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Other safe is it for your kids to walk to a local park and stay there unsupervised most of a day.

When is the last time you passed a park where 12 kids were playing a 'get up " game and getting along.

Working mothers and fathers have created less free time to pursue and enjoy little things.

I hate the trend too. I work to reverse it too.
Sorry folks I don't see it the same way! Parents (adults) make youth sports happen. Parents put in hours and hours of long work so kids can play. Parents are passing down a tradition to their children. It is a learning process. From a kid’s point of view they probably would like to do everything to their own way. They would want to eat pop tarts for breakfast, French fries for lunch and pizza for dinner. My son liked to cut the grass. Let me explain…he didn’t really like to cut grass, he liked to ride the mower. When I gave him directions on how it was supposed to be cut he no longer wanted to do it. I taught him the proper way to do it and suddenly he could look back and see his accomplishment. Then he felt good about cutting grass. There is a time to goof off and just be a kid and there is a time to respect the game and play it the way it is supposed to be played. I agree with not keeping score at a young age and allowing all kids the ability to play defense and to bat, but there comes a time when kids need to be taught the correct way to cut the grass and play the sport. The only reason issues of this nature become headlines is because of some isolated instance and media people want to stir the pot and sell papers! I ain’t buying it!

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.
This is from the LL site:

Although leagues may assess a registration fee, used to purchase uniforms and equipment, maintain fields, etc., the fee cannot be a prerequisite for playing. The Little League philosophy does not permit any eligible candidate to be turned away. Emphasizing the spirit of Little League, rules require that every child plays in every game. ll site

I remember when it said a specific amount, i.e $25.00, and most leagues were charging $35-50, but included things like pictures, trophies etc. That said my husband never turned anyone away because they couldn't pay, and the league still made money. The difference is LEADERSHIP and the volunteers it brings. Most leagues MUST pay umpires to have relialble ones, but it is great to have a bunch of moms and dads that will fill in on the field for free.

He would ask each coach to find a sponsor for his team, and rarely was this a problem, thus keeping fees down for everyone and allowing for "scholarships"

I think getting the adults involved, can make a difference. Back when I coached... Yep me! I coached T-ball for a few years and told each parent they were an assistant. Some gasped, but I would say I needed 2 base coaches, 1 scorekeeper, 1 dugout keeper... those little ones can get rowdy!! And a whole bleacher full of smiling cheering assistants for EVERY player. I would also stress there would be bad calls, but alot of our umps were "other assistants" and if they could call, they really should volunteer, but there would be nothing more than a low groan about a bad call. I still see alot of those kids and their parents, and we talk about how much fun it was for the kids and US!!

Our town has about 20% minority population. I know our league was very close or over that % of minorities. I always had 2-3 girls on my team too!
I was addressing the content of the referenced article by Dr. Gerty where he suggest allowing children to manage their own sporting events and for parents (adults) to back off.
But how will our children manage without adults supervising their athletic activities? Quite well, thank you. Studies contrasting spontaneous youth play versus youth sport organized by adults indicate that children, if left to their own devices, will successfully organize, administer, and manage their own games. They will choose sides and mediate disputes. They will set their own rules. In some cases, those rules may change from game to game. But they will be rules that work for the children. Children will handicap the game to make sure it is evenly matched, interesting, and fun. Such organizational, mediating, and interpersonal skills are valuable characteristics that children are not permitted to develop when adults organize and administer their games.

From the topic heading, What's Wrong With Youth Sports Today? The Adults!, I would assume this is the subject.?? I use the simple task of a child mowing grass as an example comparing unsupervised activity vs. supervised activity. There are rewards resulting from supervised activities that go beyond the shallow instant gratification associated with just goofing off. Smile

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.
I was president of our local little league a few years ago. Although I no longer have a child in the program, I went this morning to help with try outs. I had to leave. Just couldn't take what I was watching going on. It was more about parents fighting over who would coach what team, who would get to draft in what order etc., etc.

We have a whole generation of kids that don't get to be kids. Too much is supervised and orchestrated for them by the parents and too much of the time it is all about the parents. I agree that there are times that some supervision helps, but unsupervised time is fast becoming a thing of the past.

The one thing I watch with fascination is as the kid's grow up and reach high school and the parents can't control things any longer and just freak out. I don't know how anyone is a high school coach any longer with the pressure parents try to bring to force the situation to be the way they want it and that includes physical violence, lawsuits and every thing in between to force the coach's hand.

At the bottom line, talent wins out, the kids that can really play move on and all the manipulation that parents try to impose ends up for naught.

There is no question that there are some well meaning people, without whom the youth sport leagues could not exist, but boy are they getting to be outnumbered.
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There is a L.L. in our area that does not charge anything to anyone. They make there money doing BINGO and other activities. They provide every player with all they will need includeing their own glove. They even take each and every player on a summer field trip to an amusement park. It's an inner-city field that maybe ten years ago had to build an extra field because of the number of kids who played. Now the extra field is over grown and unused and the number of kids playing is steadily dropping. The fields are within sight of the mearby projects and can be seen from them. One would think that the kids there seeing the activity at the field would naturally become curious and want to play but that isn't the case. More and more kids aren't showing up to play. Nor do we see them playing pick up games in the summer on their own as used to be the case all over the city.
It just seems that this notion of parents taking charge and as some say messing things up is getting more prevelant. How did this happen? We hear the term daddyball and politics being bantered about. Is it just something that has evolved and is just a part of youth ball and we just have to live with it? Or is there sonething or somebody with ideas out there that can change things because from what I read and hear things perceived or real are not going to change anytime oon.
Of course playing select ball eliminates your immediate problem with league ball politics.
But I once talked to a gentleman who helped run a league down near New Orleans in the St. Bernard area who told me a little about how they handled league politics.

One key thing he told me that I believe would greatly benefit league ball is a "rule" they used. The rule is this:

"No parent could coach in an age group that their kid played in".

I have recently heard this rule being implemented in another place as well.

This rule would go a long way in helping in those leagues where the parents are on the board and run the show because they ARE the problem.

You will hear them say over and over "this league is for all the kids", "we play the best players"..etc, etc..."

Truth of the matter, it's all about "THEIR KIDS"

Knowledge is Power! Thank you Mavens and HSBBWEB!
Well if you ask almost any kid who quits playing it would be because they arent having fun. The bottom line is you cant make a kid have FUN. Sure the leagues need to promote an environment of fun and I beleive the majority of them do.Playing time should be abundant for everyone. But fun is a state of mind, and if your not very skilled and dont play well it wont be a lot of fun. The probelm with rec league sports is this. You usually have about 3 to 4 decent ball players per team, the rest of the players is made up of average rec league players. The players who are the top 3 and 4 recieve a lot of praise and critisism. They usually are the leaders. The rest, in my opinion are very passive and followers. The problem is Junior is mostly ok with this role but from my experience, moms and dads dont do so well with it. They feel that junior taking on his role as a player is a sign that the coach is hurting the kids self esteeem making him play left field or outfield. Well somebody's got to play outfield. So because junior palyed left field or right feild moms or mostly dads belly ached in front of the kid all the way home after the game about how bad hes being treated. That Billy Bob sucs and cost us the game at 2nd, Junior shoulda been there. Kids get stressed out over it. They get pulled between 2 authority figures, Parents and coaches. Its not enough that they have to deal with playing but with the emotional part as well. And lets face it humiliating yourself 2 nights a week in front of the local little league crowd can hurt your self esteem too and make u wanna quit. So, I say if the kids wanna quit theres a reason and It may not be a problem with the coaches or parents. Sometimes the kids are scared to death of the ball and use the excuse that its not fun to me to keep from being teased. So, I know this is rambling but kids quiting youth sports is to complex to label it. So stop it.

Get a good pitch to hit!!!!

Select or travel ball is nothing more than a team that plays outside the local league. They're not bound by any local league politics or rules.

Believe it or not I've actually seen guys who sat on the board of the local league that had a team in both the local league and a select team from that local league. Disastrous to the local league. I've seen games getting cancelled in the local league because the select team was off playing a tournament.

If your kid(s) trysout and makes a select team you do not need to be in rec ball any longer. Usually the coaches of the select teams will have kids that are above average players (but not always, you need to check the coach's and their kids credentials).

Knowledge is Power! Thank you Mavens and HSBBWEB!
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"No parent could coach in an age group that their kid played in".

Sounds great, but unfortunately there wouldn't be enough coaches for all of the teams. We already have too few coaches for the number of kids that play rec ball. While I have stated my distaste for the large rosters, etc. in rec ball in the past, there is not much that can be done about dads coaching. There simply are not enough coaches with an interest in coaching rec ball without having a "direct" interest in the team. IMO.

I hear what your are saying and that was the standard response from the "board members" for our local league. Let's face it, the daddy's want control of their son's fate in baseball.

My recommendation for any league who wants to eliminate "daddy ball" in their local league is this: Phase the new system in an age group where you can do it. It is a start and you can build on it. After all, the truth of the matter is that rec ball is not going to "make or break" your sons baseball abilities.

Why should rec ball suffer at the expense of controlling dads?

Rec ball should be about values and fun as so stated by the policies of the charters they play under.

Knowledge is Power! Thank you Mavens and HSBBWEB!
There is, but it's not at the expense of "many" kids who are playing rec ball for fun and other reasons. You must be careful about which team you tryout for. Check out the Coach's credentials for example, is the coach a former college or high school player? You can quickly determine if this is a "daddy ball" select team.

Knowledge is Power! Thank you Mavens and HSBBWEB!
True, the keyword is volunteer. Some of the larger leagues raise so much money that they could easily hire young men to be coaches. After all they hire umps. I believe there are many young and older persons that would make great rec coaches when it is about values and fun without the parental pressures of today.

Knowledge is Power! Thank you Mavens and HSBBWEB!
At 15 son played on a "select" team...tried out ...made the dad's ...had great experience.

The following January while attending a meeting...and listening very carefully it was evident that something had 2 dad's were going to coach the team..they had son's on the team...SS and a Pitcher...

Red flag.

Spent a few casual minutes speaking to the 2 new coaches after the meeting..saying hello and all...seems that if they didn't get enough players for the 2nd team..that there would only be one team...too many players if that happened.

Another red flag. At least for us in our pursuit.

We had another option that had come our way, which turned out great..doing our homework was key.

(now, I know all dad's aren't bad...just saying for us....that we were paying too much $$ for a dad to be coaching at this point)
Interesting sidelight

Got a call yesterday from my sons "select" team coach--this goes back ten years when they were together--just to say hello and talk baseball, what kids were where etc

It can happen that you find a team without a dad coaching--- but then the coach get called on the carpet for trying to make money!!!

Vicious cycle is it not !!!

PS--I am trying to convince him to coach in our program--ex HS and college coach experience

I think in most cases "Adults", mean well and try their best to get it right. I agree that politics and other issues, have just about ruined it for kids. I think the numbers for kids are down simply because the game is difficult, and when there is limited success, then rather than work harder to get better, in today's society of instant gratification, kids quit. It is the most difficult task in sports to hit a round object with another round object coming at you very fast. One other way, I think could potentially help would be to have volunteers who don't have a child in the program, when a league coach or president or other volunteer has a child in the program, then it turns ugly with politics. Anyway, it is a great game, keep score at every level and don't worry about damaging someone's self-esteem because they lost a baseball game at the age of 8. Sometimes, they learn more from losing than winning. Just my opinion.
What's this all about? Paying Umpires in Little League? When I was Umpire in Chief of our Little League (the one sanctioned by Congress) there was a rule the the league could not pay for fields (Maintenance fees are diff.)or Umpires!


Politics - A parents feeling that for some reason (real or perceived) thier player is being treated unfairly by someone in authority.

Playing time - Is my player a "starter".

Fair - A perception that things are "as they should be".

Unfair - The exact opposite of the above.

Select Team - A reason to make yourself feel special about your son. You're elite, above average, love the game more, get better instruction, more games or better competion. This will exclude your player from his peers. The ones that don't play for a "select" team will feel jelous of the one who does (perception: I'm as good as he is! I could make that team too). This can cause the above to happen!


The fact that young people do not feel included, could be a reason for the decline of the game. They need to be included in the outcome of the contest, all aspects of it. By playing with their "buddies" they feel included. Remember the active word is "PLAY".

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Dadchs 24

Some kids stop playing because of the elite syndrome and the politics. I saw a kid with a shirt that said t ball allstar. The kid was 6. In many cases the in house leagues rush the season so they can pick 14 kids to play in the tournament. who picks how are they picked. So say you have 10 teams with 12 kids. What about those other kids. In some cases if they are not part of that "in group" early on they may stop playing. Why bother. Just a thought

No one should ever give up on anything because they think the "system" is bad. Not everyone succeeds to the same level in life for all things. As parents, we must teach our kids that not everyone drives a lexus.

Do you want everyone to stop playing baseball because we have to be sensitive to those who don't go as far as others in the sport?

Knowledge is Power! Thank you Mavens and HSBBWEB!
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Chick Dig

You are right nobody should give up because the system may be bad. But that is easier said than done. I am not saying be sensitive but in the cases where the system hurts kids then it should be addressed. I come from this by experience. Thankfully things have worked out well for my son. He is now playing in college. There were things that happened in youth ball that quite frankly were not right. I would if I could attend his games and certain things occurred that quite frankly were wrong.Certain kids got special treatment. when it was time to select the tournament teams etc there was the daddyball and politics but to me that was no surprise but try telling that to an 11 or 12 year old kid who ate and slept baseball. Tough. You know I got the old it is not fair. and there were things that were not. I learned a lot from my father in things such as this so I told him he was right it was not fair. He had to deal with it.Not me. Was he a good player . Yes did he deserve better. I thought so but it was not up to me. As they say it was not my call. to make a long story short it was a blessing as it was a driving force for him.
There were things that happened in youth ball that quite frankly were not right. I would if I could attend his games and certain things occurred that quite frankly were wrong.Certain kids got special treatment. when it was time to select the tournament teams etc there was the daddyball and politics but to me that was no surprise but try telling that to an 11 or 12 year old kid who ate and slept baseball.

You are absolutely correct in what you say.
As I stated before
One key thing he told me that I believe would greatly benefit league ball is a "rule" they used. The rule is this:

"No parent could coach in an age group that their kid played in".

It is very hard to make things square for all kids when the LL coaches who generally run the league have an agenda. These coaches are not all bad and most have good intensions.

That's why I believe you phase in this rule one age group at a time. It is an alternative to what is widespread now but I would not say it is a perfect system either.

Knowledge is Power! Thank you Mavens and HSBBWEB!

In our area, rec league drops way down when you get to the 13's. There was only 2 teams and we play against other leagues teams, as well as the other team from our league. We only lost 1 game (1-0) in the regular season - it was against a team that had the best pitcher in our area on the mound. Other than that every game was pretty much a blow out. I'm not bragging, it was a disappointment - our kids got nothing out of it (except an inflated opinion of themselves that they paid for in the regionals). It's going to be the same this year (the league wants it that way not us) and we plan to schedule as few games in rec ball as we can and play as many AAU games as we can schedule. We would schedule none at all, but the league is our AAU sponsor.

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