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Idaho Falls Post Register (Idaho)
The Idaho Falls High School girls basketball team chose to forfeit a nonconference game against Blackfoot on Friday night, a move that a Blackfoot school administrator said was orchestrated by the parents of the Idaho Falls players.
"The broad answer is that Idaho Falls parents felt they did not want their kids to come down and play the game tonight," Blackfoot athletic director Nick Pettinger said.
Blackfoot was informed of the decision Thursday, Pettinger said, by Kerry Martin, athletic director for Idaho Falls School District 91.
"The issue at hand (is) we asked to forfeit the game tonight as a result of challenges we are working through," Idaho Falls High School Principal Randy Hurley said.
The two teams last played each other Nov. 22 at Idaho Falls. The game was described as "contentious" by Idaho Falls coach Britney Christensen.
"It got a little crazy," Christensen told the Post Register after the game.
The game featured three technical fouls and four Broncos fouled out. The Tigers won 54-43.
Hurley declined to discuss specific reasons behind the team's decision to forfeit Friday night's game. As the Post Register was preparing to go to press late Friday, Martin and Christensen had not returned phone calls seeking comment on the forfeit.
Parents of two of the team's players reached by the Post Register on Friday night also declined to comment on the story.
The decision by Idaho Falls will result in an automatic win for Blackfoot. The National Federation of High Schools does not specifically address decisions by teams who decline to show up for a game. Section 4, Article 1, states, "the referee shall forfeit the game if a team refuses to play after being instructed to do so by any official."
Article 2 states, "The NFHS Rules committee does not recognize protests."
Both Pettinger and Hurley expect the matter will be forwarded to the District 6 Board of Review, which will hear from both schools as part of its review.
Hurley and Pettinger said both sides remain committed to working through the issue that led to Friday night's unusual action and strengthening the relationship between both schools.
"We're anxious to work through this and try to keep things on a positive mode," Hurley said.