LEAGUE'S board members decide to scrap rule that bars girls from baseball team - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

LEAGUE'S board members decide to scrap rule that bars girls from baseball team

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GERONIMO, Okla. (AP) _ Kati McCuiston just wanted to play baseball, but a rule in the Southern Star Baseball League wouldn't let her because she is a girl.

On Sunday, league board members ruled the 11-year-old catcher was ineligible and ordered Geronimo, the team she played on, to forfeit all games in which she participated. A short time later, board members found out the rule violated federal law.

``We wanted to do what was right for everybody,'' league president Mike Morris said. ``I could care less if she played or not, but when the decision was made originally, the rules stated she was an ineligible player.

``We have now abolished that one rule.''

Kati's parents, Danny and Sandy McCuiston, paid $50 to protest the original decision.

``I was amazed that a rule like that still existed,'' Danny McCuiston said. ``I knew it was wrong. We were told we had to petition the league to ask permission to let Kati play. Well, as a parent, I felt if I sought permission then I was only becoming part of the sex discrimination.''

The board gathered Sunday to announce seedings for the season-ending league tournament. They began the meeting by declaring Kati ineligible. The decision forced Geronimo, a small town south of Lawton, to lose the five games it had won. With a revised 0-12 record, Geronimo was then seeded last.

The league tournament that was scheduled to begin Monday was scrapped and a new tournament began Thursday night, with the seedings based on Geronimo's 5-7 record.

``I didn't think it was fair they took our wins away because I'm a girl,'' Kati said. ``Not just for me, but my whole team.''

Board members Ron Griffith of Comanche and Andy Boone of Temple resigned at a meeting held Wednesday night. Morris said he will not return as league president next year because of the way people voiced their protests.

``We wanted a nice, calm meeting to discuss this matter,'' Morris said. ``But the folks from Geronimo would whistle and clap whenever someone said something they liked. And whenever any one of us tried to explain something, we would be booed.

``I don't think any of us will come back because of the way this was handled. It didn't have to be this way.''

Gary Rader, president of OK Kids Baseball, found the controversy amusing. OK Kids Baseball is the statewide organization which presides over the Southern Star Baseball League.

Rader said that OK Kids dealt with the issue of girls playing long ago with a court case in Garvin County, ``15 or 20 years ago, at least.''
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