Board Blocks Union Volleyball Gender Rules


How coed does coed volleyball need to be?

That’s a question the Union Parks and Recreation Department recently tried to answer with mixed results.

Parks Director Chad Pohlmann proposed several rules changes for the adult coed volleyball league before the city’s park advisory board. One change would have required men and women be positioned alternately on the court.

“There was a complaint about the number of men versus women on the court at one time, three men and one girl,” Pohlmann said at the Thursday, Jan. 28, board meeting.

But Khloe Getman, who plays on the team that was the subject of the complaint, argued that as long as no more than three men are on the court at a time, it shouldn’t matter if there is only one woman.

“Sometimes it’s just me, and sometimes it’s me and another female,” said Getman, who is Union High School’s volleyball coach. “She has us ask the other team if it’s OK if we play with more men than women, but my logic is we have three men regardless.”

Having more men than women play isn’t necessarily an advantage, Getman said.

“I don’t know if any of you have been to Union volleyball league (matches), but the men are not necessarily the best players on the court,” she said. “If we were playing in an inner-city league, where we had an abundance of really strong athletic men in our league, I would completely understand, but, in this league, I mean, really?”

It was also brought up that volleyball has girls school teams in Missouri but not boys teams, allowing women to be more seasoned in the sport.

Players just want to play the game, Getman said. “I don’t want to have to take a forfeit because we have three men and two women on the court, and that’s kind of what it’s turned into,” she said.

Getman said the only gender-related rule should be no more than three players on the court at a time can be men, which is already in place. Having fewer than six players is already a disadvantage.

“If I can play with three men and three women, why can’t I play with three men and two women?” she said. “I don’t see that as an advantage where we are.”

The board agreed and didn’t implement the other recommendations.

The person who made the complaint about Getman’s team was invited to attend the meeting but did not, Pohlmann said.

Getman said the person who complained wanted Getman’s team to either forfeit or lose two points on each rotation. Instead they played with three men and Getman, though Getman’s team lost.

“We gave them a good fight, but we didn’t win,” she said.

Though they weren’t implemented, Pohlmann defended bringing the rules forward, saying it is important to have set policies. He said rules should either be enforced or removed from the books.

“The reason I want to have rules, is because when someone calls to complain to me, I don’t want to make the decision,” Pohlmann said.

Responses from the board varied from “It’s a rec league,” to “You’re going to have Karens everywhere.”

The board also voted to remove rules requiring players to remain on the roster for the entire season, which prohibits players from changing teams. Also removed was a rule not allowing roster changes after the second week of the season.

Those rules were removed on Pohlmann’s suggestion. He said those rules are regularly violated, but, if they were enforced, it could make it difficult for some teams to play.

“I would prefer to make it easier for them to play, just by saying you can take somebody from a different roster,” he said.

Board members said many other leagues allow players to change teams.

“I played on the K.C. in Washington, and as long as you hadn’t had too much beer, you could play as many games as you wanted,” board member Ashley Campbell said. “You didn’t have to forfeit. You didn’t have to go home.”

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