Rethinking Gender Opportunities: Nontraditional Sports Seasons and Local Preferences

In Communities for Equity v. Michigan High School Athletic Association, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court decision, holding that the scheduling of high school girls’ sports in “nontraditional” seasons in Michigan violated the Equal Protection Clause. The Supreme Court of the United States, granting certiorari, vacated and remanded this case back to the Sixth Circuit. This Note suggests reasons why the Sixth Circuit and/or the United States Supreme Court should protect the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s (MHSAA) current scheduling of sports seasons. Specifically, using the model provided by Romer v. Evans and Washington v. Seattle School District, MHSAA should be afforded local control over high school sports seasons. This Note also discusses legal and policy implications resulting from MHSAA’s loss of control in this arena and the possible harms associated with this proposed change.