An Arizona high school baseball team forfeited its chance at a state championship — and its reason for doing so has people talking.

Our Lady of Sorrows Academy in Phoenix refused to face off with rival Mesa Preparatory Academy because Mesa has a girl on its team.

Mesa’s headmaster Robert Wagner said the trouble started when Our Lady of Sorrows learned 15-year-old Paige Sultzbach would play second base for Mesa’s squad in the championship game.

“They wouldn’t play the game as long as we had a girl on the team who was on the field. It violates their policy about boys playing against girls,” Wagner said. “It’s just unfortunate that our kids who are excited about playing don’t have the opportunity.”

An official at Our Lady of Sorrows said it had no choice. “Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we choose not to place them in an athletic competition where proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty … Our school aims to instill in our boys a profound respect for women and girls,” the unnamed official said.

But Paige’s mother, Pamela, doesn’t buy it. “This is not a contact sport, it shouldn’t be an issue,” she said. “It wasn’t that they were afraid they were going to hurt or injure her, it’s that (they believe) that a girl’s place is not on a field.”

The story calls to mind another incident in New York where a boy was tossed from a girls’ field hockey team because he’s considered too good. That 13-year-old is appealing the decision.

[ESPN]