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Catholic school basketball team votes to keep its girl players

The St. John's fifth-grade CYO basketball team refused to play its game on February 10, 2017, after the team was told its girl players could not participate. Photo: by John O'Boyle/NJ Advance Media
The St. John's fifth-grade CYO basketball team refused to play its game on February 10, 2017, after the team was told its girl players could not participate. Photo: by John O'Boyle/NJ Advance Media

Two fifth-grade girls in New Jersey play on a boys' basketball team. They have been on the team for a few years. Not long ago, they got some bad news. The team was told it is against the rules for girls to play with boys.

The kids are from a New Jersey school called St. John the Apostle. They are all fifth-graders. 

The team is part of the Catholic Youth Organization league. The league is made up of teams from Catholic schools.

Girls And Boys Played Well Together

The two girls joined the boys' team after the school stopped having a girls' team. Not enough girls wanted to play basketball. 

The girls were very happy to join the boys' team. It let them keep on playing the game they love.

The head of the league met with the team two weeks ago. He told them the girls would no longer be allowed to play. He said it was against the league's rules. The team had to make a choice.

Team Says It Is Not Fair

Even so, the whole St. John's basketball team showed up for their game last week. They were supposed to play St. Bart's. 

The coaches would not let the game start.

Then a parent asked the fifth-graders what they wanted to do. Would they play the game without the girls? Or would they stay as they had been all season, with the girls on the team?

The children were asked to vote by raising their hands. All 11 voted to stay "as a team."

"It's not fair that we get to move on but they can't," one of the boys said.

Parents And Coaches Are Proud

The mother of one of the girls is also a coach with the team. She reminded the kids that "this would be the end" of their season. They would also not get to be in the playoffs.

"It doesn't matter," one boy said.

"These kids are doing the right thing," a parent said. She said it made her feel very proud. "We don't have to tell them what to do. They just know. It's amazing."

"It shows that they care," one of the two girls said. "I'm part of them just as they're part of me."

UPDATE The Archdiocese of Newark's archbishop, Joseph Tobin, announced the girls are to be put back on the team, the two regular games that were not played are to be rescheduled, and the team is to remain together for the playoffs.

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1
Anchor 1: What the Text Says

Select the paragraph from the section "Team Says It Is Not Fair" that explains why players decided to keep the girls on the team.

2
Anchor 1: What the Text Says

Which sentence from the introduction [paragraphs 1-3] BEST explains why the coaches would not let last week's game start?

A

Two fifth-grade girls in New Jersey play on a boys' basketball team.

B

The team was told it is against the rules for girls to play with boys.

C

The kids are from a New Jersey school called St. John the Apostle.

D

The team is part of the Catholic Youth Organization league.

3
Anchor 6: Point of View/Purpose

What is the team's point of view about NOT being allowed to continue playing this season?

A

The players are very upset that they will not get to be in the playoffs.

B

The players do not mind, because they would rather keep the girls on the team.

C

The players think the team should split into two boys' and girls' teams.

D

The players will try to play the rest of the season, even if it's against the rules.

4
Anchor 6: Point of View/Purpose

Which sentence from the article explains what the parents think about the team's final decision?

A

Then a parent asked the fifth-graders what they wanted to do.

B

She reminded the kids that "this would be the end" of their season.

C

She said it made her feel very proud.

D

"I'm part of them just as they're part of me."

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