15-year-old sophomore Alexa Wade was looking forward to playing volleyball at Western High School. She transferred from Concord High this past March. That transfer will keep her sidelined at least halfway through the season.
"I feel like I'm being punished for something I had no control over," said Wade. "The last day of tryouts, I get crushed, saying, you can't play until October 4th, which is more than half my season."
MHSAA rules require transferees to wait at least 90 days to become eligible to play. Since the gender equity lawsuit filed against the high school athletic association was upheld, the volleyball season was moved-- from the winter season to fall.
"Who would've thought that after being in litigation for years that it would finally be settled this year," said Kelli Casey, Alexa's mother. "It was something that we did not know."
Under the new rules, girls golf moves from spring to fall, girls basketball moves from fall to winter and girls tennis from fall to spring. Athletes like Alexa were forced to choose between golf and volleyball.
Scheduling conflicts have also risen.
"We're just beginning to learn where the conflicts are, and what the shakeout of this will all be," said John Johnson, Communications Director of the MHSAA.
Kelli and her daughter even had their athletic director petition against the decision, given the circumstances. Still they were denied.
"The eligibility rules and transfer rules were put in years ago, to prevent school hopping and sports shopping, and abusing the system of educational athletics," said Johnson.
Alexa says education is the reason she transferred, looking for tougher classes. In the meantime, she'll have more time to focus on her studies-- and not volleyball.