North Carolina high school female volleyball player injured after trans opponent spikes ball into her face

North Carolina high school female volleyball player injured after trans opponent spikes ball into her face
A high school volleyball player in North Carolina was severely injured after a trans opponent spiked a ball into her face (Representational image/Getty Images/Creative)

MURPHY, NORTH CAROLINA: A female high school volleyball player in North Carolina was seriously injured after a trans opponent reportedly spiked a ball into her face.

Hiwassee Dam High School competed against Highlands High School in a girls' volleyball tournament in early September. The game saw an unnamed biological male playing for Highlands spike a ball over the net and hit an unnamed Hiwassee Dam player -- a biological female -- directly in the face. Video from the incident is grainy at best, but the female player can be seen lying on the floor for some time before she could walk off the court of her own volition.

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According to The Blaze, the girl is experiencing long-term concussion symptoms, including vision problems, and has not been cleared to return to play by doctors at the time of publication. Following the incident, the Cherokee County Board of Education voted 5-1 to cancel all future volleyball games against Highlands High School, citing a "safety issue." One of the board members was reportedly convinced by a long-serving coach to vote in favor of canceling the games. "A coach of 40 years said they’d never seen a hit like this," Cherokee board member Joe Wood said, adding, "That was really what sealed the decision, at least on my part." The assertion by the unidentified coach was confirmed by The Post Millenial. 

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Jeff Tatham, another board member, said 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 recalled. "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."

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The board, aside from citing safety concerns, also noted that male players had a "competitive advantage" over their female counterparts. "The competitive advantage issue certainly has to come up in any scenario with that type of transgender conversion, per se," the board's vice chair Jeff Martin said, adding, "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."

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But despite the board's concerns, some local residents are unhappy with the decision to cancel all 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."

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Board member Arnold Mathews stressed that the decision was only restricted to girls' volleyball against the Highlands. Meanwhile, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association confirmed that any "local school system" could decide not to play games against particular schools or opponents. "While we would prefer that schools or teams play all games it schedules, that latitude does exist," the NCHSAA said in a statement.

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