Posted by: thedianestory | May 18, 2010

Little League – What are we teaching our children?

My mom attended my nephew’s little league game on Saturday morning. His team was winning by quite a few points. I believe the score was something like 14 to 8. The other teams coach was getting aggravated and being a very poor sport with a very bad attitude. Apparently the rules in little league is that five innings must be completed before a game can be called. So the coach did just that.

As soon as five innings were completed, he called the game. He said there was no need to finish the game. So my question is, what are teaching our children? I was astonished when my mom came home and told me this. This coach is teaching these kids that if they are not winning a game, they should just quit. That is teaching poor sportsmanship. Going deeper, it can teach these children that if they are not good at something it is okay just to give up. What happened to practice makes perfect?

Not only did the coach call the game as soon as he could, but before he could call the game he was getting mad at my nephew’s team for playing well. The other team had overthrown the base, so my nephew ran and stole home. Isn’t that how the game is played? The point is to get all the runs you can. Why would you choose not to run when you have the opportunity, just because the other team is losing and you are already ahead?

What do you, my readers think about this? I’d love to hear some input from mom’s, dad’s, aunties and uncles out there with children involved in sports.

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Responses

  1. Keith Whitburn commented on your link:

    “Having coached little league hardball ( boys ) and softball ( girls ) for a combined 15 years plus I am not completly surprised to read this story! It is however and continues to be very bothersome to me. There are factors which contrbute to this in a big way, first being that most of our local little leagues are parent ran! Which means most of the coaches ie parents have no clue what they are doing! Second little league is a launching ground for parent advocating for there children, with little regard to fairness to most other kids on the team, and last but not least the governing bodies ie westside, eastside, central ect. All have dumb down the competitve nature of the game so that everybody is somewhat on a equal playing feild, that is until all-star selections then you would think the selected few and there running mates were paid professionals.”

    • Keith, thanks so much for taking the time to input. I am so glad you agree with me. It drives me nuts to see this happening. I think you should come to a game and go off on these coaches for me! lol

  2. Hi Diane,

    You don’t really give a lot of details as to why they quit but if this is Truly Little League Baseball some things don’t add up. First, you must play 4 innings, not 5. Second, you have to be up by 10 runs and then the team trailing must concede victory if the local league chooses this option. Most do.

    Little League has strict pitch counts to protect kids arms. If we sit out there and let a team score 30 runs, we will have to pitch more pitches than allowed and won’t have any pitchers available for the next game.

    I respect your position, and again, not commenting on this specific situation, but from Little League’s perspective, it is about safety and the protection of the arms.

    If the team was up by more than 10 runs it would be very poor etiquite to steal home. That would be considered “running up the score” and while not at the little league level, at older levels will certainly get one of your batters a ball in the ribs.

    Again, don’t have enough details here, but wanted to present the other side of the story. As far as the bad behavior on the field, unacceptable under any circumstance. Take your beating like a man and teach your players the same. Move on. Humility is a great lesson to learn in sports.

    • So Rick you do bring up some valid points , there is in fact a 10 run rule but in all my years I’ve never seen a team lay down and accept defeat whether there down 10 runs or 20, and I’ve never concided a game because of the score ! What in the world would that be teaching our youth? You said it yourself take your beating like a man and teach your players the same! Humility is part of the game and a great lesson! Secondly there is no such thing as governed pitch counts by leagues, there is innings per week that a pitcher can pitch and a per game limit yes , but a pitch count??? That’s a new one on me ! Third if you have a player on third base and the ball is overthrown to said base I think the runner has a obligation to go home, otherwise they would be jeopordizing the integredy of the game! As for your beanball analogy for running up the score in a 14-8 baseball game give me a break most little league teams can score 5-8 runs in a given inning. No offense my freind but you kinda talk in circles

      • Thank you Keith. Being that you are a local, I appreciate your input and value what you have to say. I appreciate you taking the time to be a part of my life and giving me your input. Thanks so much! Hope you have a great day.

  3. Everything depends on the league, or Association rules. Seeing as how we are more of a soccer I can tell you they have rules like this in tournaments especially.

    • Well I know Keith nows what he is talking about, so I am taking his word for this topic.

  4. […] out by the picture that a softball connected with my windshield!  As I mentioned in a previous post , my nephew plays little league. Because of my illness I had not attended many games this season. […]


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