Thursday February 26th, 2015

Francis Lewis High School's girls' basketball team defeated Brooklyn Collegiate by a final score of 117-8 on Tuesday in a city playoff game, sparking a discussion within New York City's Public School Athletic League about a potential mercy rule, according to a report from The New York Times.

The Times reports that Lewis, which entered the game with a 13-3 record, had already beaten its opponent by 85 points earlier this season. As of now, neither school is complaining about the blow-out result, and neither Lewis nor its coach, Stephen Tsai, will be penalized for running up the score. Tsai spoke to The Times by phone on Wednesday. 

"We’re not trying to embarrass anybody out there," he added. "At the same time, we’re trying to keep the integrity of the game."

According to officials, a rule change could be in the works to prevent similar situations in the future.

​But a spokesman for the Education Department, Jason Fink, said that the game’s score did not reflect the type of experience the city tried to foster in the Public Schools Athletic League, and that the department was looking at introducing a mercy rule across all sports. (There are currently mercy rules in baseball and softball.)

Francis Lewis, located in Queens, has an enrollment of more 4,000 students, while Collegiate houses just 347. Both play in the city's top division, where every team automatically makes the playoffs by rule, regardless of record. Brooklyn Collegiate entered the game with a 1-14 mark on the year.

In 2012, a game in Indiana with a 107-2 final also sparked discussion of a lack of a mercy rule. 

– Jeremy Woo

 

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