Seattle, Wash., Aug 7, 2019 / 16:50 pm
High school tennis players who observe the Sabbath on Saturday have challenged a Washington state athletics association in court, saying its rules wrongly disqualify them from participating in the tennis postseason.
Joelle Chung and her brother Joseph Chung, represented by the religious freedom legal group Becket, are challenging the rules of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, saying it should allow religious accommodations like it grants similar accommodations for other players.
Joelle was undefeated in her 2019 senior season playing for William F. West High School in Chehalis, Washington. She expected to win the qualifying tournaments to advance to the state tournament, which was scheduled for a Saturday. Both siblings are Seventh-Day Adventists who observe the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday through rest and worship, Becket said.
The tournament disqualified Joelle from all participation in the postseason, though her religious conflict with the tournament fell only on the last day.