One North Carolina school district is ruling out further volleyball competitions against one opponent after a player suffered an injury last month in a match against a team with a transgender athlete.
The Cherokee County School District intends for its teams to forfeit all further scheduled volleyball matches against the Highlands School, according to WLOS-TV.
Cherokee County School Board member Arnold Mathews indicated the school’s governing board decided against further matches against Highlands after a Hiwassee Dam High School player was injured after being struck by a spiked volleyball, according to WLOS.
Grainy footage showed the moment the female student-athlete was injured.
Coaches believe the player who struck the injurious ball was a biological male playing on a women’s team as a transgender athlete, according to The Post Millennial, citing North Carolina’s Education First Alliance.
The hit was unlike anything that one women’s volleyball coach had seen in the course of his career, according to WPDE-TV.
“In particular, in this meeting, a coach of 40 years said they’d never seen a hit like this,” Cherokee board member Joe Wood said of the volleyball injury.
“That was really what sealed the decision, at least on my part.”
The school board voted to forfeit further contests against Highlands in a 5-1 vote, according to WPDE.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association confirmed the district has the authority to forfeit the contests when asked for comment by WLOS.
The girl who was struck in the face is seriously injured as a result of the spike.
Coaches indicate she’s suffered “severe head and neck injuries, resulting in long-term concussion symptoms,” according to Education First Alliance.
Cherokee board members are citing competitive concerns as well as safety in their decision not to play against Highlands.
“The competitive advantage issue certainly has to come up in any scenario with that type of transgender conversion, per se,” Vice Chair Jeff Martin said of the board’s decision, according to The Blaze.
Male competition in female sporting leagues has previously resulted in injury to female athletes.
World Rugby barred the competition of transgender athletes in contests in 2020, citing the clear and present risk of injury to female players, according to The Guardian.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.