Running head: SPORTS ETHICS 1










Sports ethics – Case 8.2

Antonella Monrreal

Barry University














The dilemma/details

The situation at hand regards wrestling programs as part of sports in high school. Illinois High School Association (IHSA) is the recognized organization when it comes to high school athletics in that state. It sets rules that act as the guideline regarding participation, and it also supervises the participating high schools to ensure that the rules and set regulations are adhered to. M.C High is one of the schools in the state who participate in wrestling, and they are known to have a great and robust wrestling team. There are rules set by IHSA which states that no school is allowed to take part in more than four parts. M.C. High is reported to IHSA by a rival school mentioning that they took part in five meets which were a violation of the set laws. However, the bylaws regarding participation are not clear when it comes to varsity and junior varsity wrestlers. On the other hand, IHSA makes specific mention of varsity wrestlers in their bylaws regarding the number of occasions a given team must have participated in, to be considered eligible for a state tournament.

The reported complain from M.C High’s rival team is substantiated by IHSA, and the M. C. High wrestlers are banned from participating in the tournament. What follows is that M.C. High tries to persuade the IHSA that they had not violated the rules as they had only sent the junior varsity wrestlers to the fifth event. IHSA fails to consider their appeal and the school appeals to the circuit court which reverses the decision made by IHSA. The Appeal Court takes up the matter and rules in favor of M.C. High. Later, the issue was taken to the highest court, the State Supreme Court, which upheld the decision made by the circuit court and the Appeal court of allowing M. C. High back into the wrestling match. The reaction of the IHSA was suspending and later terminating that year’s game. It is not clear as to why the Illinois High School Association would fail to follow the court ruling.

The ethical Maxims

There are a few scenarios in which moral reasoning can be applied in this case. The first situation is where the rival school reported M.C High. Categorically, the rival school might have been following the set rules on the limits of the number of meets. This can be considered as a right action as M.C High can be deemed to be violating the set rules. Consequentially, the act is seen as bad as it resulted in M.C High being barred from the game. Additionally, the set rules seem to lack clarity and M.C High have a basis for making their appeal. Considering the maxim of existentialism, the rival school may have acted out of competition as they felt that M.C High had a better team than them. Such an act can be considered as inauthentic. Secondly, it is ironical that IHSA bans M. C. High for not following the set rules, and yet they fail to follow the directions given by three courts. From the case, it is evident that other schools would get a consideration whenever there was such a concern but IHSA seemed to not plead with M. C. High. This shows that IHSA is inauthentic in their dealings. Categorically, IHSA does a wrong thing as it does not follow the court orders of allowing M. C. High back into the game. Consequentially, the suspension and cancellation of wrestling for a whole year is bad. All schools do not participate, and different wrestlers who are passionate about wrestling are affected.

Time –before, during and after

The games seem to have been going on well where all schools involved in the tournament were following the rules set out by Illinois High School Association. There seem to have been no cases of schools participating in more than four parts. IHSA has been the regulating agency for high school games. In February 1995, a report reached the ISHA that M. C High had finished their fifth game and according to the rules, this was a defilement. Therefore, they were banned from participating in the game after which they tried to defend themselves by quoting the bylaws and stating their interpretation. The IHSA stood their grounds which forced M.C. High to appeal to the circuit court which ruled in their favor. The matter was then sued in the Appeal Court where the IHSA did not act, and the Supreme Court was sort, and they also upheld the judgment of allowing M.C High back into the game. After the whole situation, IHSA did not act according to the decision reached by the three courts. Instead, Illinois High School Association started by suspending games during that year after which they canceled all the matches for that year. One claim led to all schools having no chance to participate in the tournament that year.

Extenuating circumstances

From this case, the special conditions are seen in the statement of the bylaws. The bylaw 5.162 gives a general view about participation. It does not clarify the participants. There is no distinct difference given between varsity wrestlers and junior varsity wrestlers. On the other hand, bylaws pertaining the number of events only highlight about varsity wrestlers where for a team to qualify for a game, varsity grade is compulsory. IHSA should have considered these contradictions on participation and number of games in the bylaws before prohibiting M.C. High from the contest.


Considering the categorical, consequential, and existentialism ethical maxims, the Illinois High School Association was wrong, inauthentic and did a bad thing. First, they failed to honor the law, and it was the reason they had disqualified M.C High from playing the game. They were unable to follow the ruling from three courts. They claimed that M.C High had failed to follow the rules and did not pursue it either. It is even more saddening to notice that the bylaws set by IHSA were not as accurate as they were often misunderstood. Secondly, failing to honor three court orders and yet they insisted that M.C. High should follow the set rules, shows lack of integrity and genuineness. If this were an attempt to punish M.C High, then, IHSA would have tried as much to ensure that other schools were not affected. Lastly, deciding to suspend and cancel the tournament seems to affect all the high schools. Disagreeing with one school should not cause effects on other schools. Consequentially, IHSA cannot be commended for that.
















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Running head: SPORTS ETHICS












Sports ethics



Case 8.2


Antonella Monrreal


Barry University















Running head: SPORTS ETHICS 1








Sports ethics – Case 8.2

Antonella Monrreal

Barry University

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