so he didn’t want to have any more of his girls go down.”

KIPP Athletic Director Anthony Grimaldi refused to comment when asked whether the team thinks the player was the cause of the forfeit.

He said: “KIPP does not wish to make a comment at this time as to why the other team forfeited the game. We are looking forward to our next game.”

Despite the controversy, KIPP has secured its place in the MIAA Division 4 state tournament with a commendable 10-7 record under first-year head coach Mike McCarthy. MIAA liaison Jim Clark clarifies that the controversial player remains eligible for the girls’ team in the upcoming state tournament.