A board hangs in Carl Albert baseball coach Wayne Dozier's office, marking the countdown to the games limit set by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.
“There's always some ways to misinterpret the way they've got some of the tournament stuff written, so it's very confusing and you have to stay on top of the situation,” Dozier said.
The rule — which allows teams 22 games and three tournaments during the season — came into the spotlight this week when Wright City was found in violation of the rule and the OSSAA ruled the Lumberjax would have to forfeit their Class A state tournament opening-round game to Sterling.
School officials went to court in McCurtain County, where a judge granted the team a temporary restraining order Wednesday. Two days later, the judge again ruled in Wright City's favor.
Friday, OSSAA officials suspended the state tournament and announced their intention to appeal the decision with the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday.
OSSAA Executive Director Ed Sheakley made the decision after consulting with board members and staff.
“We disagreed with the judge's ruling and made the decision that appealing was the best way to go forward,” Sheakley said.
How quickly the case moves forward — and how quickly the state tournament can resume — remains in question.
“I don't actually know a lot about the appeals process now,” Wright City superintendent David Hawkins said. “I don't actually know what takes place, so I don't know what to expect.”
This will be the fourth time in the last decade that the OSSAA has taken a case to the Oklahoma Supreme Court after lower courts decided against the organization.
Twice, the court has ruled for the OSSAA. In the other case, the team affected was knocked out of the playoffs before the court heard the case.
The most well-known came in 2005, when Shawnee's Tucker Brown was given a two-game suspension that would've taken him out of the Class 5A football semifinals and possibly the finals if the Wolves had advanced.
That battle went for about three weeks before the court ruled in favor of the OSSAA. That ruling came nearly 10 days after the state Supreme Court initially agreed to hear the case.
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