Sport Season Dispute Continues

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The Michigan High School Athletic Association will appeal a ruling in a court case involving the scheduling of the state's prep sports seasons, an MHSAA spokesman said Wednesday.

"Our schools gave us a clear mandate two years ago to appeal this as far as it needed to be appealed," John Johnson said.

On Aug. 16, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld a lower court's opinion that the scheduling of seasons discriminates against girls in some sports.

Attorneys for the MHSAA had until Wednesday to ask for a full-court review of the case by the 6th Circuit. It could take weeks or even months for the court to respond to the request, Johnson said.

The case involves a 1998 federal lawsuit filed against the MHSAA by Diane Madsen and Jay Roberts-Eveland, both Grand Rapids-area mothers of female athletes, in conjunction with their group, Communities for Equity.

A telephone message seeking comment on the MHSAA's decision to continue its appeal was left Wednesday at the National Women's Law Center, a Washington-based organization that has helped the plaintiffs in the case.

The suit's focus was the scheduling of high school sports seasons involving girls teams. In particular, girls in Michigan play basketball in the fall and volleyball in the winter, the opposite of collegiate schedules.