SEATTLE -- Two Little League softball teams took the extreme step of going to court Friday in an attempt to force the league to let them play for a spot in this weekend's state tournament. But the commissioner who heard the case ruled against them, saying the court should not interfere in such a matter.
"It's not a way to live your sports lives, by having courts decide what's going on," said King County Court Commissioner Carlos Velategui.
The two all-star teams -- one representing Eastlake/Sammamish, the other from Mercer Island/Bellevue -- would have faced off in the District 9 championship game, but rain delays kept postponing the game. It was finally scheduled for June 29, a date that did not work for either team because several of their players were out of town for another tournament.
After missing the game, the league disqualified both teams from the tournament, prompting them to go to court this week. Parents of the girls did not feel going to court was an excessive decision.
"I asked my daughter, she asked us to fight, so we fought," said Patrick Jones, one player's father.
Attorney Marianne Jones, mother to one of the players, argued that the girls did not violate any rules and should not have been disqualified. The girls told the league in advance that June 29 would not work for them, Jones said.
Several players from both teams attended the hearing, wearing their uniform tops, ready to run to a softball field Friday afternoon and play if the judge ruled in their favor.
"Let these girls determine who the rightful winner is," Jones said.
But the league's attorney argued that once a tournament starts, under league rules, it cannot be interrupted.
"In a court of law, we must follow the law and not emotion," argued Sheryl Willert, the attorney representing the league.
In the end, the commissioner decided this was not a call for him to overrule. But he commended the teams for sticking together.
"It'll be a disappointment, you'll be mad, you'll be frustrated," he told the players. "It's part of life. And you can't solve the problems of life always by coming to court. Sometimes you just have to live with disappointments."
The girls were clearly upset with the ruling because they were hoping for a chance to play in the Little League Softball World Series.
"It was kind of disappointing because we worked really hard to get to the championship and we never got to play," said player Sophia Robinson.
It now appears the third-place team from the district will play in the state tournament, which begins Saturday.