Kansas Teen Disqualified from Race for Using Tape
Russell Runner Miranda Clark was getting ready for the 1,600 meter race at the Ellsworth Invitational when she remembered that she cannot remove the earrings from her newly-pierced ears. Since wearing jewelry is not allowed by the Kansas High School Activities Association, Clark decided to make it less conspicuous by covering the earrings with tape.
Unfortunately, the tape made it worse. If Clark had left the earrings without the tape, she would have just received a warning. But instead, as soon as Clark completed the event, a track official noticed the tape and accused her of “unsportsmanlike conduct,” hereby disqualifying her from all the events in the invitational.
“The state should be encouraging runners, not making it difficult to participate,” Clark insisted. “If KSHAA is insisting on being so picky with what is allowed to be worn at sporting events, they need to be consistent. I think it was completely unfair for me to be disqualified and rude to call me unsportsmanlike. I was definitely not trying to hide my jewelry. I was just trying to follow regulations the best I could.”
Miranda’s dad, Marty Clark also disagrees with the harsh punishment. “Miranda was wrong for having the jewelry in her ear and she knows that, but I feel that to be disqualified from competition because they are putting tape on it is a little extreme. This is just high school sports, we should be promoting and encouraging our young people to compete and be active, not discouraging.”
While rules are there for a reason, Miranda should have had a chance to explain herself or correct the situation. At the same time, instead of focusing on a small deviation from the rules, officials should have understood the context by which the deviation occurred.