A female high school golfer in Massachusetts, who competes on the boys’ team because her school doesn’t field a girls’ team, shot the lowest score of all competitors in a qualifying tournament to determine the individual qualifiers in the boys’ state tournament.
She did so while playing from the same tees as the boys, carding a 3-over 75 and beating the next-closest challenger by four strokes.
But guess what? Emily Nash doesn’t get to compete in the individual state tournament. She doesn’t even get recognized as the qualifying tournament champion or get a trophy.
Because … er … well, there’s a weird rule.
Per a story from the Telegram in Worcester, Mass.: “The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association allowed Nash to compete with the Lunenburg High boys’ team in the Division 3 tournament because Lunenburg doesn’t field a girls’ team in the spring. But an MIAA rule states, ‘Girls playing on a fall boys’ team cannot be entered in the Boys Fall Individual Tournament. They can only play in the Boys’ Team Tournament. If qualified, they can play in the spring Girls Sectional and State Championships.’”
So the best golfer doesn’t win. Got it.
Nash is taking this a lot better than, say, I would if something like this happened to me.
“I was definitely disappointed, but I understand that there are rules in place,” she told the paper. “I don’t think people expected for this to happen, so they didn’t really know how to react to it. None of us are mad at the MIAA or anything like that, but I was definitely a little bit disappointed.”
The story gained attention in the last couple days around Boston and even drew some national scrutiny. Nash’s father, Bob, had this to say: “I think people feel it was an injustice, and I understand, (but) I think people are more bothered than we are to be quite honest. I’m a little surprised at the reaction. When she found out, she was like, ‘OK, no problem.’ She came home, she had dinner, and it was a non-issue.”