Student w/ Prosthetic Legs Banned from Ballgames Due to “Safety Concerns”

Readers — Sometimes I am ready to jump out of my skin when I read about child “protections” put in place that do nothing but stymie kids’ development. Like srrhnykrff
this case
, about  a basketball player sidelined for “safety’s” sake. The standout quote?

“The state high school organization made the tough call that Bailey’s prosthetic legs complicate safety for himself and the competition.” 

So should he NOT play ball? Somehow that’s BETTER for everyone?  – L


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65 Responses to Student w/ Prosthetic Legs Banned from Ballgames Due to “Safety Concerns”

  1. C. S. P. Schofield January 31, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    I foresee and expensive ADA suit. Which brings up the interesting question; why can’t the school foresee the same thing. I mean, I don’t have a high opinion of Ed. majors, but I thought they could understand the blindingly obvious.

  2. anonymous this time January 31, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    They don’t have a leg to stand on.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  3. Warren January 31, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    I know this is not going to be popular…………I feel for the guy, but can understand the ruling.

  4. anonymous this time January 31, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    Warren, have you seen the film “Murderball”? Watch that, and then see if you are still concerned about the safety of these basketball players!

  5. Kimberly Herbert January 31, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    Oh – My Pop would be SO MAD, if he had read this. Pop lost his arm and eye in WWII. He actually modified his own prosthetic arm so he could play different sports with his kids. He actually built a little league baseball field in my grandparents backyard. The arm he used was much more problematic than modern prosthetic legs.

    I’m forwarding this to my aunts, uncles, and cousins (Lots of cousins) to protest this. Please let us know if someone starts a petition or other efforts.

  6. Ben January 31, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Why ban the guy? Couldn’t they just assess any potential dangers and try to curb them? Have some foamy fake leg around any metal parts to avoid sharp implements hitting other players or coming loose and I see no reason why he couldn’t play…

  7. Maggie January 31, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    If he can play the game, let him. Safety reasons? That’s total and complete BS.

    Would they ban him from the Special Olympics? NOPE. He would be held up as an example of courage, hope, and achievement. He is no more dangerous on the high school court than he would be on a Special Olympics court.


  8. Kimberly Herbert January 31, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    Update – they have reversed themselves. He will be allowed to play, if the other school agrees. Doesn’t go far enough but is a start.

  9. Emily January 31, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    So, Bailey’s only approved to play basketball “on a game-by-game basis?” That’s not good enough–he’s still not being treated fairly or equally. Fair and equal would be allowing him to play in every game, or, to allocate him playing time based purely on skill and sportsmanship, if that’s what they do for the other players. I’d understand the ruling if there had actually been an incident where Bailey’s prosthetic legs caused an injury to himself or another player, but since nothing has gone wrong yet, the chances are good that nothing will go wrong. If anything, Bailey already knows what safety precautions to take, considering the fact that he would have had to go through physiotherapy, and re-learn how to stand, walk, run, and eventually play sports, with prosthetic legs where he once had real ones. Also, when I see stories like this, I think “inspirational” and “courageous” and “role model,” so why does the school board’s mind go straight to “safety hazard?”

  10. Pam January 31, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    My sister played university basketball with a girl who played with a prosthetic. She came back from having had her leg amputated after a serious break. That article is her write up in Sports Illustrated. The girl is now a high school phys ed teacher!

    How dare they tell this kid that he CAN’T play!

  11. Reziac January 31, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

    I also foresee an ADA lawsuit. Which won’t do anyone any good… the likely upshot is that if such kids can’t play, NO ONE gets to play.

    As someone else says, his playing time should be based on his level of skill and sportsmanship, not on hypothetical hazards. Yeah, he could whack someone with his metal foot (and quickly get fouled out, making any such problem self-limiting). Someone could fall and crack their head on the hard wooden court surface, too. Sports carry hazards well beyond those posed by artificial limbs.

    There’s the problem, we haven’t banned all kids’ sports yet!!

  12. Emily January 31, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    @Reziac–Can I amend my statement to say that Bailey’s (and all the players’) playing time should be based on skill, sportsmanship, and EFFORT? Because, the kid who works hard in practice, but doesn’t sink quite as many baskets as the seven-foot-tall, superstar player who’s going to university on an athletic scholarship, shouldn’t be relegated to the bench, because that won’t improve their skill level, and besides, Superstar is eventually going to graduate, and someone’s going to have to take over for him at that time. Anyway, that’s tangential to the main point. If Bailey wants to play basketball, and he meets all the other requirements to be on his school’s basketball team, then he should be allowed to participate along with his friends.

  13. pentamom January 31, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    Maggie, I think you mean Paralympics. Special Olympics are for the cognitively disabled.

  14. gap.runner February 1, 2014 at 1:10 am #

    I guess it’s better for him to sit inside and play video games.

    What a wasted opportunity! That young athlete could be a great role model for others with prosthetic legs. Instead the school is trying to hold him back. Disabled kids need more models to show them how to achieve their potential, not be banned from playing.

    Can you imagine if Oskar Pistoruis’ mother was told that her son could not run because of his prosthetic legs? The world would have missed seeing a great athlete on the world stage of the Olympics (let’s leave his personal life out of this). He was able to compete with able-bodied athletes. Or imagine if Matthias Lanzinger was told that he could not ski anymore with his prosthetic leg because it was “too dangerous.” Matthias was an Austria pro skier who lost a leg due to a crash during a race. He will represent Austria in the Sochi Paralympics.

  15. Warren February 1, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Sorry, but this game by game, team by team approval is a fair solution.

    Basketball is a close quarters contact game. Therefore
    1. nobody wants to be known as the player that takes out the kids with the legs. Thus altering play of the game.

    2. They are not pillows on him. They are steel, aluminum and composite, all of which will cause injury to other players.

    Again, this is like the food allergy thing. The need of the one does not outweigh the needs of the many.

  16. J.T. Wenting February 1, 2014 at 3:54 am #

    I can understand the school’s reaction.
    1) risk of injury to other kids is far greater than with a real leg. Which could lead to lawsuits…
    2) risk of damage to the prosthetic resulting in lawsuits for “damages” by the wearer or his parents.

    In the end, they’re protecting themselves from trigger happy lawyers and their customers.

  17. Nadine February 1, 2014 at 5:43 am #

    Warren, You say that nobody wants to take out the kid with the bum legs. But that is the argument that is used when women and minorities started in sports too. To take out No-legs is when No-legs will finally be taken seriously and be accepted as a full member in the team and game.. And your comment directly shows that not letting him play is not because of his concern but because of All-legs his concern to be considerd a bully.

    Seriously, watch ” Murderball”

    And to decide to have someone play in the game is where it starts. All other concerns can be adressed after that decission. Specially safety. Cause untill that person is playing the game you dont get to see whatever safety concerns really exists.

  18. lollipoplover February 1, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    “They are not pillows on him. They are steel, aluminum and composite, all of which will cause injury to other players.”

    My girls play basketball in a school gym. Tight quarters. They set up folding metal chairs for spectators along the cramped sidelines. I’ve seen players go out of bounds and hit the metal chairs. They do get injured, mostly bruises. If the metal legs can injure players, so could the chairs. So could the floor. And the basketball itself. I’ve seen 7 year-olds attempt to rebound and have a Marsha Brady oh-no-my-nose moment and need to be subbed out.
    Just breathing complicates safety. Let the kid play.

  19. E Simms February 1, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    By Warren Sat Feb 1st 2014 at 1:14 am
    Sorry, but this game by game, team by team approval is a fair solution.
    Basketball is a close quarters contact game. Therefore
    1. nobody wants to be known as the player that takes out the kids with the legs. Thus altering play of the game.
    2. They are not pillows on him. They are steel, aluminum and composite, all of which will cause injury to other players.
    I grew up in a state where basketball ruled. And yes, it was a contact sport the way it was played there. However, basketball is not supposed to be a contact sport. High school players should be discouraged from “taking out” any player, regardless of any disability. This kid is missing legs; he is not otherwise disabled. Falling on his butt is not going to hurt him any more than any other player.

    As for player injuries, I think if you add up all the injuries from player collisions, elbows in the gut, and shoving you’ll realize that the normal human body is just as dangerous as the prosthetic legs.

  20. Donna February 1, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    “nobody wants to be known as the player that takes out the kids with the legs. Thus altering play of the game”

    Wouldn’t this is be a foul? As in an improper act that gets you penalized? Are you really arguing that he should not be allowed to play because the other team won’t want to foul him?

    And if the other teams don’t want to treat him as they would a opposing team member with legs, isn’t that their problem, not his? He isn’t asking for special treatment. He is asking only to be treated a member of the team.

    You are right, this is the food allergy thing, only in reverse. Instead of a kid asking for special treatment for a disability, he is asking to be treated exactly the same as everyone else but is being treated specially. So in one instance (the food allergy) we are not supposed to give special treatment and in the other (the legs) we are. Which is it?

  21. Steve Cournoyer February 1, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Who is actually defines “dangerous” in situations like this? Let the guy play!

  22. EricS February 1, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    More and more, some educators just get dumber and dumber. “…too broad to say for every single game, that that is the rule.” So this idiot, is saying rules are rules, but they can also be bent to suit the situation?! Make up your mind, and don’t stutter when your put in a spot you know you messed up on.

    Bailey can obviously play…without injury. He’s obviously played…without injury. So why is it an issue now? I can bet somewhere in that story, hidden behind all the politics and fear, is one or two holier than thou individuals who pressed on the school with their “concerns”. It only takes one to start the ball rolling. You align yourself with like minded people with authority, that ball starts rolling pretty good. Selfish needs of adults always ruin things for the natural growth (mentally, emotionally, and even physically) of kids.

  23. EricS February 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    Well put E Simms. According to the report, Bailey has been playing for about 3 years without complaints or issues. So explain, Warren, why it’s suddenly an issue now? He’s never used his prosthetics to foul or injure anyone, if he did that would be a whole different matter he would have to worry about. Which I doubt he would ever do. He usually only plays at the end of the game, and he’s cool with that. And it’s high school basketball, I’ve played for my high school basketball team from freshman to senior, and College and NBA physical style was very limited. Too much aggression was not tolerated. But bumping in the paint, accidental elbows when fighting for a rebound, it was part of the game. And whether you have real legs, or prosthetic ones, from time to time you’ll fall. No one gets hurt. You either let him play, or don’t, period. Don’t patronize the kid with this game by game, team by team b.s.

    Let him play, Let him play, Let him play, Let him play, Let him play

  24. Scott M February 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    Even though he only plays at the end of the game, if he’s a good shooter, especially three-pointers, which would mean his coach is quite savvy to hold him until then, I can see where an opposing school, or a parent/booster of an opposing school, wanting to make sure the coach’s late game stand-out shooter is eliminated from the game, called the state athletic association, anonymously, of course, to complain about the “safety” issue. Some people get too serious about high school sports and do stupid stuff like this.

  25. BL February 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

    “Wouldn’t this is be a foul?”

    Not necessarily. Think of the not-so-rare situation of many players simultaneously diving after a loose ball laying or rolling on the court. Possibly a lot of body contact without any fouls being committed.

  26. anonymous this time February 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    I think Scott M has it right in this case. That some parents on the team that got beat by this kid’s late-game shots called in a “complaint,” albeit disguised as concern for “safety.”

    The prosthetics just make it a lot easier to “complain.”

    My kid did a little too well as a goalie in a hockey game and I got calls from the provincial authorities, checking if he actually was who everyone said he was and not an illegal ringer brought in.

    I took it as a compliment, but no one told him he couldn’t play! This kid with the prostheses is tearing it up! Good on him!!

  27. SOA February 1, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    So what exactly is the safety concern? I think they are just made it makes him tall and are jealous it could give him an advantage. If those other players want to hack their legs off to be taller and have prosthetic legs too then go for it.

  28. Buffy February 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Dolly…er…SOA, you are a complete and total idiot.

  29. Prof. J February 2, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    I think I read this in the comments before but to those saying that this was a decision made by the boy’s school, it was not. This decision was made by a state organization which means that is is subject to the ADA.

  30. Jen (P.) February 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Did anyone else notice the reporter indicated he plays as part of the school’s “severe needs program” and that he only comes in at the end of a game? It sounded to me like the playing time is an accommodation for his disability, which might have some bearing on whether the ban was appropriate.

    If he’s coming into games where the outcome is no longer in question, the teams aren’t likely to be playing that hard, in which case it seems silly to preclude him from playing. If I misinterpreted that, however, and he qualifies to be a regular member of the team, it is a bit more problematic. Basketball is, at least as a practical matter, a contact sport. And the blades on his prosthetics might present a different risk of injury than normally exists in basketball (I’m thinking particularly of when players are diving for a loose ball and situations like that–a kid’s face landing on the edge of that blade would be very different from landing on a regular court shoe). That difference in the risk might subject the school and state athletic assoc to liability. I’m not saying it necessarily should, but it seems reasonable for the authorities to consider it. Personally, I’d rather see him be able to play.

  31. Warren February 2, 2014 at 9:59 pm #


    No it is not the same as minorities. It is the same as when females want to join male teams, even more so in games that require physical contact.

    You can all argue until you are blue, but it won’t change the fact that it is unfair to the other players. Be it this kid or a female player on men’s hockey team, the other players are aware that person is out there, and it is only natural for a player to pull up, and play easier. They do not want to hurt and be known as the one that took out the girl or the handicapped kid. That is the reality of human nature.
    And now where do you draw the line. Do you allow a wrestler with a metal arm? A football player with the same? It is another one of those slippery slopes.
    I feel for the guy, but his needs do not outweigh everyone else’s.

  32. Owen Allen February 3, 2014 at 3:13 am #

    Yeh, it’s just sport. Get on with it and get over needing to have everything tied up neat and tidy. I guess there’d be a performance ceiling in basketball for someone with prosthetic leg but until you find that ceiling, keep the play. It may help the other players, play a little more ‘pure’, a thinking in motion as against a crashing about the court attitude. Nothing wrong with developing those skills in highschool. And occasionally he might take an injury which is usually just expected of kids in sport. I reckon this lad could play basketball for a long time with sportsmen and women. Those others? Ah far to much hype around them.

  33. Donna February 3, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    I guess the Warrens of the world also think that deaf kids shouldn’t get to play either. After all, according to Warren, nobody can look passed disabilities and play full-on against them.

    Derrick Coleman’s new Super Bowl ring proves that theory false. And whatever we hear from Colorado about their very poor showing last night, I highly doubt it will involve “we couldn’t play full-on because Seattle has a deaf guy on their team.”

  34. Warren February 3, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    Then I guess you win Donna. Because there is absolutely no difference between being deaf, and having two prosthetic legs. Physically and technically they are the exact same. Yes because of physical contact his ears could fly off……

    Donna, give your head a shake. I really am sick and tired of people that have no idea what it is like to be on a competitve team. You can sit there and judge and whine all you want, but until you have a true understanding you should basically shut up.

    Also where do you draw the line Donna, do you allow someone with a prosthetic arm to wrestle, box, play football?

    Yes it really sucks to be this kid, and I feel for him. But I also feel for the hundreds of other players in the league, that did not sign up to deal with this. It is not fair to them, they have the right to play the game without having to deal with all this. And if you cannot see that then you are blind.

  35. Warren February 3, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Oh and by the way, I also do not believe women should ever be on a men’s team. For alot of the same reasons, and a few more.

  36. Donna February 3, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Warren –

    To the extent you are saying that other teams may be afraid to play aggressively because they are afraid of BEING INJURED by his prosthetic legs and those fears are reasonable (and not just made-up crap to get him off the team), I am on your side. It is absolutely an unfair advantage to have other teams be unwilling to fully play due to a reasonable fear of hurting themselves beyond that which is normal for the sport.

    But that isn’t what you are saying. Your argument seems to be that people will feel sorry for him because of his prosthetic legs and be unwilling to play hard against him. More likely it is that they fear loosing to him so will use that as an excuse, but whatever. That exact same argument can be for any disability. I’m sure that there are people who didn’t want to play against the deaf kid either because they felt bad for him. That is absolutely not a reason to remove this kid from playing. That is the opposing team’s issue, not his.

    As for the other sports, unless the prosthetic limbs prove to be a legitimate danger of injury to other teams in and of themselves or provide a real advantage (e.g. a better grip with a prosthetic arm, higher jump), I have no problem with him playing football or wrestling … or any other sport for that matter. The player and his own team have a right to take whatever risk of injury that they want, but they don’t have a right to inflict a higher risk of injury on other teams. And to the extent that the sport can be played without a prosthetic limb that is an actual danger, I have no problem with that either. If a team wants to field a one-armed wrestler, basketball player, baseball player or football player, that is their choice.

  37. delurking February 3, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    Warren, your argument is ridiculous, and you are rude.

    Look, on the high-school basketball circuit, you will have kids playing with weights ranging from ~130 to 300 lbs. The excess risk of injury posed by prosthetic legs compared to the excess risk of injury posed by a guy who weighs 50 lbs more than average is negligible.

    There is obviously line-drawing to be done, and where this one was drawn is transparently ridiculous.

    As for your pseudo-pop-psychological theories of human nature, they are unfounded. By the way, what are your feelings about openly-gay boys playing on boys teams? It is doubly bad, I would guess, because some opponents would go easy on them (not wanting to be seen as hitting the girly-man) and others would go harder (out of homophobia). We can’t have people’s emotional reactions to other people upsetting the delicate balance of competitive motivation, now, can we?

  38. Warren February 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    You obviously have never played on a competitive team, and yes highschool is highly competitive.

    Deafness does not create weakness. Therefore no opposing player is going to adjust their play to compensate.

    Prosthetic legs are a weakness. Now technically an opposing team is supposed to look for weakness, and exploit it. They won’t do that with a player like this boy. Why because of the backlash they will get for picking on him. Other players will pull up, instead of making contact. We have seen it when women try to play on men’s teams, the opposing players pull up, because they are afraid of hurting a weaker player.
    Healthy guy on healthy guy it is understood that you join the sport, ya takes your chances. But a handicapped player or female do not come under that understanding. No player wants to run into someone with a prosthetic and have that player get hurt. The backlash and abuse would be nasty.
    Therefore it is not fair to opposing players. They have the right to play with equals, on the same level without having to accomodate individuals and their special needs.

    As for being deaf, that was not the first player to go pro. Secondly, being deaf does not affect how hard he can hit someone, and it does not affect how hard someone can hit him. A prosthetic limb does change physical contact. For both players.

    Again if you cannot see that, then you are going on emotion only, and not staying objective.

  39. Warren February 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    What is your athletic background, and getting fat watching it from the sofa does not count.

    Your gay example irrelevant. Sexual orientation does not change your physical ability.

    Having a prosthetic limb does. Being female does.

    Hate to break it to you moron, but males and females are different. I have seen some incredible female hockey players come from Canada. Awesome players, some even tried to go to the NHL. They didn’t make the cut. Why, not big enough, strong enough, or fast enough. Skills they were incredible, just not the physical equals of the men. Sorry but that is nature.
    When asked about having women play, the men took flak for being honest. About feeling they would not play them as hard, and they would probably be highly protective of them.

    You may not like it, but that is how it is.

  40. Warren February 3, 2014 at 12:36 pm #


    Will be sure to ask my brother and his partner of 10+yrs, about the effect of him being openly gay, has had on his hockey team. Not that I need to, because it is my team as well.

  41. Donna February 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm #


    I guess I just know more enlightened people than you. The father of one of my daughter’s best friends is an extremely athletic one-armed man. I’ve seen guys tie his shoe for him one minute (he can tie his own shoes; it just takes a minute) and body slam him to the ground playing rugby the next. Not a single one ever complained about the injustice of having to play against the one-armed guy, unless in jest about the fact that he just kicked their butt.

    The fact is that most disabled people are not on teams because they can’t compete with non-disabled people and most teams actually want to field the best team so that they can win. However, if someone disabled person (or woman for that matter) makes the cut and is wanted on a team, other teams just have to deal. If that person being disabled affects how you interact with them, whether in sports or something else, then you need to change the way that you think, they don’t need to change their activities.

  42. delurking February 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Warren, I have played on many competitive teams. You are wrong.

    Does a 300 lbs high-school senior pull up when confronted with a 130 lbs freshman, or does he exploit his size, age, and experience advantage? I think you may be projecting.

    You also seem to be unable to keep your own arguments straight. Is the problem one of physical ability or one of competitive psychology? You have clearly argued that women shouldn’t be allowed on teams that are predominantly male because of male psychology. Then, you yourself point out that you have seen spectacular female hockey players, and that they didn’t make it to the NHL because they weren’t good enough. There are over 500,000 competitive hockey players registered with USA Hockey, and about 700 NHL players. So, those female players weren’t in the top 1.5%. This is relevant how? Were those female hockey players good enough for a high school team? I would guess so. Yet you argue that due to the psychology of the other male players, the female players shouldn’t be allowed to play. Similarly for the basketball player with the prosthetic legs: if his abilities are greater than some other non-amputee’s abilities (and they likely are if he made the team), why should the psychological reactions of other players preclude him from playing?

    And, just out of curiosity, would it be OK if a double-leg amputee played hockey? That actually is supposed to be a contact sport, unlike basketball.

  43. Warren February 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Does this guy wear a composite, steel and aluminum prosthetic while playing? Doesn’t sound like he does.

    And Donna, no they do not have to deal with it. Why do the healthy normal have to deal with it. Why do they not have the right to compete against equals, like they signed up to do.
    You know what in house leagues, recreational leagues then sure go for it. But not in leagues like this. For some of these players there is alot on the line during their highschool playing career. Including scholarships worth thousands,and may be the only way for some to get to college.
    Like I said, I feel for the kid, I really do. But that is where it ends. Life sucks and he needs to realize that sometimes you can’t always have what you want.

  44. delurking February 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Aha! Warren, I think I understand your confusion.

    In sports, people are not competing against equals. There is a range of abilities. Some people are more capable than others. Some boys are better than other boys. There are amputees who are much better than other non-amputees. There are girls who are much better than boys.

    You think that some superficial characteristic should be a disqualifier because of the psychology of other people who don’t share that superficial characteristic. This is nonsensical.

  45. Warren February 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    I do not class checkers as a competitive sport.

    Are you that dense?
    Your weight/strength example is irrelevant. Both are presumably healthy males, and the bigger one if the rules allow will lay out the smaller player. Now that 300 pounder will do one of two things with the double prosthetic, he will either pull up, or cream the kid. And there is no way in hell he can take the hit as well as a normal player.

    What didn’t you understand about the female hockey players. Their knowledge and skills are as good or better, but physically they cannot compete. Men and women are made differently. If you can’t see that, well then…….sheesh.

    Women belong in women’s leagues, men belong in men’s leagues, and they both can go in the mixed leagues. It is that simple. Don’t like it, sucks to be you.

    Delurking and Donna, this kid has no right to impose himself on the other players. And guess what he is not on the team because of skill. Otherwise he would play other than when the game is already decided. Token players do not belong.

  46. delurking February 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    Warren, you should stop insulting people.

    Checkers is relevant how?

    Why do think the kid with prosthetic legs can’t take being bumped into as well as a non-amputee? And again, with this paragraph, you are confusing your own argument. Earlier, you were worried about the psychological impact on the non-amputee.

    About the female hockey players: they couldn’t compete in the NHL. If they even thought they had a chance, they obviously could compete at the high school level. A population average of any characteristic across men and across women will be different, but the distributions will be well-overlapped such that there are a large number of people in one distribution above a large number in the other distribution. Cherry picking the top 1% of the male distribution to compare the female players to is inapposite.

    It is unkind of you to assume this kid is not on the team because of his skill. All teams have players who are not starters. The fact that he isn’t one of the best players on the team does not mean he didn’t earn the spot he has as a substitute.

  47. Warren February 3, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    Tell you what delurking, name your sport so at least I have some idea of where you are coming from. Because in none of the one’s I have played on a competitive, expected to win level, could an amputee, or female ever have made the team or competed against us. Hockey, football, softball, wrestling and swimming, were my sports of competition.
    Now as I got older, have gone to rec leagues, and mixed leagues. But highschool is not one, to mix sexes, and add in those with prosthetics.
    Sorry I just assumed by your comments you thought playing checkers made you an athlete.

  48. delurking February 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm #


    Tennis, Track, Soccer, Ice Hockey, Sailing, Mountain biking, Skiing, Swimming. I don’t see how this is relevant in a discussion.

    Guess what, in NJ, swimming and track in high school were co-ed when I was there! There were plenty of girls who could beat boys. I guess that may make you apoplectic.

    Anyway, you seem to have started petulantly repeating that amputees and girls shouldn’t play on the same teams as boys, but without making or responding to reasoned arguments.

  49. Donna February 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm #


    You are arguing that disabled people shouldn’t play because they other team is psychologically affected. The presence of a prosthesis is completely irrelevant to that argument. Are you now trying to say that the other team is only going to go easy on a one-armed guy if he is wearing a prosthesis and not if he has an empty sleeve?

    “Why do the healthy normal have to deal with it.”

    Because the guy is on the team. His coaches want him to play. His teammates want him to play. The school that he is representing wants him to play. Teams don’t get to select the members of the opposing teams for any reason.

    “Why do they not have the right to compete against equals, like they signed up to do.”

    Why do you assume that he is not an equal? As delurking keeps pointing out, you keep changing your argument. Is it that you have deemed, without ever seeing him play, that he is not good enough to play on the team and therefore isn’t an equal? Or is it that he is an equal in skill, but the other teams are psychologically affected by his presence? I can’t keep up.

    And where did you get the idea that teams ever solely play against equals? There are huge disparities in size, financial backing, coaching skills and playing skills between teams. In fact, it is kinda what you are going for. To be better than all the other teams, not to be equal to all the other teams. That would make for rather boring sports.

  50. Donna February 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm #


    Are you really arguing that Mia Hamm couldn’t have played as an equal on your average high school boys soccer team? Not Manchester United; your routine high school soccer team? Serena Williams couldn’t have beaten most, if not all, of her male counterparts in high school? Michelle Kwan can’t clean the clock of most high school golf players regardless of sex. Oskar Pistoruis doesn’t win track meets against non-disabled runners? Isn’t there a professional skier with one or two prosthesis as well?

    Nobody is saying that EVERY woman and disabled person can compete against the able-bodied, but to the extent that they can, they should be given a chance.

  51. Warren February 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Yes the opposing players and teams are affected, both mentally and physically.

    1. Opposing players will be in fear of hurting the player.
    2. Opposing players will be in fear of how they are labelled, if they hit the player, hurt or not.
    3. There is no way in hell he is as agile as the others, and therefore a weakness to his team. One that should be exploited by their opponents. Again the stigma of exploiting the kid with the fake legs.
    4. Players that try to pull up, or avoid contact are putting themselves at risk of injury.
    5. If there is a pile up, which happens, my leg will not cause the injury that composites, steel and aluminum legs will.

    Now if you think opposing players are not going to be hesitant to play against a player with prosthetics, then you have no idea of what an athlete thinks or does. And not only is that hesitance a risk, but an advantage to the kids team.

    As for the one armed rugby player, I asked about a prosthetic, because that can be used as a weapon, and should not be allowed. A prosthetic arm does not have the give a real arm does.

    As for his ability, he is only ever put in at the end of a game that has already been decided. That is the definition of a player that cannot compete.

  52. Warren February 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    Donna, you can list all the female athlete’s that you want, it is the same arguement woman have been using for years. The same women that whine and complain when guys who didn’t make the cut on the men’s team try to take spots on the women’s teams. Can’t have it both ways.

    You really want to know why women should stay on women’s teams? Because we don’t want them on our team. When we play hockey or whatever, it is time to be with the guys. Don’t like that, sucks to be you.

  53. Warren February 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    1. You are full of crap, if you expect me to believe that both men and women competed head to head at the track meets. State rules prohibit that.
    2. Women do not belong on the same team as men, especially in contact sports. Even if height, weight and age were a perfect match between the female and male, the female is still physically inferior.
    3. For everything else see my other comments.

  54. Pam February 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    Warren, read the Sports Illustrated article I posted earlier in the comments. My sister’s team mate played university basketball with a prosthetic leg. The coach of the #1 ranked women’s university basketball team at the time is quoted near the end of the article as saying they don’t (didn’t, this was 20 years ago) play her any differently than before she had her leg amputated, because if they do, she scores.

    You asked for an example of an amputee with a prosthetic playing at a competitive level. Tracy Macleod is one. She played, competed against the top teams in Canada, and dominated on the court. No one got hurt because of her prosthetic. Not her, not her team mates, not her opponents.

    Here’s the article again, so you don’t have to go looking –

  55. delurking February 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    Hi Warren,

    1. I guess I was right about the apoplexy. Are you conceding the swim meets, then? I was certainly beaten by girls. Do you have the state rules from a few decades ago? I don’t remember being beaten by girls in track, except in the high jump.
    2. What if the girl is bigger and older than the boy? High school does, after all, last four years. Then might she be physically superior? And by the way, I guess it needs saying: in sports that traditionally have separate-gender teams, girls only play on boys’ teams when the area has no girls’ teams available.
    3. Do you actually believe you have responded to my and Donna’s points? You haven’t. You have simply asserted disjoint things and insulted us. You seem to be completely incapable of accepting that some girls are actually better at sports than some boys, and that some amputees are better at sports than some non-amputees. These two facts are enough to defeat your central argument.

  56. Warren February 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    you want an insult, try this….you are an outright liar.

    I am no longer going to debate with a moron, whose only weapons are lies.

    At any level of competition in swimming, if you got beat by girls your own age, then you sucked as a swimmer. Same in track.
    But since state sponsored swim meets and track meets seperate the sexes for competition. Hmmmm don’t see a woman running the 100m against men, now either.

    I highly doubt you ever competed at a high level, due to you complete lack of understanding an athlete’s outlook and mindset.

    And fine, let him play. Go for it. You are only putting him at risk. So delurking, how bout we lace up the skates and play some one on one. Just to see how competitive you think you are or have been.

  57. Donna February 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    I think we’ve established that Warren is afraid to lose to a girl and a disabled person. Not surprised. I was just waiting to see how long it’d take before we’d get to his true problem here.

    The fact is that the best women athletes in any sport will beat the vast majority of males who play the sport. A extremely tiny number of high school athletes go on to play in college and an extremely tiny portion of them go pro or to the Olympics. Warren is delusional if he thinks a woman who can make the Olympic swim team can be beat by your average high school swim team member, regardless of gender.

  58. Warren February 3, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    Donna your last post is full of lies and nonsense. Why would I expect anything else from you.

    I am not afraid of being beat by anyone. Getting beat is all a part of sports.

    But the fact remains, that I have yet to be engaged by anyone here, that has ever honestly played a sport at a highly competitive level.

    You two have no idea about what you are talking about. This kid does not have the right to play, if the governing body says he doesn’t. Sucks to be him, sucks to be you.
    He has also painted a target on himself now, for making such a deal out of it. Again another thing he has done that is not good for his team or school. Selfish thinking all around on his part.

    Donna you and delurking should stick to knitting and checkers, and stay out of real sports.

  59. Donna February 3, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    Warren, You have no idea what level anyone here has played sports. But then again I don’t actually expect intelligent arguments from you. Just insults, inconsistencies and refusals to actually address anything that anyone else is saying.

    But lets analyze all these “lies,” I told since my last post was so full of them.

    I said: “A[n] extremely tiny number of high school athletes go on to play in college.” According to the NCAA, only 2.9% of male high school basketball players and 3.1% of the females go on to play college ball (statistics are similar for male athletes of every other sport listed but no female listing was given since there are no women’s teams). My statement was definitely not a lie. And I would be willing to bet that the 3.1% of females who go on to play college ball can probably beat the vast majority of the 97.1% of male basketball players who don’t.

    I said “an extremely tiny portion of [college athletes] go pro.” Again according to the NCAA, 1.3% of male college basketball players and 1% of the female players go onto play pro. So, again, definitely not a lie. And, again, I would bet that the 1% of females who play for the WNBA could beat the vast majority of the 98.7% of the college basketball players who don’t go pro and can beat darn near 100% of that 97.1% male high school basketball players who couldn’t even cut it for college ball.

    Now that leaves only the Warren is afraid of being beat by a girl comment and I think we all know that that is true.

  60. Warren February 3, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    Actually Donna,
    I would take that bet anyday and twice on Sunday, that a WNBA team would beat the men that didn’t go pro. The girls would still be outmatched.

    Secondly I can make a valid assumption as to the people commenting and their athletic backgrounds. Because all any of you do is spout worthless stats. When you have represented your city, province and country, then tell me your experience. Until then stick to knitting and Wii.

    I have lost to women, in mixed competition. Also in skills comps. Junior Women’s Softball pitcher wiffed me twenty straight pitches. She had a curve that would just freak you out. And you never saw her changeup coming. Just an awesome pitcher. For about five yrs I kept trying to hit her. And if memory serves, I think I may have gotten 5 or 6 hits total.

  61. Kay February 4, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    I don’t understand this, is it the type of prosthetic he’s using with the hooked feet? It’s kind of hard to see them in the news story with the banner across, though. How’s come other people can play all kinds of sports with their prosthetic limbs? The only difference I see is the kind this kid is using compared to the others that actually look like real limbs, they do look a little intimidating.

    I’m commenting and reading the rest of the comments here, though.

  62. hineata February 4, 2014 at 3:48 am #

    My brother represented our town, province and country in hockey, the kind played on grass. And had there existed a player who had prosthetic limbs, he and the team would have happily played them – the game is rough as guts anyway, a little metal between friends wouldn’t have made a lot of difference. As for the girl thing, same goes – there are a lot of fairly heavy-handed girls in the mix, quite capable of handling the male style of play.

    As for me, personally I prefer crochet – now that is something that would require a lot of practice if one had a prosthetic arm….

  63. Suzanne February 4, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    They can’t make that ruling, it violates his rights. I work in a disabilities services office and have learned a lot about the ADA and laws for people with disabilities. Schofield is right, if he pushes that school is going to be in big trouble.

  64. Jen (P.) February 4, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    @Suzanne–I don’t know . . . I see some tension between his rights and the safety of the other kids on the court because the type of prosthetic he’s using would present a different risk to other players than they would normally encounter in basketball. In other words, if I sign my kid up to play basketball, I can foresee that she might get kicked by a regular court shoe when diving for a loose ball, but I would not reasonably anticipate her being kicked in the head by a sharp titanium blade.

    However, I understood the story to be that the playing time itself is an accommodation for this player and that he only comes in near the end of a game. If that’s accurate and he is coming in because the outcome really isn’t in question, then they aren’t likely to be playing as hard, and it seems the risk would be minimal. But if he otherwise qualifies to be a regular member of the team, I would be concerned about the risk of other players being seriously injured by his prosthetics. Sucks, but maybe he should be focusing on non-contact sports.

  65. Warren February 4, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    If the ADA wins some sort of judegement on this, it would be shameful. It would also be a hardship on all highschool athletics.

    There are leagues for those with physical restrictions, let him play there.

    Again it is a case of one thinking he has the right to force himself on others. Complete and absolute bull. This in principle is the same as food bans because of allergies.

    The other players have their rights as well, so why does his rights outweigh everyone else’s?