Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Little League Bullies

I realize I've been quiet, and haven't posted since May 25, despite the Angels having some fantastic wins.  My mind has been occupied lately with Little League, and the unfortunate drama involving parent politics that sometimes always goes with it.  Our League is no exception, and it seems our League is the winner of "King of all Pre-All Star Drama" in our District.  I been quiet because I'm just not sure what to say if anything about it.

This year's All Star vote reeked of collusion, kids being threatened with violence if they voted for any one player from one particular team and good ole' boy parent politics.  I hate it.  It sickens me that 10, 11 and 12 year old kids lose out on the chance to play All Stars because of something so immature.  It's corrupt.  It's wrong.  It's bullying.  Someday, I'm going to write a book about all the drama that goes on in Little League.  Not now though, and not while I'm a League and District volunteer. 

At this point, I've deleted most of what I wanted to say and have been trying to say.  In a way, not speaking up means the bullies have won.  However, in the long run, Kharma will win out.  As a reminder as we enter this Little League post season, let's read the Little League Pledge:

"I trust in God
I love my Country
and I will respect its laws
I will play fair, and
strive to win
but win or lose
I will always do my best."
Simple, yet the words have such meaning.  And as I referred to in a recent post, "strive to win" is something embraced by Little League, and hopefully only in the upper age divisions, and not in the developmental divisions.  Few people know that there is also a "Little League Parent/Volunteer Pledge".  Our league chooses to have a parent from each team read it before the beginning of the All Star game.  It reads;

"I will teach all children to play fair and do their best.
I will positively support all managers, coaches and players.
I will respect the decisions of the umpires.
I will praise a good effort despite the outcome of the game."
In case you were wondering, our son did not make All Stars this year.  He was disappointed, but we were not all that surprised.  Our league has a lot of talented 11 year olds.  Was does upset me is that I think some of the reason he wasn't selected by the coaches is in direct relation to who his Father, a manager, and his Grandfather, our League's District Administrator for Little League.  Knowing that a coach would ignore a talented player simply to avoid the parents is sad.  That didn't just happen to my son, but to two other extreamly talented players who were on the team that won the State Championship last year; and who's parents voiced opinions to the Manager (the same manager this year) about their playing time. 

In my opinion, a coach has lost all credibility when he tries to manipulate a vote, a team roster or parents to meet his needs and expectations.  As opposed to working with the best talent as voted by the players.  Again, Kharma will eventually win out.

So our Little League season as come to an end, and next year will be my son's last at age 12.  It goes so quickly.  I am enjoying the Angels winning and home run hitting of late.  At least there is some good baseball to watch for a change.

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