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9-year-old banned for being too good in Little League (??!!)

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  • 9-year-old banned for being too good in Little League (??!!)

    What's your take on this?

    http://www.parentdish.com/2008/08/26/9- ... ll-league/

  • #2
    So it was ok for him to play for the team sponsored by a league administrator, but as soon as he declined that offer he was banned from pitching in the league.

    No rocket science here.
    There are no strings on me

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    • #3
      What is next? Boxers not allowed to hit their opponents too hard?

      If there are actual safety concerns that would not apply to, say, eleven
      year olds, then some justification can be found, but I seriously doubt
      that this is the case. (A valid safety concern would be _undue_ risk of
      e.g. concussions despite protective gear, not merely a bruise.) Even then
      a compromise along the lines of the kid simply holding back for the first
      season would be better---and might actually benefit him by forcing him to
      win by other means than sheer power.

      BTW, Bolt should be banned: His superiority can be psychologically damaging
      and demotivating for the other athletes.

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      • #4
        Having faced this dilemma twice, I can take either side of this argument with absolutely no conviction.

        My son was/is blessed with an extraordinary arm. As a ten year old, pitching "tight bases" against his age group,, he was throwing either a no-hitter or a perfect game every week. Gung-ho coaches at the next level clamored to move him up. Elevated prematurely, the kids still could not hit him but learned to wait him out and hope for a walk. Once on base, they stole him crazy while he was still concentrating on the batter. In retrospect, I would not have let him move up.

        The following year, we moved from Oklahoma to Alberta, Canada. He and another expatriate kid from Midland, Texas, both of whom had played two or three years of "little league", alternated pitching and dominated the league of
        first year Canadian kids. The Canadian mothers from every team in the league drew up a formal petition demanding that the two US boys not be allowed to pitch, citing danger, etc... I felt the batting helmets were adequate protection and this time, I stood firm against the petition. The other dad and the coach backed me and the petition fizzled out.

        They did unintentionally plunk a few kids but no one dug in against them and , fortunately, no bones were broken.

        I have empathy for the worried mothers but ,on balance, I say play em with their age group, at least until teenagers.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think this Jamaican kid named Bolt may be too good to play with the rest of the group.

          Comment


          • #6
            I just just can't wrap my brain around 'he's too good' as a real reason that someone presented and thought someone else would buy. Good luck on the rest of these enablers' lives. :roll:

            I had a parent once tell me that I couldn't give her daughter a B, because her 'self-image' was that of a straight-A student and I couldn't (!) do something to contradict that. Unfortunately I laughed at her, and that got me a visit to the Headmaster for some tact lessons.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Marlow
              I just just can't wrap my brain around 'he's too good' as a real reason that someone presented and thought someone else would buy. Good luck on the rest of these enablers' lives. :roll:

              I had a parent once tell me that I couldn't give her daughter a B, because her 'self-image' was that of a straight-A student and I couldn't (!) do something to contradict that. Unfortunately I laughed at her, and that got me a visit to the Headmaster for some tact lessons.
              Of course: The mother had a self-image that she was intelligent, which you
              contradicted by laughing at her---which you are obviously not allowed to do ;-)

              Comment


              • #8
                The parents that don't want the good kid playing are the same parents that think every kid should get a trophy at the end of the season; the same parents that think kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and sunday school "graduations" are a great idea; the same parents that would rather see games where no one keeps score. It seems that the country is raising a generation of pussies and self-entitled little brats. Shame on us, I say.

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                • #9
                  First of all, this is Little League. The purpose is for the kids to learn the game, have fun, and that sort of thing. If the kid is really that much better, allow him to pitch at the next level. As for safety, it can be an issue, although this young man is sporting a mighty 40mph according to the news. I have personally watched a number of 12 year olds pitch in the 70s, which is damned fast from 45 ft!

                  If they are really concerned, the better solution would have been to set up a portable mound behind the normal one, and let him pitch from a few feet back. This would increase the amount of time his hapless victims had to react, and would allow him to adjust to throwing the longer distance. Since all he is throwing at that age is fast and slow, nothing to lose there.

                  I am not one of those "everybody gets a trophy" folks, but do not forget, this is not school athletics nor is it intended to be. It is recreational for 99% of those who play. No batter is going to learn the game if he has to face a pitcher with unreal speed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My five-year old played is first soccer this summer, 3 on 3. His team was reasonably good due to two players who had some sense of the game. One game they played a team with one kid of similar ability and one kid who was much better. The Really Good kid would score almost at-will. While there are supposed to be six kids that get rotated, this team seemed to always have four (but small sample), so he was in for most of the game. Apparently he was in three leagues, all U-6, and he certainly should have been playing in the next group up or he should have been playing in only a defensive role for half is field time because it made it uninteresting for everyone.

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                    • #11
                      This discussion leads my thoughs to Kurt Vonnegut's ``Harrison
                      Bergeron''. Those of you who have not yet read it might consider doing
                      so. (Because it is a short-story, the easiest way is probably to visit
                      the local library and read it there.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kevin Richardson
                        No batter is going to learn the game if he has to face a pitcher with unreal speed.
                        But they don't usually, and they better learn at this age that sometimes the buzzsaw wins. I am around this 'happenstance' all the time at the U-6 soccer level, where I coach my grandson's team. We have lost 20-1 - all because the other team had ONE unstoppable (i.e. hyper-aggressive) kid. Oh well. The kids did not care one whit. The parents sure did. I just see it as a valuable life lesson. I do wish the other coach had pulled the kid at half and just let him play back, but he kept him in the whole time. I can deal with that. I told my kids 'good job' for scoring the one goal and holding him to 20, They all high-fived me with big smiles!

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                        • #13
                          There are plenty of opportunities to get mowed over in life. My point is that when it comes to learning the skill of hitting (a difficult one, I might add), the present path is to start hitting from a tee, then in small increments, move to more challenging steps. Moving to coach pitch, then moving to child pitch (with the coach coming in to help), finally to child pitch. I do not think we should penalize the prodigious pitcher, but it would be wise not to punish the batters either. Little League (or Dixie Youth, etc.) is first and foremost recreational. The intent is to teach the game and develop skills.

                          My soccer coaching experience was similar, in that I alternated between undefeated seasons and COMPETELY defeated seasons. (The league had three groups divided by ability A to B. We sucked as an A team and we ruled as a C team, but they never seemed to catch on that we were an average B team.)

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                          • #14
                            Okay, now I am really confused. This kid is pitching to 8 and 9 year olds and 40 mph is too fast??? My daughter was throwing harder than that (both baseball and softball) at that age! I stand by my comments on recreational sports, but if this is too hard for those kids, this is as far as they will ever get. It is not uncommon to see 12 year olds hitting 70 mph. I would imagine a 9 year old who could not at least make contact with a 50 mph pitch is in for a short career.

                            Now, it is possible that the speed from the original article was misquoted, as a 40 mph pitch is dropping pretty quickly.............

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                            • #15
                              There is probably more to this than meets the eye...as it involves adults.

                              cman

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