TO city ​​in alabama defends himself against criticism following a youth basketball tournament in which parents of a fifth-grade girls’ team claimed they did not receive the first-place trophy after defeating a boys’ recreational team in the title game because they were girls.

Jayme Mashayekh, whose daughter plays in a competitive women’s league representing Spain Park, wrote in a Facebook post last week that Hoover City School’s all-student team was told during the middle of the season that they could no longer use Hoover’s facilities to practice unless they paid to play in the district recreational league.

The city said in a statement that at the same tournament, a boys "elite team" he won a championship and received no trophy.

The city said in a statement that at the same tournament, an «elite team» of boys won a championship and received no trophy. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

«They were told to stick together as a team, that they had to level up in the competition and play with the fifth graders,» Mashayekh said in the post.

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He went on to say that before the championship, the team was told that they could participate but they would not receive the trophy if they won.

«‘Excuse me? What?’ What did they do to get disqualified? Didn’t pay their dues? Didn’t level up in the competition? Is it because they’re GIRLS?!?!» Mashayek wrote.

«Sure enough, these fifth grade girls played their hearts out, laying it all down and fighting their male counterparts only to be told, ‘No, I’m sorry you didn’t count.'»

Mashayekh called the situation a «hard lesson», one that she did not think «we should be teaching our boys or girls in this day and age».

Mashayekh described the situation as "hard lesson," one she didn't believe "we should be teaching our boys or girls in this day and age."

Mashayekh called the situation a «hard lesson», one that she did not think «we should be teaching our boys or girls in this day and age». (iStock)

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But the city issued a statement Monday, clarifying that the decision had nothing to do with the gender of the team but with Hoover Parks and Recreation Department (HPRD) rules.

«For many years, HPRD has allowed Hoover-based ‘elite’ teams to participate in the tournaments it hosts. These ‘elite’ teams are not sought out by HPRD, but rather come to HPRD and ask to participate. Members of’ elite’ Teams are hand-selected. They do not go through the same talent evaluation as those who participate in regular recreation league teams. Therefore, «elite» teams voluntarily agree to compete against recreation teams in a different division within their grade level or against teams that are above their grade level to ensure fair competition for all young athletes.»

The statement continued: «If an ‘elite’ team participates in an HPRD youth tournament and reaches the championship round, they are not eligible to receive any awards/trophies. Only regular recreation teams are eligible to receive awards/trophies.» .

The statement also noted that these teams «are aware of and accept» the rules that do not allow them to collect trophies or awards if they advance to a championship game.

The city issued a statement Monday clarifying that the decision had nothing to do with the gender of the team but with Hoover Parks and Recreation Department (HPRD) rules.

The city issued a statement Monday clarifying that the decision had nothing to do with the gender of the team but with Hoover Parks and Recreation Department (HPRD) rules.

«It is important to note that the same provisions have always applied to both girls’ and boys’ ‘elite’ teams. HPRD has never treated any team differently based on gender or any other factor, except for the ‘elite’ status of some teams».

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The city also said that at the same tournament, an «elite team» of boys won a championship and was not awarded a trophy.

«They were ineligible due to their ‘elite’ status. This winning team included the son of an elected official from the city of Hoover, indicating that the same rules apply to all teams, regardless of gender.»

The city said it plans to review its current policies «to ensure the competition and recognition procedures are fair to all entrants» and also invited the two winning teams to attend Hoover City Council Monday night «so they can be recognized for their recent victories. «