A high school volleyball player in Japan was beaten by his coach and teammates after violating what had been dubbed as an “internal rule”: NO DATING.
To be specific, volleyball players at Ashikaga High School in Tochigi Prefecture — a top team in Japan — are not allowed to date anyone else involved in the volleyball program, which includes equipment managers who are often females.
Somehow, a 17-year-old player in his second year of high school started dating a first-year equipment manager. Little is known about their relationship, only that it must have ended as soon as they were discovered.
When news reached the team’s 66-year-old coach, he confronted the boy about his “violation” and delivered “corporal punishment.”
On June 29, the coach reportedly forced the boy to kneel on the floor, kicked him in the chest and struck his back repeatedly, according to the Sankei Shimbun.
And as if the poor athlete did not have enough yet, his teammates also assaulted him multiple times, both in his dormitory and the school gymnasium.
News of the boy’s plight came to light in a press announcement from the school principal, Shigekazu Matsushita, on Nov. 30.
According to Matsushita, the coach will not be traveling with the team to compete at the national tournament in January. However, he will continue working until his contract — which will no longer be renewed — expires in the spring.
The coach reportedly expressed regret over his actions.
If it’s any consolation, both the boy and the coach had already left the team, hopefully realizing how irrational rules serve literally nothing.
This isn’t the first time Ashikaga’s volleyball team made headlines. In a different incident in 2008, two third-year volleyball players were expelled after months of attacking underclassmen on the team — allegedly punching them and pouring hot water on one student’s face — because they played “poorly” and “had bad attitudes”.