The story of 12-year-old Elijah Earnheart, a seventh grader from Mesquite, Texas, has made its way into recent headlines. The boy has been practicing with a pee wee football team for the past three weeks, but at a pre-season weigh-in he was told he is too big to participate.
Mesquite Pee Wee Association rules state that any child over 135 pounds is not permitted to play and must instead join the school league. Over six-feet-tall and almost 300 pounds, Earnheart is well-above the weight restriction, but says he does not want to join a school team where players are likely to be much more experienced than he is. Earnheart’s coach and mother plan to protest the decision.
While I feel sad for this 12-year-old boy who only wants to play on a team of his friends, the thought of a child larger than some grown men running full speed at a peer on the smaller side does give me pause.
Do you think there should be size restrictions for children participating in organized sports? Would you feel comfortable if your child played football against someone of this size?