Is Little League Oregon cultivating disparities concerning the treatment of boys and girls? One Corvallisite with a softball-playing daughter reached out to The Advocate about some serious inequities between the girls’ softball league and the boys’ baseball league.
It’s such an age-old practice that 50 years ago it was the basis of the Title IX federal civil rights law. It’s the reason a woman on an NCAA basketball team had a viral video when she showed the world the pitiful care her team was given when compared to the men’s team for the same collegiate tournament. And it’s happening, apparently, for our youngest players.
Kristina Lopez wrote, “My daughter plays in Corvallis for LL Juniors. Since the start it has been a struggle but nothing like what they’ve faced this year. Boys baseball has pre booked fields at Crystal Lake Sports complex here in Corvallis – the fields are professionally maintained and safe. Softball coaches have been assigned unsafe and unplayable fields.”
Lopez says these, and other issues, have plagued the girls team for years.
She also says that her husband – the team’s coach – and the other parents on the team spent more than 70 hours cleaning up the field and working to ensure it was a safe and enjoyable place for the girls to play. Once it was repaired, the baseball teams made a grab for it and were almost allowed to have it.
Umpires brought in by Little League Oregon are assigned to boys games as first priorities, leaving many girls teams to ask parents to step up.
“Mind you,” Lopez continued, “registration fees are the same.”
According to Lopez, when 48 softball players earned spots to the All Star Softball Tournament, a donation was made to the organization to pay registration fees for the girls to attend. Corvallis Little League tried to divert those funds toward the baseball teams where they would be “better used.”
And now, the regular seasons are done, and it’s time the final tournaments. Start dates for the baseball games were set in May with “gorgeous [sic] fields and hotels agreeing to block rate.”
By late June, softball teams had yet to have dates set. Lopez said she had called several times and was told “we’ll get to it” and “it’s a priority to schedule baseball.”
The team Lopez’s daughter plays on was undefeated this season. She wrote, “They have worked so hard, outside of practice they’ve watched game tapes, worked one on one, and played their hearts out to be met with the sad reality no young athletes should face… girls come in second to boys and the adults in charge purposefully make it that way.”
We reached out to both Corvallis Little League and Little League Oregon, but have not heard back from them.
By Sally K Lehman
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