Feb 29, 2012
Jewish Team Forfeits To Avoid Playing On Sabbath

FoxSports Houston, Tully Corcoran

http://www.foxsportshouston.com/02/28/12/Scheduled-on-Sabbath-Jewish-school-opts-/landing.html?blockID=676216&feedID=3803

HOUSTON–The Robert M. Beren Academy boys basketball team practiced on Monday, even though its season was over. And the season was over, even though the Stars had won only three days earlier in the regional playoffs.

Coach Chris Cole learned hours before the practice that a conflict between Beren’s Orthodox Jewish religious practices and the rules of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) had prematurely ended his team’s season. The Stars were scheduled to practice Monday, but amid a hectic day, Cole hadn’t had time to cancel it.

His team had advanced to the Class 2A semifinal game by defeating Our Lady of the Hills 69-42 in the regional playoffs at noon CT last Friday. The semifinal is scheduled for 9 p.m. CT Friday, and the title game is 2 p.m. Saturday.

Orthodox Jews observe the Sabbath, which runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. It is a time of rest. Playing basketball, Cole said, is not an option.

“Not one kid has even brought that up, nor do I think it ever would be, said Cole, who is not Jewish. It’s something that’s engrained in their daily lives. Every week since they’ve been alive, the Sabbath has been observed. They’re not looking for ways around that.”

Beren, which has a 23-5 record, submitted a formal request to TAPPS to move the Friday game from 9 p.m. to 3 p.m. and to move the potential Saturday game from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. TAPPS put it to its executive board — athletic directors from around the state — for a vote. Monday morning, the votes came in: The games would not be moved. Beren would forfeit. Its season is over.

“They’re disappointed, Cole said of his players. They believe in what they believe in very strongly. There’s some pride in that that they have. So far, I haven’t really seen any anger. Disappointment, without a doubt, is the word I would use.”

Cole said he and his team always knew this was a possibility, although Beren had never before had to forfeit to observe the Sabbath. Cole, who has been at Beren for 10 years, said the schools his team faces during the regular season have always been accommodating. The team Beren beat in the quarterfinals, Our Lady of the Hills Catholic High School of Kerrville, had agreed to play at an earlier-than-scheduled time, and Cole said the other three semifinalists had been willing to work around the Sabbath, too, if TAPPS approved.

Beren was hopeful because of precedent.

Just last season, a Seventh Day Adventist school, Arlington Burton Adventist Academy, had its state soccer games rescheduled to work around the Sabbath, and TAPPS doesn’t allow its schools to schedule games on Sundays, the traditional Christian day of worship.

TAPPS director Edd Burleson did not respond to a message left Monday by FOX Sports Houston but told the New York Times that the organization had warned Beren this kind of thing could happen.

“When Beren joined years ago, we advised them that the Sabbath would present them with a problem with the finals, Burleson told the Times. In the past, TAPPS has held firmly to their rules because if schedules are changed for these schools, it’s hard for other schools. If we solve one problem, we create another problem.”

Cole expressed no bitterness toward TAPPS. He said he’s been happy to be part of the organization, which he considers the premier private-school association in Texas and doesn’t foresee the school leaving because of this issue.

He was with three of his players when he heard the news Monday morning. In a school of about 70 students, word and disappointment traveled quickly. He said he went ahead with practice Monday because Beren is still hoping for some kind of resolution that would allow Beren’s season to continue.

But if there is one, know this: It won’t involve Beren playing basketball on the Sabbath.

“That takes precedent over anything else, Cole said. It’s our goal to be able to do both. We understand if one has to be removed that it’s going to be basketball.”

Jewish Team Forfeits From Playoffs

FoxSports Houston, Tully Corcoran

http://www.foxsportshouston.com/02/28/12/Scheduled-on-Sabbath-Jewish-school-opts-/landing.html?blockID=676216&feedID=3803

HOUSTON–The Robert M. Beren Academy boys basketball team practiced on Monday, even though its season was over. And the season was over, even though the Stars had won only three days earlier in the regional playoffs. Coach Chris Cole learned hours before the practice that a conflict between Beren’s Orthodox Jewish religious practices and the rules of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) had prematurely ended his team’s season. The Stars were scheduled to practice Monday, but amid a hectic day, Cole hadn’t had time to cancel it. His team had advanced to the Class 2A semifinal game by defeating Our Lady of the Hills 69-42 in the regional playoffs at noon CT last Friday. The semifinal is scheduled for 9 p.m. CT Friday, and the title game is 2 p.m. Saturday. Orthodox Jews observe the Sabbath, which runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. It is a time of rest. Playing basketball, Cole said, is not an option. “Not one kid has even brought that up, nor do I think it ever would be, said Cole, who is not Jewish. It’s something that’s engrained in their daily lives. Every week since they’ve been alive, the Sabbath has been observed. They’re not looking for ways around that.” Beren, which has a 23-5 record, submitted a formal request to TAPPS to move the Friday game from 9 p.m. to 3 p.m. and to move the potential Saturday game from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. TAPPS put it to its executive board — athletic directors from around the state — for a vote. Monday morning, the votes came in: The games would not be moved. Beren would forfeit. Its season is over. “They’re disappointed, Cole said of his players. They believe in what they believe in very strongly. There’s some pride in that that they have. So far, I haven’t really seen any anger. Disappointment, without a doubt, is the word I would use.” Cole said he and his team always knew this was a possibility, although Beren had never before had to forfeit to observe the Sabbath. Cole, who has been at Beren for 10 years, said the schools his team faces during the regular season have always been accommodating. The team Beren beat in the quarterfinals, Our Lady of the Hills Catholic High School of Kerrville, had agreed to play at an earlier-than-scheduled time, and Cole said the other three semifinalists had been willing to work around the Sabbath, too, if TAPPS approved. Beren was hopeful because of precedent. Just last season, a Seventh Day Adventist school, Arlington Burton Adventist Academy, had its state soccer games rescheduled to work around the Sabbath, and TAPPS doesn’t allow its schools to schedule games on Sundays, the traditional Christian day of worship. TAPPS director Edd Burleson did not respond to a message left Monday by FOX Sports Houston but told the New York Times that the organization had warned Beren this kind of thing could happen. “When Beren joined years ago, we advised them that the Sabbath would present them with a problem with the finals, Burleson told the Times. In the past, TAPPS has held firmly to their rules because if schedules are changed for these schools, it’s hard for other schools. If we solve one problem, we create another problem.” Cole expressed no bitterness toward TAPPS. He said he’s been happy to be part of the organization, which he considers the premier private-school association in Texas and doesn’t foresee the school leaving because of this issue. He was with three of his players when he heard the news Monday morning. In a school of about 70 students, word and disappointment traveled quickly. He said he went ahead with practice Monday because Beren is still hoping for some kind of resolution that would allow Beren’s season to continue. But if there is one, know this: It won’t involve Beren playing basketball on the Sabbath. “That takes precedent over anything else, Cole said. It’s our goal to be able to do both. We understand if one has to be removed that it’s going to be basketball.”






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