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Originally posted by KellerDad:
So, most underclassmen get hazed to some respect, whether it's carrying the Seniors bat bags or being the ones that have to rake the field at the end of the game.

So, what is acceptable hazing and what in your mind is unacceptable?

acceptable "hazing" is an oxymoron. Good natured kidding is ok beyond the cops.
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What you describe is not hazing, it's intiation or paying your dues.

Hazing involves physical (or I guess mental) punishment such as paddling or making someone drink too much etc.

to persecute or torture somebody in a subordinate position, for example, a fraternity pledge or a first-year military academy cadet.

Play every game as if it were your last
KellerDad ...

As apparently most so far agree ... hazing is illegal and not appropriate in any venue.

However, what you describe ... carrying bat bags and raking the field ... doesn't seem to be a form of hazing. At our son's school, the TRUE freshmen players have responsibilities that "differ" from the other players. They carry the TEAM bags (not individual player bags), straighten up the locker room, etc. And everybody is responsible for some field maintenance ... my son, for instance, has the job of standing at the edge of the mound and watching to ensure that the raking and watering and pounding are done in accordance with the coaches' expectations. And of course, this task is most appropriately done with his hands in his pockets (jacket pockets or back pockets on pants ... makes no difference).

There is also a "kangaroo court" of sorts ($$ goes to team party at end of season) where players are "fined" for doing some of the dumber things (like allowing their girlfriend to leave the outgoing message on their voice mail, letting a ball get away from the bullpen during a game). Seems the freshmen contribute most to this party fund, but "kangaroo court" is held for ALL players at all levels. And they have a blast deciding who to fine and what actions to fine.



Go Highlanders ! ! ! !
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I know my original was very mild, and might not be considered "hazing"

But, looking for ideas what you think is crossing the line?

Know a major leaguer who was forced to walk to his plane in a thong and a bra, through the airport.

Know a HS kid that was recently made to suck on a pacifier while he was in the dugout.

I know college athletes that are branded, literally.

I was forced to push a penny across the locker room floor with my nose, before it was mopped Ughhh.

So, just for the sake of discussion, what is acceptable to you.
Grunt work. The jobs which have to be done but no one wants to do. Shagging balls, raking the field, carrying the equipment bags,cleaning out the dugout.

Anything which involves the humiliation and degradation of an individual. Anything which involves bodily harm or endangerment.

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby, Hall of Famer

Icy Hot in the jock is acceptable in my book. Why are we so PC all of a sudden. I think any little stuff like that that is done good naturedly is fine. My son's football team had all the new guy shave their heads. Hazing, kept in good tatse, just bonds the team closer together. Cutting a kids laces in his spikes, etc. That stuff is OK when not taken to extremes. Get the kid once individually and the group of new guys as a whole to initiate them into the "brotherhood".

When it becomes unaccaptable is when a couple guys get messed with repeatedly all year or alcohol, etc. becomes involved.
I think this is where the coach has to step up and make the limits known to the older players loud and clear.

If the Coach has worked to recruit a good bunch of players he sure as heck doesn't want them physically hurt or abusing alcohol.

Good natured kidding is fine, but that is where it stops.

I know of a player who was told he would be shaved in parts that normally don't get shaved and had to get drunk. He replied you can shave whatever but absolutly I will not drink alcohol, He stood his ground and everything worked out ok & he was accepted.


"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."

Earl Weaver

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When hazing starts it's never a problem, generally good natured and part of the acceptance process. "I went through it when I came up, why can't I be the one who gets to dish it out now?"

That's the way it starts, carrying bat bags etc.

Then the stories start, and it escalates. Trying to do one better.

Then you get a couple of guys who take it to an extreme and everyone shakes their head, and says "How can this happen here?"

Like most things, it starts small and gets bigger.

Be careful, I went through it and still have scars (red ant bites). It's called "The MOB mentallity", and can get out of hand real quick!
Last year when i was a freshman I was waiting for our team initiation, especially since there were something like 14 freshman on the team. I was actually looking forward to what the upper classmen had in store for us. However, it never came. From early February until mid March, fresham were stuck doing the regular clean up equipment and such, but usually had the help of the upperclassmen. when we got to florida for spring break we were finally initiated. Coach handed each of the freshman a schedule of who did laundry throughout the week. I was actually disappointed, but that has been a tradition for some 20 years here, so that's all that happens.
I totally disagree with hazing, A person wanting to play a sport should not be harassed by upperclassmen. If they are tru leaders they need to help guide the new guys and bond thru leadership. I have played lots of sports and never let anyone pick on me, as i got older i was the one who included the younger kids and demanded the same of my buddys. Its never cool to be a bully. and yes i have issues, I was the fat kid they never respected, and had to work 10 times harder to earn respect. I really don't understand what is great about picking on a kid because they are new and wanting to play a sport. If the coach has the freshman doing the field work or packing equip., that is not hazing. I wouldn't want my son to be part of a TEAM that harasses its freshman or new players.

Confusis say: "Baseball was wrong, Man can not walk with 4 balls"
Verbal, mental, or physical abuse, even mild intimidation, is wrong.

Paying dues by doing a few extra chores is ... paying dues. When my son was the only freshman on varsity, he carried team equipment like bats and helmets, and had to do some extra locker room cleanup once in a while. Coach seemed to be aware of it, but the team captains were the ones who assigned it. That seemed reasonable to him.
I view the carrying of bags, field maintainence etc not unlike those duties that are performed at many jobs at entry-level...low man down.
The "hazing" of any human is morally incorrect and should never, ever be tolerated and should be reported ASASP

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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