Marc Wites Prevails in Lawsuit to Allow 9-Year Old Boys to Play in Youth Football League

When several players on the Delray Rocks 80 lb football were told they could not play, the boys’ families turned to Wites & Kapetan for help. The firm accepted the case, and represented the players for free.

The City of Delray Beach, Florida, has several youth football teams that participate in the South Florida Youth Football League (SFYFL), and through the City such Teams are members of the SFYFL. The Delray Rocks 80 lb Team is a member of the League and, according to SFYFL By-Laws, it may be comprised of players that are ages 8 and 9, provided only that they do not turn 10 during the season. Max Brodsky, Arthur Guerra, Thomas Moustakis, Tyrese Worthy, Deondra Smith, Sam Steinhardt, Anthony Williams, Dwayne Randolph, and Travon Trice, all of whom are or will turn 9 during the football season, and all of whom weigh 80 lbs or less (the vast majority weigh less then 70 lbs), relied on this By-Law in registering for the Team.

The Team began practicing on July 1, 2008, and practiced 5 days per week. In early July, 2008, the Team’s Head Coach, Jason Brodsky, was informed by the SFYFL that the league has an “unwritten rule” that mandates that all 9-year olds play on the 90 lb team, regardless of weight and without exception, and that the Football Players would not be allowed to play.

According the families, the League was refusing to abide by the plain language of the By-Laws. Marc Wites explained that the Football Players were properly registered and qualified to play on the Team, as they were the correct age and weight. And, the Football Players reasonably relied on the SFYFL By-Laws in choosing to register for the Team, in choosing to not register or play for any other youth football team. Moreover, for virtually all of these players, moving up to the 90 lb team would not be a reasonable or safe option, as they weigh too little in comparison to the typical 90lb team player.

Delray Rocks Head Coach Jason Brodsky and Marc Wites, on behalf of the Football Players, asked that the SFYFL honor its By-Laws and allow the Football Players to play. The SFYFL refused this request, and maintained that the Football Players could not play. After many weeks of attempting to reach a resolution with the League without resorting to litigation, there was no choice but to file a lawsuit, as the League refused to change its position. Soon after filing the suit and an emergency motion seeking injunctive relief that asked the Court to order the League to allow the boys to play, the League relented and allowed the boys to play on the Team.

Wites & Kapetan was honored to represent the players and their families, and applauds the SFYFL for making the right decision and allowing the boys to play ball this season.