Inclusion on the court

Team photo of the Fast breakers after pulling off a tight win Photo credit: Ashlee Mcphearson

BYU-Idaho is known for its inclusive campus. That reputation continues onto the BYU-Idaho Center courts. Coed basketball teams create unity and trust between genders.

At the beginning of the semester on a Tuesday night, loud cheers could be heard coming from the BYU-Idaho Center. The noise comes in waves from student audience sections and players cheering on their male and female teammates. Most courts were full and spectators without a seat still stuck around to find one. Spectators resorted to sitting on the gym floor.

Earlier this semester the Fast Breaks, a coed basketball team, played against the Weekend Warriors. The Fast Breaks started off strong by scoring the first points, which a female player made.

Fast Breakers (blue jersey) setting up for a free throw shots after the Weekend Warriors (white jersey) fouled.
Weekend Warriors (white jersey) and Fast Breakers (blue jesery) substituting on the court. Photo credit: Ashlee Mcphearson

The teams continued the game, not disappointing fans. The whole court was on the edge of their seats as they watched the back-and-forth.

Coed sports haven’t always been an inclusive, exciting environment. Changing this environment has been years in the making.

In recent years, America has put an emphasis on inclusion between males and females. BYU-I is known for having high standards for inclusive environments.

Sports activities’ policies and procedures can be found on BYU-I’s website. On the website under sports rules, those interested can view all BYU-I-supported sports rules, including gender-inclusive rules.

According to the Recsports coed basketball rulebook, “The maximum number of players allowed on each team shall be nine (9) with at least two (2) players of each gender.”

Rules enforce gender inclusiveness by keeping gender numbers in check. However, the BYU-I coed team, Faster Breakers, follow that rule without a second thought.

Carson Merrill, a sophomore studying English is a player on Fast Breaks.

“I trust the girls,” said Merril. “I trust they will get the shot.”

Ethan Mott (left) and Carson Merrill (right)are posing next to each other on the BYU-Idaho Center Courts. They are teammates on Fast Breakers.
Teammates Ethan Mott (Left) and Carson Merrill (right) sharing big smiles after big win against Weekend Warriors. Photo credit: Ashlee Mcphearson

The confidence Merrill has in his female teammates was confirmed early this semester. With only a few seconds left, the game tied at 49-49, Lacey Mashos made the game-winning three-point shot.

Lacey Mashos, a transfer student who is in the nursing program, has been at BYU-I for five semesters. Having seven years of experience playing basketball, Mashos gives advice about creating your own coed team.

“Girls should just make a team, and make it fun,” said Mashos.

Taking her own advice, Mashos decided this semester she would be on another coed basketball team; this time including friends from the nursing program and others. Thus far, that team has had an undefeated winning streak.

After their win, many of the players on Fast Breaks mentioned how they feel the team includes everyone.

The finals for the coed basketball teams start on Feb. 21-23.

For those interested in learning more about the sports BYU-I has to offer, click on this link.