Former Franklin County head coach Amber Parker has filed a suit on Monday in federal court stating that Indiana's high school girls basketball schedules discriminate against girls, hoping to change things for her two daughters, Jade Parker, 16, and Hope Parker, 10, who both play school ball in the Franklin County school system. The suit challenges the long-held practice in some conferences and areas of the state of scheduling boys games on Friday and Saturday nights, while girls games are played on weekday evenings and Saturday afternoons. The suit is based upon the challenge that the scheduling violates federal anti-discrimination law Title IX. According to Indy 6 News, the IHSAA and all of the high schools on Franklin County's schedule have been named as defendants in the suit.
According to the Indianapolis Star, the complaint alleges that the IHSAA was put on notice by federal authorities as early as 1997 that gender-based scheduling was occurring but that it ignored that warning and allowed the discrimination to continue for years. The Star reported in 1997 that girls teams played 10.5 percent of their games on Friday nights compared with the 48.1 percent for boys. Star research of games played last season show that 68.7 percent of boys high school contests were scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights, compared to 29.5 percent for the girls.
IHSAA Commissioner Blake Ress believes that, although named in the lawsuit, the IHSAA is not responsible for scheduling of in-season games for any sport. The question may come down to the issue that the IHSAA is the governing body of its membership, and that not all of its members are complying with the concepts of Title IX with regard to scheduling.
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