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Fri Mar 23, 2012, 04:11 PM

Should a Down Syndrome athlete be able to play high school sports after age 18?

This one is right in my backyard...well the town 3 mile away. A young man with Down Syndrome plays on the local high school's basketball team and the State of Michigan is going to refuse him the chance to play as a senior because he will be 19 years old. A very interesting topic. What do you think?

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Reply Should a Down Syndrome athlete be able to play high school sports after age 18? (Original post)
Yooperman Mar 2012 OP
enlightenment Mar 2012 #1
Yooperman Mar 2012 #2
provis99 Mar 2012 #3
Yooperman Mar 2012 #5
jberryhill Mar 2012 #4
Yooperman Mar 2012 #6
ZombieHorde Mar 2012 #7
Yooperman Mar 2012 #8
ZombieHorde Mar 2012 #9
Yooperman Mar 2012 #10
Daemonaquila Mar 2012 #12
Daemonaquila Mar 2012 #13
JustABozoOnThisBus Mar 2012 #14
ZombieHorde Mar 2012 #15
cstanleytech Mar 2012 #11

Response to Yooperman (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 04:17 PM

1. Would any other kid who was over 18 and a senior

be allowed to play on the team?

If not, then no, the young man should not play.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 04:30 PM

2. Thanks for you reply and opinion

Yet.. 23 other states do allow exceptions for persons with disabilities. This lad got a later start in school because of his disability.

When any rule is made there should be flexibility in dealing with individual circumstances. For me this is one. The community supports it, the administration supports it, the students support it. Why wouldn't that warrant an exception? As for his competing against other teams ... it is obvious he is not a college bound basketball player. He most likely would not be a threat to any team he played against. So many times the educational system,whether that be the school it self or in this case the MSHAA, make rules that are expected to fit all circumstances and life isn't that way. They try to take common sense out of all decision making. For me it is common sense that this individual should be allowed to play. He is a fine example of what we want in our children. I am sure he is an inspiration to many kids that struggle "fitting" in.

With that said.. I respect your point of view.. but don't agree with it.

YM

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Response to Yooperman (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 04:36 PM

3. how about a muscle-bound 300 pounder with Down's Syndrome?

 

the reason they don't allow adults to play is because they can do serious physical damage to teenagers; it doesn't change based on the IQ of the adult.

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Response to provis99 (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:33 PM

5. That is why I said that each individual case should be evaluated on it's own issues.

The one rule does not give any leeway for appropriate decision making. I am not saying for all but to have the flexibility to make common sense decisions based on the issues of the individual athlete.

It would not be good common sense to allow a situation that you presented.

Thanks for you thoughts.

YM

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Response to Yooperman (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 05:33 PM

4. "23 other states do allow exceptions for persons with disabilities"


His disability is unrelated to the advantage he is able to apply to the activity in question.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:40 PM

6. I disagree... I think

He as no advantage by being 19 years old. Most 19 year olds would have a physical advantage, he does not. He is at a disadvantage with his ability to understand the complexities of the game.

With that said ... all I am saying is each individual case should be decided alone on its own merits. Not every disabled person should have the privilege to play past age 19. It would all depend on the circumstances. In my opinion, in this case he should be able to play. There is no clear advantage that he has... he is not a star player.. the community, school, fans and players all agree he should be allowed to play.

Thanks

YM

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Response to Yooperman (Original post)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 04:54 PM

7. Why shouldn't any highschooler be allowed to play?

It's just a game. Games are for fun. Let the students play.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 06:55 PM

8. I don't agree with that...

In my opinion that would not always be a good thing. There can be a huge difference in size from a typical 12th grader and someone that is 19 or 20 years old and still in H.S. because he/she couldn't graduate for whatever reason. I do feel in most cases there should be a limit on age however, there also should be provisions to allow in certain situations a waver with this rule. I think the above case is an example of that.

But to allow all H.S. students over age 18 to play is not (in my opinion) a wise thing to do.

YM

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Response to Yooperman (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 07:07 PM

9. Then wouldn't a weight/height restriction be better than an age restriction?

No one over x lbs and y inches can play.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 10:29 PM

10. Good Point

Not much to say about it.. you are probably correct.



Maybe instead of a age restriction... limit the number of years you can play high school sports to the 4 years starting with the freshman year and only in those four years being eligible to play whether you participated or not. Preventing some students that don't start playing until after the freshman year.

If you started high school late then you still would be able to participate even if you ended up being 19 when you got to be a senior.

That might be a possible answer to the problem.

YM

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Response to Yooperman (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 08:16 AM

12. The rule has nothing to do with size and weight.

Think a second, guys. Where do all the young giants playing college and pro hoops come from? No, they don't get their growth spurt when they get their college basketball "scholar"ship. They're huge already in high school, and that's exactly what their schools want. Ban their star players? Are you kidding?

This rule is more about graduation. Kids already abuse the system for a shot at a college or pro career. The rule is meant to prevent "Hey, what a pity Johnny the team star failed one required class at the end of his senior year and had to repeat his stunning performance on the court in an unfortunate second year as team captain."

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Response to Daemonaquila (Reply #12)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 08:51 AM

13. Not to mention the schools' desire to avoid scandal...

First and foremost in any superintendent's mind: If the team captain is 19 and the cheerleaders are 16, my face is gonna get plastered on every channel when the statutory rape charges come down...

These guys aren't about safety or fairness. Where did that illusion come from?

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #9)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 10:04 AM

14. A height restriction for basketball? Hmmm ...

Interesting proposal, but I'm guessing it won't fly.



Sorry, kid, you're too tall for basketball. Go see the Curling coach.

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #14)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 02:54 PM

15. If size is the real reason for the age restriction, then size should be the real restriction. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #7)

Sat Mar 24, 2012, 11:31 PM

11. Well one reason is while its just a game

(I am not a sports fan btw) its also a game that could have a potential impact on the other students chances to win scholarships down the road.
I would suggest calling around to local gyms, churches, police and fire departments though to see if their running basketball programs and or have teams for fun that the person could join.

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