The Short of It
After two girls' varsity basketball teams engaged in a violent brawl during their game Saturday, the rest of their seasons have been canceled, and they will not be permitted to play in the Indiana state tournament.
It's a somber day for Pike High School and Ben Davis High School's female varsity basketball players, who have learned they will not be able to finish out their seasons or participate in the playoffs. This decision comes after the two teams were caught on video fighting over a foul. Girls on both teams rushed onto the court from the bench to pile on, as did fans, creating a very dangerous scene.
"I know that everyone has seen the video, and there is going to be the day that somebody gets catastrophically injured," Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) commissioner Bobby Cox told local news station Fox 59. "It was an event that was unacceptable; it was egregious; it was violent; and it has been dealt with."
As part of their punishment, the team members will have to take a sportsmanship course, and coaches will be required to enroll in a behavior and role model class. What's more, both teams will remain on probation next year. Individual girls who were key instigators in the fight may be reprimanded separately by their schools. Incidentally, even freshmen and junior varsity players who were in attendance at Saturday's game and rushed the court, may not be able to play out the rest of their seasons.
Another fight broke out among two high school boys' teams in 2015, and a similar ruling was handed down from the IHSAA. Those teams sued the organization and were allowed to play in the state tournament. It's unknown if the girls' teams will also attempt to overturn the ruling. But Cox warns, "If we end up having to fight this fight like we did last year, we are going to fight it."