Vermont Girls Basketball Team Banned From Tournaments After Forfeiting Game Against Team With Transgender Player

The coach of a Vermont basketball team that forfeited a game against a transgender player has spoken out after the state banned the team from competing in future tournaments. 

“I’ve got four daughters. I’ve coached them all at one point in their careers playing high school basketball. I’ve also filled in for the boy’s coach when he can’t make a practice, and I run those practices, and boys just play at a different speed, a different force… than the girls play,” Chris Goodwin, who coaches at Mid-Vermont Christian School.

“It’s a different game,” he continued, adding that it would be “irresponsible” and “asking for an injury” to a smaller female player.

Goodwin’s team forfeited a game against the team with the transgender player in February 2023, and the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) then banned them from future tournaments. 

“Mid-Vermont Christian School has every right to teach its beliefs to its own students. It cannot, however, impose those beliefs on students from other public and private schools; deny students from other schools the opportunity to play; or hurt students from other schools because of who those students are,” the VPA said in November 2023.

Goodwin said that at the time the team decided that it was in their best interest to forfeit the game rather than going through with competing against a transgender invidual.

“After discussions with the administration and our players and parents, we decided that instead of going against our religious beliefs that there are differences between male and female, we are created differently, we decided to forfeit that game and withdraw from the tournament,” Goodwin said. 

“And at that point, the state of Vermont governing body kicked us out of all athletic competitions in the state.”