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Maryland High School Girls Swim Team Stripped of Championship for Shaving

The Broadneck (MD) High School girls swim team came within a hair of being recognized as champions this year. Well, scratch that – it was more than one hair.

A student at Broadneck High recently cost her swim team the title when it came out that she shaved at the site of a competition prior to a contest. The action was a blatant violation of the National Federation of State High School Associations rule that doesn’t permit swimmers, divers or water polo players to shave before any such event.

Per the rulebook (via FOXDC):

No team personnel/competitor shall perform any on-site shaving before, during or after the meet.” The penalty for breaking the rule is disqualification for the applicable meet.

Despite the fact that the girl who did the shaving when she knew it wasn’t allowed was the one who broke the rule, it was the Broadneck High girls swim team coach who was ultimately held responsible. On top of having to watch the team forfeit their title and get penalized so badly that they fell to third place in overall standings, the coach was also disciplined for not ensuring that the girls didn’t violate on-site shaving rules.

Although this whole mess sounds stupid at first glance, there is actually very reasonable reason for why the shaving rules are in place. As noted by (via Larry Brown Sports):

“It is very important that coaches counsel their athletes on the danger and inappropriateness of on-site shaving ranging from sharing razors, possible cuts and exchange of body fluid (blood) and spreading communicable disease to cleanliness issues at the facility,” the NFHS said.  “Coaches have the responsibility to educate their athletes and enforce this restriction.”

After seeing the logic behind the on-site shaving restriction, both the rule and the punishment that the rule violation earned in this case make a lot more sense.

What do you think: is it fair that a team had to give up their championship just because one girl shaved where she wasn’t supposed to?


On a somewhat related note, teenage girls -- whether they were just stripped of their county titles or not -- often deal with serious anxiety and tension. If you’re not sure how to help your sister, cousin or friend out but know they need more information on improving their mental health, have them check out for some ideas.


(Kudos to Larry Brown Sports for the find)

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