Inflexible TAPPS Schedule Forces Jewish Team to Forfeit

Team unable to play playoff game on Sabbath, forfeits

The observance of the Jewish Sabbath and the inflexibility of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools is forcing a boys basketball team to forfeit in the playoffs during their best season ever.

Beren Academy, an Orthodox Jewish day school in Houston, was scheduled to play the Dallas Covenant Stars Friday at 9 p.m. in the Class 2A semifinals of the TAPPS playoffs.

But with sundown Friday marking the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, the team was unable to play in the game that night due to their religion.

The Houston Chronicle reports Beren Academy appealed for rescheduling, something that had been approved in the past, but the appeal was denied.

In an email to Beren basketball coach and athletic director Chris Cole, TAPPS athletic director Edd Burleson said Beren was told playoff games were held on Fridays and Saturday before they joined the association and that if they couldn't play at those times they would be forced to remove themselves from the playoffs.

"We were hopeful that they would be able to work with us, but we respect their decision," Cole told the Chronicle. "It's never happened where we've played during Shabbat, and it will never happen. The kids know that, and the kids are fantastic at understanding."

Kerrville's Our Lady of the Hills will take Beren's place in the semifinal.  Beren beat Kerrville 69-42 last week, the paper reported.

The paper reported that Beren had already been forced to reschedule two of their games this year due to scheduling conflicts with the Sabbath.

TAPPS forbids teams from playing on Sundays, when Christians traditionally worship, the Chronicle reported.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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