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Author Topic: Absurdity of the week...  (Read 1552 times)
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Blackadar
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« on: August 26, 2008, 05:07:44 AM »

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/26395346/

To summarize, 9 year old pitches very well and very fast in a baseball league.  Hasn't hit anyone and isn't wild, but is close to un-hittable.  League tells team he can't pitch anymore.  When he tries, the other team forfeits and the league disbands the team. 

Good gawd.  I hope they shut that league down.
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gellar
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2008, 05:29:36 PM »

I saw this on ESPN.com as well.  I have mixed reactions.  On the one hand, it's absolutely insane that they ban a kid from pitching, particularly if the other accusations (League Politics) in the article are true.  That's crazy.

On the other, I totally respect them asking the kid to pitch in a league with better players.  That is the right call to make.

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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2008, 05:32:02 PM »

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:29:36 PM

On the other, I totally respect them asking the kid to pitch in a league with better players.  That is the right call to make.
Yep.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2008, 05:36:57 PM »

I agree with offering to raise the kid's level of play, but forcing the issue is out of bounds.  Unless they can show a reasonable level of evidence to support why he should not be allowed to play from a danger standpoint, the league is out of line.  This thing will probably be in court until he's in HS.
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Toe
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2008, 05:38:48 PM »

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 05:32:02 PM

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:29:36 PM

On the other, I totally respect them asking the kid to pitch in a league with better players.  That is the right call to make.
Yep.

I disagree. The kid wants to play ball with his friends and his friends want to play ball with him. (which really seems to be the underlying reason why they are booting him out, because the kid did not want to leave his friends and go the "good" team, so the "good" team started pulling strings to get him ousted). Asking him to move to a different league is pretty lame imho.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 05:41:20 PM by Toe » Logged
Hiccup
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2008, 05:39:42 PM »

Back when I played little league, my friends and I always played in different leagues based on skill level.  Akin to a badge of honor if you were a 12 year old playing with 13-14 year olds.

Seems now every parent wants to take advantage of their kids talents and abilites by knowingly putting them in a league where they will dominate, rather than a league where they are challenged and can learn.

Both sides share in what this came to.
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2008, 05:39:54 PM »

It's apparently not too much fun for any of the teams he plays against; and at 9 years old that should be the primary goal - fun.
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gellar
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2008, 05:44:08 PM »

Quote from: Toe on August 26, 2008, 05:38:48 PM

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 05:32:02 PM

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:29:36 PM

On the other, I totally respect them asking the kid to pitch in a league with better players.  That is the right call to make.
Yep.

I disagree. The kid wants to play ball with his friends and his friends want to play ball with him. (which really seems to be the underlying reason why they are booting him out, because the kid did not want to leave his friends and go the "good" team, so the "good" team started pulling strings to get him ousted). Asking him to move to a different league is pretty lame imho.

Not quite.  They are willing to let him stay with his friends, so long as he doesn't pitch.  That's a reasonably fair compromise.

Note: there is certainly a part of me who hates the idea of punishing those who excel, but excelling against clearly inferior competition is kind of pointless anyway.

gellar
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Toe
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2008, 05:48:55 PM »

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 05:39:54 PM

It's apparently not too much fun for any of the teams he plays against; and at 9 years old that should be the primary goal - fun.

There is pretty much ALWAYS a team that dominates the others in little league and they win every game. Should they slack off to allow other teams to win (i.e. have fun)?. At some point you have to gradute from no-score t-ball to winner-and-losers.

A good coach would ramp up batting practice so the kids would be better able (i.e. not scared) to stand there and hit the faster pitches.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2008, 05:50:06 PM »

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:44:08 PM

Quote from: Toe on August 26, 2008, 05:38:48 PM

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 05:32:02 PM

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:29:36 PM

On the other, I totally respect them asking the kid to pitch in a league with better players.  That is the right call to make.
Yep.

I disagree. The kid wants to play ball with his friends and his friends want to play ball with him. (which really seems to be the underlying reason why they are booting him out, because the kid did not want to leave his friends and go the "good" team, so the "good" team started pulling strings to get him ousted). Asking him to move to a different league is pretty lame imho.

Not quite.  They are willing to let him stay with his friends, so long as he doesn't pitch.  That's a reasonably fair compromise.

Note: there is certainly a part of me who hates the idea of punishing those who excel, but excelling against clearly inferior competition is kind of pointless anyway.

gellar

Tell that to Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh.  

Quote
Before the start of the 2008 Olympics, they were riding a win streak of 101 matches and 18 tournaments that began in June 2007.

Quote
Thursday’s win was the 14th-straight Olympic beach volleyball victory for May-Treanor and Walsh as the Americans posted the identical record in winning the Athens 2004 Olympic Games by not losing a set.
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Toe
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2008, 05:54:14 PM »

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:44:08 PM

Quote from: Toe on August 26, 2008, 05:38:48 PM

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 05:32:02 PM

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:29:36 PM

On the other, I totally respect them asking the kid to pitch in a league with better players.  That is the right call to make.
Yep.

I disagree. The kid wants to play ball with his friends and his friends want to play ball with him. (which really seems to be the underlying reason why they are booting him out, because the kid did not want to leave his friends and go the "good" team, so the "good" team started pulling strings to get him ousted). Asking him to move to a different league is pretty lame imho.

Not quite.  They are willing to let him stay with his friends, so long as he doesn't pitch.  That's a reasonably fair compromise.

Note: there is certainly a part of me who hates the idea of punishing those who excel, but excelling against clearly inferior competition is kind of pointless anyway.

gellar

They are asking them to basically throw games. That is not reasonable imho and goes against the basic princples of sports competition. And I do not think its pointless anyway. It shows kids that there is always going to be someone better than you as well as gives them the opportunity to show good sportsmenship in the face of a lost cause. i.e. it builds character. Its not like these kids are going to lose every game for the rest of their lives. Most will still win games against other opponents, some of which will be clearly inferior competition.
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gellar
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2008, 05:55:55 PM »

Quote from: Toe on August 26, 2008, 05:48:55 PM

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 05:39:54 PM

It's apparently not too much fun for any of the teams he plays against; and at 9 years old that should be the primary goal - fun.

There is pretty much ALWAYS a team that dominates the others in little league and they win every game. Should they slack off to allow other teams to win (i.e. have fun)?. At some point you have to gradute from no-score t-ball to winner-and-losers.

A good coach would ramp up batting practice so the kids would be better able (i.e. not scared) to stand there and hit the faster pitches.

You have to understand that children develop at different paces.  If he can throw faster than other 9 year olds can hit, it's not necessarily that the kids aren't coached well, it's more likely that their physical skills and eye hand coordination aren't up to par yet.  Clearly the kid is way further than the other kids.

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 26, 2008, 05:50:06 PM

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:44:08 PM

Quote from: Toe on August 26, 2008, 05:38:48 PM

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 05:32:02 PM

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:29:36 PM

On the other, I totally respect them asking the kid to pitch in a league with better players.  That is the right call to make.
Yep.

I disagree. The kid wants to play ball with his friends and his friends want to play ball with him. (which really seems to be the underlying reason why they are booting him out, because the kid did not want to leave his friends and go the "good" team, so the "good" team started pulling strings to get him ousted). Asking him to move to a different league is pretty lame imho.

Not quite.  They are willing to let him stay with his friends, so long as he doesn't pitch.  That's a reasonably fair compromise.

Note: there is certainly a part of me who hates the idea of punishing those who excel, but excelling against clearly inferior competition is kind of pointless anyway.

gellar

Tell that to Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh.  

Quote
Before the start of the 2008 Olympics, they were riding a win streak of 101 matches and 18 tournaments that began in June 2007.

Quote
Thursday’s win was the 14th-straight Olympic beach volleyball victory for May-Treanor and Walsh as the Americans posted the identical record in winning the Athens 2004 Olympic Games by not losing a set.

There's a difference between 25+ year old pro athletes and 9 year old kids in a recreation league.  If you can't understand that...

gellar
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2008, 06:00:36 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 26, 2008, 05:50:06 PM


Tell that to Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh.  

Quote
Before the start of the 2008 Olympics, they were riding a win streak of 101 matches and 18 tournaments that began in June 2007.

Quote
Thursday’s win was the 14th-straight Olympic beach volleyball victory for May-Treanor and Walsh as the Americans posted the identical record in winning the Athens 2004 Olympic Games by not losing a set.

Or the US Womens Softball team.

Quote
That's when the American women went undefeated and outscored opponents 51 runs to one.

That performance, it's said, is one of the reasons why the committee voted in secret the next year to drop softball.
Via NPR
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2008, 06:02:54 PM »

gellar, you didn't elaborate on that in your post.  I took you at what you wrote, not what you meant, as I try to avoid applying interpretation to what someone writes.  I usually screw that up.

Not having to face somone that is markedly better than you places the other kids at a disadvantage.  You learn more from failure than you do by winning.  The pitcher staying in the league is apt to suffer more from the lack of any need to improve more than the kids are going to suffer by trying to improve their hitting against a superior opponent.
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gellar
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2008, 06:04:10 PM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 26, 2008, 06:02:54 PM

gellar, you didn't elaborate on that in your post.  I took you at what you wrote, not what you meant, as I try to avoid applying interpretation to what someone writes.  I usually screw that up.

Not having to face somone that is markedly better than you places the other kids at a disadvantage.  You learn more from failure than you do by winning.  The pitcher staying in the league is apt to suffer more from the lack of any need to improve more than the kids are going to suffer by trying to improve their hitting against a superior opponent.

I agree at a certain point, yes.  I'm not so sure that point is with nine year olds, however.

gellar
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2008, 06:04:58 PM »

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:55:55 PM

Quote from: Toe on August 26, 2008, 05:48:55 PM

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 05:39:54 PM

It's apparently not too much fun for any of the teams he plays against; and at 9 years old that should be the primary goal - fun.

There is pretty much ALWAYS a team that dominates the others in little league and they win every game. Should they slack off to allow other teams to win (i.e. have fun)?. At some point you have to gradute from no-score t-ball to winner-and-losers.

A good coach would ramp up batting practice so the kids would be better able (i.e. not scared) to stand there and hit the faster pitches.

You have to understand that children develop at different paces.  If he can throw faster than other 9 year olds can hit, it's not necessarily that the kids aren't coached well, it's more likely that their physical skills and eye hand coordination aren't up to par yet.  Clearly the kid is way further than the other kids.

Quote from: Isgrimnur on August 26, 2008, 05:50:06 PM

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:44:08 PM

Quote from: Toe on August 26, 2008, 05:38:48 PM

Quote from: Laner on August 26, 2008, 05:32:02 PM

Quote from: gellar on August 26, 2008, 05:29:36 PM

On the other, I totally respect them asking the kid to pitch in a league with better players.  That is the right call to make.
Yep.

I disagree. The kid wants to play ball with his friends and his friends want to play ball with him. (which really seems to be the underlying reason why they are booting him out, because the kid did not want to leave his friends and go the "good" team, so the "good" team started pulling strings to get him ousted). Asking him to move to a different league is pretty lame imho.

Not quite.  They are willing to let him stay with his friends, so long as he doesn't pitch.  That's a reasonably fair compromise.

Note: there is certainly a part of me who hates the idea of punishing those who excel, but excelling against clearly inferior competition is kind of pointless anyway.

gellar

Tell that to Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh.  

Quote
Before the start of the 2008 Olympics, they were riding a win streak of 101 matches and 18 tournaments that began in June 2007.

Quote
Thursday’s win was the 14th-straight Olympic beach volleyball victory for May-Treanor and Walsh as the Americans posted the identical record in winning the Athens 2004 Olympic Games by not losing a set.

There's a difference between 25+ year old pro athletes and 9 year old kids in a recreation league.  If you can't understand that...

gellar

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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2008, 06:26:27 PM »

The kid throws too hard.  I say pack up the equipment and go home.

It will teach those kids a good lesson.
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Blackadar
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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2008, 06:41:40 PM »

I think asking him to step into a position that he's not as good at and/or asking him to leave the league isn't the answer, Gellar.  It's certainly not a fair solution.  

Your first solutions is for him not to pitch.  That's a horrible example - punish the good players?  How good is "too good"?  Did they ask the team that won last year to start throwing games?  Should every team be only allowed to win 50% of their games?  Hell, why keep score at all?  Why even play the game then?  What do you tell that kid when his team his held scoreless by an opposing pitcher that can hit 34 MPH on the gun?  How is that fair?

It's a sports league and regardless of age, there are going to be winners and losers.  There are going to be better players and bad players.  I could see not having him pitch if he was wild.  But he's not...he's just good.  Well, part of getting better involves losing.  I've played on soccer teams that didn't score a goal all year and I've played on ones that didn't lose all year.  Both experiences were valuable.  If you're a good coach, you can ensure your team has fun regardless of whether they were victorious.

Also, who's to say that all the competition is "inferior"?  Has he pitched a no-hitter every game?  It certainly doesn't say that.  It just sounds like sour grapes that their team is winning.  What kind of coach has his team forfeit because the other team has a star pitcher on the mound?  What kind of lesson is that???  

Your other solution is for him to move up.  Depending on a number of factors, I'm not sure I'd have my kid move up.  He's a 9 year old in an 8-10 league.  Not only does he not get to play with his friends for at least two seasons, he'd be playing against at least 12 year olds.  The size differential between an average 9 year old and an average 12 year old is substantial and there are 12 year olds that can pitch far, far faster than 40 MPH.  Pitch speeds at that age can reach 60 MPH or higher with a good fireballer.  So while you think it's fair that he can't throw 40 at kids his own age, it's ok for him to face a fastball that's 50% faster?  At age 9, the average boy weighs just over 60 lbs.  At 12, the average boy weighs almost 90 lbs.  So it's ok to ask him to face kids that could be 50% bigger too?  Hell no.

I could see asking the coach to observe an informal "mercy rule" to take him off the mound in a game that's turning into a rout.  But anything beyond that is just plain stupid...or there are ulterior motives at work here (as I suspect).

---------

Just as a side story, I coached 6-8 kids soccer last year.  I got the dregs of the league - the last team, the misfits, the ones too small or uncoordinated that no one wanted.  Incidentally, I got a lot of poorer kids in a not-so-poor league.  I also happened to get this group a week before the season started, when all the other teams had been practicing for a month already.  We also got the worst practice time slot and field because we were the last team in the league.  Our one good player immediately transferred to one of the "good" teams as his Mom wanted to ensure he didn't play with our bunch of misfits.  We had three 8 year olds.  Out of 17 kids (3 more than any other team, so we had to rotate more), we had a grand total of 4 that had played the game before.  We had your obligatory fat kid (he topped 150lbs at age Cool.  We had a number of kids that were tiny, including 2 that didn't even meet the minimum age.  Poor Gavin probably weighed 35 lbs and wasn't much taller than my knee.

We didn't stand a chance.  But you know what?  We had FUN.  In fact, we had a lot more fun than most of the teams.  We rotated positions.  If you wanted to play a spot, you just asked me and I'd get you in that spot.  We played hard.  We ran our asses off.  We celebrated the small stuff and didn't worry about the score.  We played mini-games in practice just so we could get the experience of winning.  When we were getting stomped and the game no longer in doubt, a quick word to the opposing coach let them know to ease up a bit.  When we finally tied a team in a real game, you'd have thought we won the Championship.  That's what coaching youth sports is all about.  I can't imaging forfeiting a game because the other team/player was "too good".
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gellar
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2008, 06:54:02 PM »

Well, these aren't my solutions.  Those were the solutions from the article.  In general, there are no winners here.  Every outcome is bad, but mostly because of the way everyone handled it.  The league demanded things, the kids parents demanded things, the coach demanded things.  That's the wrong lesson for these kids.  There could have been some level of compromise reached if everyone wasn't such a dick about it.

I played just about every youth sport imaginable from the age of 8-14.  I can say that at the age of 8, I didn't understand much about the winning, losing, and competitiveness of things.  I do recall that during my 'true' Little League years (ones where you go to the LLWS and such), we had a kid in the league who could throw 70+ mph at 12 years old.  I was one of five batters in the league who got a hit off of him that season and even my hit was a fluke double that went down the first baseline.  I understood and accepted how that went down at 12.  I don't think I would have at 9.

gellar
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« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2008, 07:01:19 PM »

Quote from: Hiccup on August 26, 2008, 05:39:42 PM

Back when I played little league, my friends and I always played in different leagues based on skill level.  Akin to a badge of honor if you were a 12 year old playing with 13-14 year olds.

Seems now every parent wants to take advantage of their kids talents and abilites by knowingly putting them in a league where they will dominate, rather than a league where they are challenged and can learn.

Both sides share in what this came to.

Having played Little League myself for several years, that's how we felt (and I hope, by "we" I don't mean just me and another guy): playing with older kids was an accomplishment, a recognition that you were a good player. It's true though that when I changed teams, I missed my friends a bit. But it wasn't like being traded to an out-of-state team. We all practiced on the same field anyway. In effect, I was simply moved from the junior varsity to varsity.

I'm not sure either side's position was without merit, though again, being moved up isn't an unheard of practice if you really outclassed those in your age group. And the counterargument that the size difference really matters is persuasive. In my case, I was tall and strong for my age so it didn't matter much other than to take me from being above average to average. It's not an easy call though.
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« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2008, 07:10:19 PM »

If the eligibility for the league is solely based upon age then the kid should be allowed to compete.  It's really that simple.
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