Emily Nash should — should — have the trophy in her hands right now as the Central Massachusetts Division 3 (Boys) golf champion. However, because she’s a girl, she doesn’t.
Nash shot a 75 in the one-day Boys Fall Individual Tournament at Blissful Meadows GC in Uxbridge, Mass., and she won over a field of predominantly boys by four shots. However, MIAA rules prohibit a girl who plays on a boys’ team from winning the individual event. Bewilderingly, a girl is only allowed to have her score count toward team qualifying for the state championship. Nash’s team did not qualify. That means Nash not only wasn’t announced as winner of a tournament she won, but she won’t be able to compete in the state boys individual tournament next week.
Tournament director Kevin Riordan said he made Nash and her coach aware of the rule before the tournament began. Riordan said he double-checked with the MIAA after Nash had won to make sure she wouldn’t be declared champion.
“We don’t make the rules, we just enforce them,” Riordan said to the Worcester Telegram. ”(Emily) is the story of the day.”
Nico Ciolino, who was awarded the first-place trophy as he was the highest-finishing boy in the event, offered his to Nash. She declined to accept it.
Riordan said he plans to purchase a first-place trophy for Nash.