BYU teams have long history of observing Sabbath

The women's rugby club isn't the first BYU team to refuse to play in a national tournament game because it was scheduled on a Sunday.

"Not playing on Sunday has been a part of the athletic program since its inception," said Glen Tuckett, BYU's athletic director from 1976 to 1996. "We haven't practiced or played on Sunday ever. It's a known fact, before we go into a sport or the playoffs."

In 1958 and 1961, BYU's baseball teams qualified for the College World Series but withdrew because of potential Sunday play. The '61 team was undefeated in league play and had a 24-game winning streak.

The NCAA rebuffed the 1958 team's request for a revised schedule. "Your schedule of games has been arranged so that we would be required to play on Sunday," BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson wrote to the NCAA. "This is a violation of Christian principles which motivate us as a Christian institution of higher learning."

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