- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 23, 2000

They held the Little League Softball World Series in Kalamazoo, Mich., last week and ended up with a lesson in biology instead.
The boys beat the girls.
The boys beat the girls.
The boys beat the girls.
The tournament ended on a whimper after an all-girls team from the Philippines elected to forfeit the title game against a team from Eloy, Ariz., led by five boys.
Do you believe in miracles?
Not in the Philippines.
The boys play too rough.
It seems gender equity is a tricky proposition, depending on which door is being opened.
No pain, no gain.
That was the issue before Philippines manager Damaso Sancon.
"You see the first game [earlier in the day]?" he said to the Kalamazoo Gazette. "They ran over us."
Boys will be boys, and a forfeit apparently is the unintended consequence of gender equity. That was the coed team's second victory by forfeit during the previously all-girls tournament.
Hold the champagne. An apology might be in order from the boys, and besides, they are underage.
The parents and officials required to sip from the cup of gender equity did not like the taste.
They gagged on the contents while noting the obvious and elementary.
The average 16-year-old boy is more physically imposing than the average 16-year-old girl.
He is stronger, faster and quicker.
He also is aggressive, possibly to a fault.
"I have three girls hurt by the dirty tactics of the boys," Sancon said. "Because this is a championship game, this is a different type of game. So there could have been more hostile play. I made the decision to walk out for the protection of our players."
Sancon played the humanitarian, while Eloy manager Richard Reyes played the doctor.
"There was no dirty play," Reyes said. "They tried to act like they were hurt, but you could tell there was nothing."
If you're keeping score at home, the championship game featured no runs, hits or errors but one humanitarian, one doctor, at least three hurt players and a lot of hurt feelings.
Common sense took a beating during the tournament. Sportsmanship did not fare too well, either.
At least there were no arrests and charges of assault.
In the sometimes incendiary culture of youth sports, that is not always the case.
The five boys spent the week playing before boos. That was no way for anyone to be, but a world championship was at stake.
No one came out a winner, not really, and the victors merit an asterisk, if not a more humble manager. He is not just a doctor. He also is an arbiter of good taste.
"Forfeiting is bad sportsmanship on their part," he said. "We earned the championship, and we're going to take it."
Winning isn't everything. In this instance, it was incidental.
The courtroom is possibly the next venue, although Little League Baseball already has been there and was in this position with softball only because of the courts.
This format cannot remain unchallenged. You may not have a tournament one of these days.
That ominous warning was sounded by the tournament's coordinator, a man who took no pleasure in seeing his event upstaged by a social experiment. He has vowed to fight, political correctness be darned.
Feminists undoubtedly are feeling lightheaded from the protests in Kalamazoo. The protests crossed gender lines.
It seems being strong and invincible counts only so much when you are blocking the path of an adolescent boy bent on taking an extra base.
It helps to have nerve, too.
The manager and girls from the Philippines seemingly lost theirs after splitting two previous meetings with Eloy in the double-elimination tournament. Each game was decided by one run.
The third meeting promised to be equally spirited.
But the cry of play ball was replaced by the cry of forfeit.
The big game was a big whiff for gender equity.

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