Make Kamiak Softball Field Playable - Equity between girls and boys sports facilities now!

Make Kamiak Softball Field Playable - Equity between girls and boys sports facilities now!

January 3, 2023
Signatures: 93Next Goal: 100
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Why this petition matters

Started by Brandin Chapman

We, the undersigned community members and supporters of the Kamiak softball program, are aware that the Kamiak girl's softball field is scheduled to be replaced with turf summer 2023, however there needs to be immediate attention regarding field maintenance before the start of the season this Spring. Additionally, we request the inclusion of the following:

Bullpen for pitchers

Adequate stands

Batting cage

TItle IX regulations state that there must be equity in school athletic programs. “Under state and federal law, the overall benefits and treatment of athletic programs for girls and boys must be equitable. All interscholastic, club, or intramural athletics operated, sponsored, or provided by the school district must provide similar benefits, opportunities, and treatment to female and male students.” (Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction)

The following is a summary of one of the specific factors established by the Office for Civil Rights and federal courts for evaluating compliance in each of the 11 categories of “Other Athletic Benefits and Opportunities.” 

Locker rooms and practice/competition facilities: The specific compliance factors to be evaluated in this category are 1) quality and availability of facilities; 2) exclusivity of use of facilities; 3) event preparation in facilities; 4) maintenance and repair of facilities; 5) locker room quality; and 6) locker room availability. 

When evaluated using the criteria above, the Kamiak girl's softball field is not in compliance and as such, needs immediate attention. The 2022 varsity softball team was unable to practice at their field and only played two home games at their home field this past season. Due to the poor conditions of the field and the lack of proper drainage, they were not even able to use the field on non-rainy days.

The district solution was having the girls varsity team practice in the auxiliary gym which would put them at a significant disadvantage from other teams, which all had their own outdoor field to utilizefor practice and games. 

Transportation was provided by the district to a field in everett for their home games. On a daily basis, players did not know where they would be practicing or playing often until an hour before game or practice start time, while coaches spent the day scrambling to find a field or facility.This also placed them at a disadvantage by not allowing them to practice where they would be competing. The daily inconsistency was frustrating for both players and coaching staff and limited the amount of community support for the team, as fans did not have adequate notice for travel to games.

The Kamiak boys baseball field was playable and utilized for practices and games. The infield has a tarp that was rolled out to protect the infield from rain between use, while the girls field had no such accommodation provided. 

Additionally the girls field has inadequate fan seating which consists of two sets of bleachers jammed together up against the track fence. The majority of fans are forced to stand on the path next to the soccer field and behind the backstop with limited visibility. This is also distracting to the pitcher on the field due to all the movement behind the backstop. However, the boys field has actual stands that accommodate significantly more fans, with plenty of seating for all who attend.

Another discrepancy between the boys and girls field is adequate warm-up space. The girls field does not have a bullpen area for relief pitchers to warm up during the game. They are forced to use the soccer field, but if that is in use then they are not able to warm up. 

In order to be compliant with title IX, the entire softball field needs to be replaced with the addition of a bullpen and stands. We would also like to request a batting cage next to the field in order to be comparable to other facilities in our district and division. 

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Signatures: 93Next Goal: 100
Support now