Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Zero tolerance silliness of the day

A high school basketball team loses a playoff game at least partly because of...its uniform:

"...referees assessed a technical foul on North Lawndale College Prep because stripes on the sides of its uniform violated a National Federation of State High School Associations rule. Champaign Centennial's Jeff Johnson sank one of two free throws, giving the Chargers a 1-0 lead before the opening tip. Centennial also was awarded the ball to start the game. When the final buzzer had sounded, Centennial had won by one point, 66-65. The rule states that the torso of the jersey must be a solid color and that side stripes must center vertically below the armpit and be no more than four inches wide. North Lawndale's uniform featured black stripes that curled around the armpits into the torso."

Officials in charge of enforcing this oh-so-important-to-them-apparently rule claim that North Lawndale had been warned several times about this in the past, and that the rule is all about being able to quickly identify a player's number. Hmmm. Well, at the above link you can see a picture of the uniform--the number looks clearly visible to me. And, again from the article above, here's a key data point:

"They had ample warning," Gibson told the paper. "If they had to put together white uniforms of differing styles, that's fine - so long as they adhered to the uniform rule." Gibson told the Tribune he does not know how often the rule is enforced."

Sounds like selective enforcement to me. And in a playoff game yet. Sad