Laird walked back to the top of the runway, gained her composure, then took off again. This time everything was in sync. She planted the pole, lifted herself into the air and soared easily over the bar to give her team a 66-61 victory. While half the crowd cheered and the other half groaned, Monrovia coach Mike Knowles reacted by pointing to his wrist and gesturing toward Laird, who was wearing a thin, colorful string bracelet.
"This is my 30th year coaching track," Knowles said a few days later. "I know a lot of rules and regulations."
The rule in this case -- Section 3, Article 3 of the National Federation of State High School Associations -- is clear: "Jewelry shall not be worn by contestants." So is the penalty, and in the time it takes to read "the competitor is disqualified from the event," South Pasadena's win was transformed into a 65-62 victory for Monrovia.
From the American Heritage Dictionary:
jew·el·ry audio (jl-r) KEY
Ornaments, such as bracelets, necklaces, or rings, made of precious metals set with gems or imitation gems.
Main Entry: jew·el·ry
Pronunciation: \ˈjü-əl-rē, ˈjül-rē, ˈju̇l-; ÷ˈjü-lə-rē\
Date: 14th century
: jewels; especially : objects of precious metal often set with gems and worn for personal adornment
Seems like the coach for South Pasadena might have an argument on his behalf that the band of cloth worn on the wrist of his athlete, previously described by the opposing coach from Monrovia as "jewelry," is not in fact jewelry, and his athlete should be reinstated, and his team should be awarded the Championship.
ohh - and the coach from Monrovia should go take a flying leap at a rolling doughnut.