A group of fifth grade Hoover girls were forced to play boys in a recreational youth league, were not recognized as champions despite winning the league title, when the boys lost the game according to parents. The trophy was awarded to
Girls who played in a competitive girls’ league representing Spain Park for three years were told they could not continue to use Hoover Gym for their practice unless they joined the city’s youth recreational league does not go and play with the boys. According to Jayme Mashaykh, whose daughter was on the winning team,
According to Mashaykh, the girls were “middle of the pack” during the Youth Rec League season and lost tough games.
“Playing the boys was a challenge that they went on to meet,” she said. “It made him a better player and a better team.”
In a Facebook post that went viral, Mashaykh said the girls were told before the title game that they could play in the championship “but they would not be allowed the trophy if they won.”
“Excuse me? What?” What did he do to get disqualified? Has he not paid his dues? Didn’t he play a level in the competition? Oh, it’s because they’re girls?!?! Mashaikh wrote.
“So of course these 5th grade girls played their hearts out, left it all on the floor and fought their male counterparts only to say, ‘No, I’m sorry you don’t count,'” He said.
Mashayek later updated her post, indicating that the city and the Hoover Rec Center had offered to “make things right for the girls,” but it was unclear what steps were being taken.
Hoover City Administrator Alan Rice did not specify how the city is remediating the situation, instead sending AL.com this statement:
“On Wednesday, March 1, 2023, the City of Hoover and the Hoover Parks and Recreation Board became aware of concerns regarding a recent youth basketball tournament. We are currently working to provide proper recognition to all the successful teams in that tournament. In addition, we are conducting a thorough review of what happened to ensure that all future events are handled appropriately.”
A city spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.
Some Hoover residents said they were ashamed of this trivial matter.
“Shameful. Live in Hoover. Pay Hoover taxes. Can’t use facilities without joining their league but then discarded as a winner. I assume you changed league’s membership to join rec league Dues have been paid. Hoover seems perfect for Rec though,” wrote one Facebook commenter.
“Horrible – Disgusting, they play, play and beat boys bigger than themselves and say ‘you don’t count’, boys win even after losing. Makes you sick, reward these girls in 2023 . They deserve it,” said another commenter. “Champions all the way.”
“This is absolutely horrible! They did what they were told to do!!! So because they worked hard, paid their dues and beat up the boys, they are punished?” Wrote another. “Well done! Girls keep your heads up!!!”