“Cheap” win or legitimate win, you chime in.

Man oh man, for a couple of local teams the CIF championship has turned into a national debate on sportsmanship.  The short version is that a pole vaulter from South Pas had just “won” the  Rio Hondo championship at the meet they hosted.  Not so fast says coach Knowles from Monrovia, your gal was wearing jewelry which is against the rules and she should be disqualified.  The refs agreed and voila Monrovia won the Rio Hondo championship.  Full story here.

The offending jewelry?  A hand knotted twine “friendship bracelet”.

Controversy ensued, South Pas has its collective panties in a knot, even swearing in the comments (recall South Pas is a “no cuss zone”).  Even national media has come out on this one.   (I fall into the camp its just kids sports and it shouldn’t have been a disqualification but even that upset some).

What say you on the topic?

9 Replies to ““Cheap” win or legitimate win, you chime in.”

  1. After the competition has ended, it’s too late. The referees and officials should have taken note of the “jewelry” before the competition (because it is usually a safety issue). A really cheap call by Monrovia, and bad officiating by not catching the issue before the competition.

  2. Tough one. Rules indeed are rules, and as such that South Pas vaulter was in violation. But one can only wonder if Coach Knowles was as eagle-eyed in getting every member of his team to remove any piercings visible and/or otherwise before stepping onto the field.

    Savor that “victory” Monrovia. Mmmmmm. Don’t it taste gooooood?

  3. M-I-C-K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E

    Any news on what the Monrovia pole vaulter who won by default thinks about the way this transpired?

  4. “Rules are rules, right?” Yes and no.

    Some rule are to define the sport and establish fair play. Some rules are for player safety, protocol, or uniformity that don’t directly affect competative advantage. Athletes caught breaking the first type of rule would be called out as a “cheater” from the playground to the pros. But break the second type (don’t wear a cup, wear non-matching socks or a friendship bracelet) and most reasonable people wouldnt call it “cheating” because there is no competative advantage.

    But the officials have to enforce rules like they are written. So had the official DQ’d her on their own everyone would be disapointed but there would be no national story. Everyone wants real “cheaters” caught, but it is frustrating when these secondary safety or protocol rules decide the competition. If a rule interferes with fair play too often it is a bad rule and people will change the rule or how it is enforced.

    Poor sportsmanship comes into this story when Mike Knowles went out of his way to point out noncompetative violation as a means to negate a superior athleteic performance. That’s gamesmanship not sportsmanship.

  5. The bracelet was clearly a violation of the letter of the law rather than the spirit. Of course when you have zero tolerance rules like this one, the letter of the law is always too broad.

  6. While it was, in fact, a violation of the rules…it was petty and small. If I were on the Monrovia Track Team, I would be embarrassed to claim that league title. They did not win because their pole vaulters were better, they won because a young girl had some string on her wrist…really Knowles? Really?

    Deadspin has an interesting piece on this too.

  7. Oh God this is the stupidest thing that ever happened. Monrovia claims that they always check evreyone to make sure that they are not wearing anything that would violate the uniform rules. However there are many flaws in their process of inspection. How? They had many athetes with ribbons in their hair, jewelry on, and even had a female high jumper compete with a hat on. And guess what, these all violate the uniform rules. But hey, things happen and we just need to move on. I am just glad that the nation is getting to see coach Mile Knowles’ true colors.

  8. Apparently there’s an old law still on Monrovia’s books that demands young men “prove their manhood” before marrying by shooting six blackbirds or three crows, which then must be presented to their prospective fathers-in-law.

    I think South Pasadena should consider filing a lawsuit compeling an investigation as to how many Monrovian males are in violation of that civic statute and prosecute them according to the letter of the law.

  9. Just to add to the comments. This has an updated article in the Pasadena star news today. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_15083139. Short is that the coach won’t be disciplined as there wasn’t a malicious intent in making the call. Interesting quote from the MHS press statement: “South Pasadena High School and Monrovia High School have concluded together, and agreeably, that Monrovia will retain the Rio Hondo League Championship.
    “It is evident from the actions of the school leaders that the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie remains strong in the Rio Hondo League and between Monrovia and South Pasadena high schools. We wish both teams continued success, representing the (Rio Hondo League) as a united front competing in the CIF-Southern Section Prelims this weekend.”
    Will…I have to laugh at the whole thing. My 16 yo is practicing with his six shooter in PE.

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