The best score the Central Massachusetts Division 3 boys’ golf tournament was not achieved by a boy, and many officials have taken notice. Emily Nash, a 16-year-old junior at Lunenburg High School, shot the best score in the Division 3 tournament on Tuesday, but will not be taking home the trophy.
Nash’s score was better than the runner-up, a boy, but she was neither awarded first place, nor given the trophy. She is also prohibited from playing in next week’s state golf tournament, the Boys Fall Individual Tournament. The reason behind all of this is a rule that states that girls cannot have their individual scores counted towards entrance in the boy’s statewide event, so Nash’s score only benefitted her team’s score. She is quite disappointed despite being informed of the rule before the event.
However, she has received an outstanding amount of support and hopes that the rule will be changed in the future. Even though the rule is explicit and clear, as stated by Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association (MIAA) assistant executive director, Nash is pleased that this has brought attention to said possibly “sexist” rule.
The sad part of this whole debacle is that Nash’s team, even with the best score in the tournament from Tuesday, will not be playing in the state tournament, as their score was not enough to qualify them.
The MIAA says the rule was put in place in order to allow girls a chance to play on a team due to the lack of interest for an all-girls team during the girls’ golf season in the spring. It allows the girls to play in individual competitions during their season, in the spring, but provides that due to the low number of membership, girls are allowed to play with the boys’ team with their scores only counting to the team score.
Due to this rule, the MIAA assistant executive director has stated that the association meets 2-3 times a year in an effort to change the game for the better. He continued by stating that they will most likely take this incident into consideration in determining the future of the rule. He also added that the decision would be made in the best interest of the kids.
But for now, the MIAA stands by their decision and will wait to see if their member schools decide to change the rule. But for now, the gesture by the runner-up to give Nash the trophy she rightfully deserved is the best we’re going to get.