A girls' high school volleyball player in North Carolina recently suffered severe injuries to her head and neck after a trans opponent spiked a ball into her face.
Early last month, Hiwassee Dam High School competed against Highlands High School in a girls' volleyball tournament. During the game, an unnamed biological male playing for Highlands spiked a ball over the net and hit an unnamed Hiwassee Dam player directly in the face.
Though video of the incident is grainy, the unnamed female player can clearly be seen lying on the floor for some time before recovering enough to walk off the court on her own power.
The girl is still said to be experiencing long-term concussion symptoms, such as vision problems, and has not been cleared to return to play either by a physician or a neurologist.
As a result of her injury, the Cherokee County Board of Education voted 5-1 to cancel all future volleyball games against Highlands High School, citing a "safety issue."
One long-serving coach allegedly persuaded at least one board member to vote in favor of canceling the games. Cherokee board member Joe Wood said that "a coach of 40 years said they’d never seen a hit like this. That was really what sealed the decision, at least on my part."
The Post Millennial claims to have confirmed that assertion from the unidentified coach.
Fellow board member Jeff Tatham added that the ball had allegedly been traveling at 70 mph when it struck the girl's face. "I don’t know if that’s faster than normal, but it seemed like it was coming off very fast, abnormally, especially fast," Tatham said. "It not only hit her in the face, then the ball came off of her face with enough force to then go back through the net."
In addition to the safety concerns, the board also said it believes that male competitors have a "competitive advantage" over female opponents.
"The competitive advantage issue certainly has to come up in any scenario with that type of transgender conversion, per se," said Jeff Martin, vice chair of the board. "I can tell you that the board wasn’t searching out this kind of thing. It was brought to our attention based on safety concerns."
However, despite the concerns voiced by the board, some local residents have chided the decision to cancel district games against Highlands.
"All the events for one incident? It’s not right," said Tony Graham. "There’s risk getting out of bed in the morning, crossing the street, and going to the store. I'm sure the teammate that did get hurt wants them to go out there and fight for it, right? That's what we do."
Board member Arnold Mathews reiterated that the decision applies only to Highlands and only to girls' volleyball. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association confirmed that each "local school system" can decide not to play games against particular opponents or schools.
"While we would prefer that schools or teams play all games it schedules," the NCHSAA said, "that latitude does exist."
Though the WTVC video below does contain clips from the Hiwassee Dam/Highlands game, it does not depict the spike in question. The MaxPreps video for this particular game also appears to be unavailable.