The Diocese of Harrisburg policy regarding females competing against males in contact sports remained unchanged, despite a change made this week by another Pennsylvania diocese.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia modified the rule that restricts boys from wrestling girls — and forces them to forfeit the match — for this postseason, according to a philly.com report. The issue came up because Mariana Bracetti freshman Tatyana Ortiz will face Father Judge senior Tim McCall in the first round of this weekend's District 12 Class AAA tournament.
"The decision to take part in any postseason individual championship PIAA wrestling match will be at the discretion of the individual student and his parents," an Archdiocese of Philadelphia spokesman said to the news organization in an email.
No explanation was given for the change in the rule, according to philly.com.
Despite that announcement, the Diocese of Harrisburg policy will not change.
"The Non-Contact Sports Policy of the Diocese of Harrisburg remains unchanged as the mandatory guidelines for co-ed participation in sports from a Catholic / Christian perspective in the sports of tackle football, wrestling and tackle rugby. This policy continues to apply to all games, matches, competitors and coaches at all times and locations," Diocese of Harrisburg Director of Communications Joseph Aponick said in a statement. "Preparation for Christian adulthood involves the development and encouragement of appropriate, dignified and respectful forms of contact between male and female students. The Diocese therefore believes that it is incompatible with its religious mission and with its efforts to teach Gospel values to condone competitions between young men and women in sports that involve substantial and potentially immodest physical contact."
The 2014 Catholic school policy against co-ed contact sports competition was used earlier this season against Delone Catholic, when opponent J.P. McCaskey sent out junior varsity girls with no varsity experience to break a tie, forcing Delone's forfeit matches and eventually lose.