Baseball League Follow Up
For whatever reason, my post about Andrew’s Little League baseball game rules seemed to have hit a nerve. Orbusmax picked it up. Sytman and Boze of KTTH mentioned it on air. It was posted on Hannity.com.
So for those who were wondering… the age range is 6-8. Most of the kids seem to be in 1st grade. Now I started playing baseball when I was no older than 8. We did not have tee ball or coach pitch or any of that stuff. 6 inning games, 3 outs per side, 3 strikes, 4 balls, all the rules applied. One of the only exceptions was a 6 run limit per inning.
The first day of practice, the coach asked how many of the kids had played before. Most of the hands went up. I knew that might not be the case though when a number of those same kids needed to be told which hand the mitt goes on. Somewhere along the line I was roped into helping coach. It has been fun watching the improvement and it has been substantial. But the reality is some of these kids are really, really bad and will never ever be anything other than really bad. I am not sure what the point is in encouraging a kid who simply lacks the basic skills to play the game.
My non insane brother in law emailed me the other day saying his 4 year old was starting tee ball this week. Now I can see these rules applied to 4 and 5 year olds, maybe even 6 year olds but once you start reaching 7 and above, some of them seem a little much. Letting all the kids bat, OK, fine. Coach pitch, sure I have to be at work the next morning. Having them hit off of a tee? Not so much. If anything isn’t that going to make the kid stand out as the loser kid who had to hit the ball off of the tee? Not counting outs? The chance that the team in the field is going to successfully catch a pop fly or throw the runner out at first, 3 times in an inning… Einstein could not calculate those odds. Why not reward the team that can accomplish that?
This last fall I was an assistant coach for Andrew’s 7 and under coed soccer team. Now since I know almost nothing about soccer, my official responsibility was to remind the kids which goal was ours. One game day, I got to the field and our head coach, Dan, walks up to me before the game and with a big smile on his face and says “The other team looks really small”. Sure enough, our mostly 6 and 7 year olds were obviously older than the other team. Now just like in baseball, nobody officially keeps score in U7 soccer except for all of the kids and the Dads, Mom’s, maybe not. About 2 minutes into the game, we had a sizable lead and you could tell our kids were pulling back and passing the ball around when they could have walked right in for another score. After the “game” I asked Coach Dan what he thought the final score was. We both agreed that it was 40 something to maybe 4. Two weeks later we are playing a team that must have missed the coed description of the league and I later learned had been together the previous 2 years. We ended up losing a close game right at the end. Later that day I was getting my haircut. The lady that cuts my hair is very nice, does a quality job but is typical Seattle liberal. I was telling her about the two games and she said I am sure the kids appreciated the more competitive game a lot more. I explained to her no, it was clear that they all seemed to enjoy winning and scoring lots and lots of goals substantially more. It reminded me of an old saying, “While you may learn more from losing, I do not want to be the smartest person in the world”.
First game is Thursday evening. I will make sure to post the unofficial score.