Baseball season has started (which has cut into my blogging time) and once again I get to see up close and personal what coaches and parents will do to win. My biggest gripe is the minimum play rules. In Little League, you only have to play a kid for six consecutive outs or one at bat. That’s not a lot and if you’re not one of the better players you’re going to spend your playing time in right field. And the board members wonder why more and more kids drop out each year?
But the interesting part is that most parents aren’t aware of the rules. Usually, they just associate the poor playing experience with a specific coach and drop out without realizing the coach was following the rules. I’ve often suggested that the parents should be informed about the rules at registration time. How many of them would be willing to fork over $95 knowing their children may only go up to bat once a game?
Not suprisingly, no one has rushed out to implement my suggestion. Even though this is supposed to be about kids learning to play baseball and learning to love the sport so that one day they will sign up their kids to play baseball, no one wants to give up the competitive edge of being able to relagate the less developed players to right field. Coaches don’t have to worry about teaching all the kids how to play and can spend more time polishing their own kids’ skills so that they can make the all-stars. As the kids grow older, they justify not playing certain kids in the infield because it would be “dangerous” for them since they aren’t likely to field the ball which is because no one has ever bother to teach them in the first place. So every year, the worst players drop out which makes the players who were slightly better than them the worst players for the next year who will drop out and so on and so on until you go from eight t-ball teams to two juniors teams.
Nonetheless, the coaches and board members would much rather bemoan the lack of “talent” than face the fact that they themselves have created the situation. And year after year, they take the parents money without explaining that just because everyone pays the same amount doesn’t mean the kids get to play the same amount.