Parents sue school district because high-school softball field isn’t as nice as pro stadium

Sarah Hofmann | Contributor

Several high-school parents in upstate New York are suing a school district because they feel their daughters’ school softball field isn’t comparable to the stadium the boys’ baseball team uses.

Parents of the Batavia High School softball team claim that the poor conditions on the softball field constitute a violation of Title IX provisions requiring the equal treatment of genders within athletic programs, reports the local Batavia paper, The Daily News.

The boys’ baseball team currently plays at Dwyer Stadium, the home of local professional minor-league team, the Batavia Muckdogs. The stadium has seating for 2,000, ticket booths, lights, covered dugouts and electronic scoreboards — amenities the tiny softball field lacks.

Dwyer Stadium’s dimensions make it unsuitable for hosting softball games, but alternative facilities have been offered to the girls, school officials maintain.

“In 2011, softball field upgrades were included in the District’s capital-improvements project proposal, which was ultimately voted down by the taxpayers,” school superintendent Chris Dailey said in a statement. “Even after the capital improvement proposition was voted down, the district allocated as much funding as possible for material and labor to resurface the girls’ softball infield. In addition, arrangements were made to have nearly half of the home games played at an area premier softball facility, Genesee Community College.”

The school district also says that many of Dwyer Stadium’s fancy features — like its night lights — aren’t used even by the boys’ team, which has played almost exclusively during the day for the past two years.

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