High schooler Jenson Daniel denied request to play on girls volleyball team

Jenson Daniel is a high school volleyball player who attends Yonkers High School in New York. However, male volleyball players at Yonkers High School have one pretty significant issue to deal with — there is no boys volleyball team because of a shortage of funds.

Unfortunately, Daniel is out of luck at the moment. The 17-year-old senior did what he had to do in order to play the sport he loves by signing up for the girls team, only to be told by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association that a boy on the girls team will not be allowed. The reason? He’s too tall, strong and fast of course.

Last year, Jensen was told he could be the team manager of the girls volleyball team — a team he had watched practice since his freshman year. He also got into several games but there were some objections raised by opposing coaches, one being that he wore mesh shorts instead of spandex like the rest of the female players.

“I felt that it wasn’t right,” he told The Journal News. “It was humiliating.”

But he kept wearing the spandex and kept playing in games, until it was ruled this year that he can no longer compete. Now, Daniel simply practices and warms up with the team.

“My teammates, my school, my church, my community — everybody supports (me),” Daniel said, adding that the theme of his college essay will be his battle to remain on the girls team. “I’m pretty confident. I’m going to fight it because nothing is given. You earn it, you take it. I’m going to fight it as much as I can.”

Like the cheering team that was disqualified for having a male compete, sometimes rules are rules — even if they don’t seem fair. Jenson is a victim of an unfortunate circumstance, but kudos to him for doing everything he can to overcome it.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IY2CJTSJ6C22KLPZ7ID23BRC5M KathyC

    First, this is unusual. It is usually the girls athletics that get canned due to low funding, and the boys continue on.
    Second, I don’t believe he should be allowed to play, just as I feel girls should not be allowed to play on boys teams. There are plenty of non-school teams he/she can join. Whether you play it in school or not is not important. The knowledge from playing the sport, i.e.; the way to conduct yourself when faced with losing, learning sportsmanship, is what is important.
    I’m sorry his school doesn’t have a boys volleyball team, but surely there is a YMCA nearby that would be more than happy to accomodate him and other boys in his area.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_76B5J7H4JFGCTB3QYXERUAWE64 Aaron H

    Sorry KathyC but this is the new norm thanks to Title9.  As for the comment about the YMCA, that’s what they used to tell the girl’s that wanted to play football, soccer, etc. but had no girls team.  Pandora’s box has been opened and this is the end result.