The Malden Recreation Department is offering a baseball clinic for BOYS ONLY, ages five through eight. This is illegal. In 1974, a court ruling forced Little League to allow girls to play baseball. In 2009, the NCAA determined that baseball and softball were NOT the same sport (they aren't), preventing its member schools from prohibiting girls from playing baseball by offering softball as an alternative. Rulings under Title IX now require schools to allow girls to play baseball, even if a school offers softball. So in 2020, by preventing girls from participating in a baseball clinic, even though it offers a softball clinic for girls, the city is committing illegal gender discrimination. It's not even a close call.
Even if it wasn't illegal, it's simply wrong. There is no reason to be segregating children this young on the basis of gender. For as long as anyone can remember, girls have played youth baseball in this city's Little League/youth baseball programs. Many have represented Malden in district all-star/post-season competition. They continue to participate. A few years back, a 13 year old girl with a 70 mph fastball pitched a complete game shutout in the Little League World Series. Nationwide, more and more girls are sticking with baseball, not switching to softball, and demanding their right to continue to participate in baseball at the high school level, and beyond.
That may be playing a role here. The city runs a girls softball program. The city does NOT run the co-ed baseball program. So is the city trying to funnel young girls away from one program and into another it runs by illegally restricting their opportunity to participate in baseball at a young age? That's not what youth sports should be about.
These clinics are a great opportunity for kids. Those volunteering deserve tremendous credit for stepping up to help. But the city needs to stop discriminating and denying the opportunity to participate equally in baseball to girls. Before someone at the city closes or archives this without seeing that the issue is corrected, they might want to refer this to the city's attorney to allow her to weigh in. That could probably save the city a lot of trouble down the road.
Also, to any parents of girls out there who would prefer their daughter attend the baseball camp: your child may. The city may not bar your daughter from participating.