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In West Chester, Council Calls Foul On Adult Baseball League

Members of the West Chester Adult Baseball League found themselves temporarily homeless in June after a borough council vote ousted them from their ballfield at Hoopes Park. Both sides say they are working toward finding a solution to the situation.

The West Chester Borough Council voted unanimously to revoke the league’s access to the park after reports of rowdy behavior from league teams, including urinating in the nearby woods and leaving trash behind after games.

The WCABL also allegedly built a concrete staircase in the park without proper approval; additionally, the league allegedly used municipal water to irrigate the field without getting permission first.

The league’s 2023 schedule shows every matchup having taken place at Hoopes Park until June 22. All matches through the end of July have been moved elsewhere.

Charlie Cooper, the league president, admitted the situation is “unfortunate.”

“We’re currently working with the borough regarding a new agreement,” Cooper told DVJournal.

“For the time being, all league games have been rescheduled at local fields with the hopes that a new agreement can be reached in the very near future,” he added. The league has about 240 adult players, he said.

Asked if the council seemed amenable to working out a new agreement, Cooper said, “It seems that way.”

“It’s not necessarily the council we’re dealing with right now; it’s the borough,” he admitted, saying the league and the borough are hammering out details of a revised agreement. “Then the council has to ratify it,” he said.

Cooper conceded claims that ballplayers using the nearby woods’ bathroom are accurate.

“I would say people have peed in the woods,” he said. He explained that the Porta Potty supplied by the council was not conveniently located. “They put it really far from the field.”

“That’s being resolved with adding a second Porta Potty near the field,” he added.

Michael Stefano, president of the West Chester Borough Council, said local officials are likewise hopeful about a new agreement shortly.

“West Chester Borough management has met with the Baseball League leadership in the days following the council meeting,” Stefano told DVJournal. “They have already come up with a plan that is being looked over by both sides.”

“We are hopeful to come up with an agreement that addresses all concerns so we can move forward,” he said.

The league was founded in 1956 and currently has eight teams on its roster.

Bill Keeping Biological Males From Competing in Women’s Sports Passes PA House

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Tuesday approved a bill to prevent biological males from competing in sports with biological females. The measure, entitled the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” passed in a 115-84 vote. It now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate, which is likely to adopt the measure, although Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has signaled he would veto the proposal.

The bill defines “sex” as the “biological distinction between male and female based on reproductive biology and genetic make-up,” and it requires public schools and state and some private institutions to designate sports teams as male, female or coed. It also prevents “students of the male sex” from participating on teams and in sports “designated for females, women or girls.”

Wolf labeled the bill as “transphobic legislation,” tweeting that Republicans were “wasting time” attempting to pass the bill because it would not “get past my desk.”

The debate over transgendered athletes in sports came to a boil when UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, who previously swam for the men’s team at UPenn, became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA title, finishing first last month in the women’s 500-yard freestyle.

Dozens of states have pushed forward similar bans on transgender athletes competing in sports that they feel match their gender identities.

Proponents of the bill argue differences exists between men and women, giving transgender females advantages over biological females. They base assertions on some studies that show transgender women maintain athletic edges over biological females even after years of hormone therapy.

Critics of the legislation slammed conservatives as prisoners of the moment, relying on outlier examples, like that of UPenn swimmer Thomas, to promote the idea that transgender females  “can decimate an entire league of women’s hard work and advancements,” as state Rep. Barbara Gleim, a primary bill sponsor, said during a House education committee hearing March 29.

Prior to its passage, Gleim slammed “false characterizations” in media of the bill as anti-trans and attacked Wolf’s “preference for woke ideology at the expense” of women.

In a release praising the vote, she said “inherent physical advantages” biological males have cannot be changed with hormone therapy.”

While CNN cited a 2017 report that found “no direct or consistent research” on any physical advantages, a report published last year in the British Journal of Sports Medicine examined differences in athletic performance that remained between transgender men and women in the Air Force even after years or hormone intervention, NBC News reported.

The researchers retrospectively examined medical records and fitness tests for 29 transgender men and 46 transgender women from 2013 to 2018.

They found trans women did 10 percent more pushups and 6 percent more sit-ups than cisgender counterparts for the first two years after starting hormones.

Those numbers dipped after two years, the researchers said, but 1.5-mile times for trans females at the same juncture were about 12 percent faster, the outlet reported.

At the same education committee hearing this month, state Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) argued the legislation was needed to protect women under Title IX, a federal law passed in the 1970s that banned sex-based discrimination.

Lawmakers cited President Joe Biden’s executive order, issued earlier this year, banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“They (males) have larger hearts and lungs, denser bones, stronger muscles, and generate more force in athletics,” White said. “These are all advantages that cannot be undone.”

White cited the potential for girls and women to miss out on scholarships to trans counterparts and dangerous situations that could arise in games, such as having to tag out trans girls running toward home plate in softball games. She called the potential for such collisions to be “life-changing.”

“Having separate teams for men and women is a time-tested way to ensure that women have an opportunity to showcase their talents and be champions,” White, a former athlete, said at the hearing. “We will not give up this fight. Nobody should be forcing biological females to compete against biological males. It is patently wrong and unfair. We will not permit anyone to chip away at women’s rights.”

Republican legislators cited “thousands” of cases of transgender athletes competing in sports across Pennsylvania, a figure that appears overblown, said Dr. Ron Kennedy, executive director at the Philadelphia Interscholastic Athletic Association’s District 3.

A former athletic director at Donegal High School in Mount Joy, Kennedy interviewed about a dozen trans athletes as part of his doctoral studies at Drexel University.

The bill, he said, targets a marginalized group of people whose suicides rates are already “off the charts.”

“Having a blanket policy, I don’t think, is the right thing to do,” he told Delaware Valley Journal in a recent interview. “You don’t become transgender because you want to win the 100-meter dash.”

“Who is it really gonna affect? I think that’s that the easy way out,” Kennedy said. “They’re making a policy based on the Lia Thomas [situation].”

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Philadelphia Named No. 5 for Large City Sports Fans’ Enthusiasm

It’s no secret that Philadelphia sports fans are a passionate lot, whether they’re filling Lincoln Financial Field on a Sunday afternoon, spending summer evenings at Citizen’s Bank Park, or arguing with a radio host.

But just how passionate are they compared to fans elsewhere? took on the difficult task of attempting to answer that by listing and ranking 392 American cities, large and small, according to their interest in and passion for college and professional sports.

There was far more to the endeavor than judging the passion of the fan base. Sports is a lucrative industry that is seemingly growing more lucrative with each passing day. Despite the pandemic that curtailed numerous sporting events in 2020, estimated the American sports industry will be worth $83.1 billion by 2023 from revenue generated by ticket and merchandise sales, sponsorship fees,  such as naming rights for stadiums, bowl games, etc. and of course broadcast  and cable TV broadcast rights

If that prediction is realized it would be an increase of better than 8.5 percent from 2018, despite the fact that the industry more or less ground to a halt during the pandemic.

But dollars alone do not a great sports market make. Some 50 variables were taken into account that measured fan interest in five major sports: Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer.

The five sports were weighted based on the percentage of sports fans nationwide who follow a particular sport with football having the largest following (the other four followed in the order they are listed above).

Each city was given a total score and then ranked, overall and then within one of three classifications, based on population. Additionally, cities were also ranked according to their supposed interest in a particular sport.

So, how did Philadelphia measure up against the rest of the nation?

Overall, it ranked fifth behind Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and somewhat surprisingly, Pittsburgh. The statistic that was most eye-catching, however, was the city’s ranking of 15th in football. It should be noted that the 14 markets listed ahead of it all are home to NFL teams, including New York and Los Angeles which have two each.

In addition, almost all of the top 14 are in close proximity to successful major college programs with enthusiastic regional followings while Temple, the only Bowl Subdivision (major college) program close to Philadelphia, is largely ignored by sports fans in the region, even when it is having success on the field, which is rare. In addition, Philadelphia was marked down because the listed seating capacity at Lincoln Financial Field, at 69, 596, is just the 14th highest in the National Football League,and because of the price of Eagles tickets.

As far as the other four sports are concerned, Philadelphia was listed fourth in basketball (there are six NCAA Division I schools in the area), behind Los Angeles, Boston, and Salt Lake City, 12th in baseball (New York, Los Angeles, and St. Louis were 1-3 in that sport), 14th in hockey, and 20th in soccer.

There are doubtless legions of sports fans in this part of the planet who would be willing to question some of those findings.

So, what makes a first-rate sports city? Dr. Wendy Dees is a professor of sports administration at the University of Miami. She says there is more to being a great sports town than having winning teams, something to which Philadelphia fans would attest.

“Winning is great,” she said, “but die-hard fans are at the heart of any good sports city. When people passionately support the hometown team(s) through the ups and downs of competition, that feeling reverberates throughout the city and the sport. A strong sports culture is also important. If sports are not valued and supported in a particular region, local games and sporting events feel like any other date on the calendar.”

Dees says she believes sports franchises tend to take on the personalities of the cities they call home.

“That happens for many reasons,” she said. “Teams often draft players that ‘fit’ their culture. Other players adapt to the culture over time. Lastly, branding plays a huge part, in that the team is marketed to the fans as having similar traits or characteristics as the host city. For example, labeling a franchise as ‘America’s Team’ or having a ‘blue-collar mentality’.”


Best Large Sports Cities
1. Boston, MA
2. Los Angeles, CA
3. New York, NY
4. Pittsburgh, PA
5. Philadelphia, PA





Best Midsize Sports Cities

1. Buffalo, NY
2. Green Bay, WI
3. Salt Lake City, UT
4. Orlando, FL


Best Small Sports Cities

1. Clemson, SC
2. West Point, NY
3. Fayette, MS
4. East Lansing, MI
5. Tuscaloosa, AL


For this ranking, large cities were those with a population of over 300,000. Medium cities were those with a poplation of 100,00-300,000. Small cities were those with a population of less than 100,000.

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