Favoritism in Little League

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Van Alstyne Parents

Denton, TX

#1 Jun 9, 2009
This year, our 8 year old son was the catcher on a 7/8 year old, recreational baseball team. His abilities and strengths are recognized by parents and assistant coaches on his team, parents and coaches of other teams in that age group, and former coaches.
The team was winning few games, he played his best for his team. We told him that hard work pays off and that, he would be recognized for his efforts and talent.
League policy requires that as All Star selection approaches, the coaches are to submit their strongest players ACCORDING TO THEIR STATS. We found out that our son’s coach was to submit 4 names and, in his own words “put who I wanted to on there.” We asked him to validate his choices. He refused to. His only response was,“I did what I did and what’s done is done.”
The baseball commissioner explained that there is an unspoken expectation coaches adhere to policy and providing an unbiased listing of their strongest players.
While we understand that our son’s coach has put everyone in an uncomfortable position, it is incumbent upon the board to investigate and make every possible attempt to rectify the situation. At the time we learned of this, there was no formal list so we asked the baseball commissioner to have the coach substantiate his choices. If he could show that our son had not earned a position on the team, then we would be satisfied, but if the statistics showed that favoritism had played a part, there was still time to rectify it.
The commissioner asked us if we expected him to call a child who has already been told that he has made the team and tell him that he’s not on it after all.(Keep in mind, no child is officially on the team at this point.) We asked him if he expected us to tell our child that he wasn’t on the team even though he deserved to be, because his statistics were disregarded by his coach. He had no answer. He reminded us that part of his job is to look out for the kids. We reminded him that OUR child is one of the very children he should fight for him even if it might be unpleasant.
VASA board members are responsible for upholding the policies of the league and it behooves them to change their procedure for assembling the All Star teams. Perhaps the coaches should list each and every player on their team, ranking them according to their statistics. They should be required to bring their statistics books to the meeting so that discrepancies can be addressed immediately, instead of waiting until it’s too late.
If the current policy of allowing coaches to list only the players they want to remains unchanged, then undoubtedly the practice of submitting favorites will persist and Van Alstyne will continue to send All Favorites teams to tournaments, rather than All Stars teams.
It is with a truly heavy heart that we submit this, but we believe that coaching is a privilege not to be taken for granted. We believe that coaches are among the strongest influences on a young person's moral and ethical development. We believe that coaches must treat everyone equitably and sensitively. We believe that the relationship between coach and performer relies heavily on mutual trust and respect. We believe that the highest calling of a coach is to teach and model the character traits of honesty, integrity, respect, fairness, and personal responsibility. It is our solemn belief that 99% of the coaches and parents, who so generously give their time, money, heart and soul to these wonderful children, hold and adhere to the same values.
In our 8 years of experience with VASA, we are proud to say that we have not had a bad experience until this year. This coach’s outright show of favoritism is intolerable and is a disservice not only to our son, but to the kids unjustly chosen, to the league, to the All Star team and coaches (because they were not provided with the best players), to the parents and to the community.
It is time for dishonorable coaches to be called on the carpet and not swept under it.
Jeff

Miamisburg, OH

#2 Jun 15, 2009
Unfortunately, 99% of coaches in my experience are not "fair" in their selection of playing time, position play and especially All-Star team selection. In 5 years of baseball, I have yet to meet a coach who didn't favor his own child more than the others.

Good luck in your league. I hope your note does some good. Your story sounds similar to so many others I have heard of, and sadly, I think the "good old boy network" is hard at work here and many other places.
bluegoose

United States

#3 Mar 16, 2010
I feel your frustration about unfair and unjustice in little league. My son has been on the same team for two years. Last year was his first in the pitching league. He only has two chances on the mound. the first he did great the second he only got to pitch to 3 batters before he was pulled. He wasnt pitching aweful but not great either.
This year he is pitching as good as the pitching coaches son who has been taking lessons for years.
Yesterday he threw 17 strikes out of 20 throws. He might have made the other 3 as strikes but the coach had him pitching 15' further than normal.(he had all the prospetive pitchers pitch this distance)
Anyway, as usual at the end of practice the head coach said that the pitching coach's son is the one he could depend on to throw strikes and the rest would have to really keep practicing and they would get a CHANCE to pitch. I just dont understand how good do they want a kid to be? I mean he is pitching as good as the "dependable" kid. Yet he is not "dependable"? I give up. I guess this year we will have to deal with it. And next year request not to be on this team. As bad as we hate to do that, looks like that is the only way our son will get time on the mound.
Did I mention that the coaches kid and ours are the only two lefty's in the league?
Sincerely,
Hopeless I guess
Bob

Birmingham, AL

#4 Mar 17, 2010
As I tell unhappy parents all the time, volunteer your time as a coach if you don't like what your current coach is doing. Many people like to complain, but few will dedicate the amount of time it takes to be a successful coach. Get out of the stands and on to the field and then your complaints will be taken more seriously.
LL DA

Springfield, IL

#5 Mar 17, 2010
Quit referring to all youth baseball leagues as "Little League". Little League does not have All-Stars for 8 year olds. I do agree that in ALL youth baseball leagues, too many coaches play favortism.
William

Watervliet, NY

#6 Mar 25, 2010
http://www.littleleague.org/learn/about/divis...
LL DA wrote:
Quit referring to all youth baseball leagues as "Little League". Little League does not have All-Stars for 8 year olds. I do agree that in ALL youth baseball leagues, too many coaches play favortism.
steve w

Saratoga Springs, NY

#7 Mar 25, 2010
I've been an umpire for 17 years, and i see happenings like this all the time. I've seen kids who were far better than their counterpart that was chosen,but his parents weren't coaches or working the concession. Then it hit home. My son who by far was the best pitcher in his whole LL. Didn't lose a game all year.Com e All star time who pitched the first game? You guessed it the coach's kid. Then when it was 10-0 in the 2nd inning they broght my boy in to stop the bleeding. By then it was already to late. you don't need a degree to coach. They are volunteers,and truly act like it. I'm not saying all LL coaches are touch holes. I'm just saying favoritism runs rampid among youth sports.....get used to it
CRM

Petersburg, IL

#8 Mar 26, 2010
William wrote:
http://www.littleleague.org/le arn/about/divisions/baseball/m lbb.htm
<quoted text>
Your point of this link was what? 8yr olds can play in the minors during the regular season, but, all stars are age specific (9-10, 10-11, 11-12, etc.). LL does not offer all stars for under 9.
My Experience

Cockeysville, MD

#10 Apr 2, 2010
LL DA wrote:
Quit referring to all youth baseball leagues as "Little League". Little League does not have All-Stars for 8 year olds. I do agree that in ALL youth baseball leagues, too many coaches play favortism.
We are doing it on the East Coast LL, we even have a local tournament for our 7-8 year old Little Leauge players. What I cant speak for is the rest of the country.
Coach T

Atlanta, GA

#11 Apr 8, 2010
We call that "DADDY BALL"
Sandy Creek

United States

#12 Jun 5, 2010
Maybe coaches shouldn't be allowed to coach their own kids. Wouldn't that solve a lot of problems?
Bob johnson

Laguna Beach, CA

#13 Jun 13, 2010
Allstars does not mean the best players.
seenitall

Mendham, NJ

#14 Jun 13, 2010
Volunteer as a coach and a manager. Chosen as coach. The same managers are chosen year after year and vote same kids in year after year. I dedicate same amount of time as a manager if not more during practices and would be happy to be a manager but they're not interested in new ones. Only managers go to selection meeting and can vote.
real problems

New York, NY

#15 Jun 16, 2010
here is a league where favoritism is the least of their problems:
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/west-islip-ny...
West Islip Coach

Southampton, NY

#16 Jun 17, 2010
real problems wrote:
here is a league where favoritism is the least of their problems:
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/west-islip-ny...
You're right. West Islip Little League not only has favoritism but it has cheating, stealing, fighting, abusive behavior, schedule scams, and doesn't allow kids to play full schedules. AND THAT IS JUST THE BOARD!!! Problems in this league run deep as you can read in that forum!
WHAT A SHAME

New Haven, CT

#17 Jun 18, 2010
real problems wrote:
here is a league where favoritism is the least of their problems:
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/west-islip-ny...
It is SO SAD to see these little leagues run by low life dictators. They think it is their money and that is why they have no problem putting it in their OWN pockets!
fan0861

Trenton, NJ

#18 Jun 29, 2010
CRM wrote:
<quoted text>
Your point of this link was what? 8yr olds can play in the minors during the regular season, but, all stars are age specific (9-10, 10-11, 11-12, etc.). LL does not offer all stars for under 9.
While LL doesn't offer an official International tournament for under 9, but many districts run their own "All Star" tournaments for 9 and under teams
Baseball Mom

Ballston Spa, NY

#19 Jul 6, 2010
My son has played baseball for 8 years.Baseball is a culture to our family. He's made All Stars on 3 occasions. Last time, this week he quit. Their team was winning 13-0 (mercy), and he was the only kid not allowed to hit once. The coach did not put him in once, we don't know why. My son ended his Major's career treated like that. He handed his All star coach his vest(with 2 games left). Matter of pride. He's a good player. Coach's kid not taken out of the game once. All stars should be called "Daddy baseball and daddy's favorites" Pride is more important than baseball anyday. There will be more games, more teams, with any luck. Bad coaches do not define my kid or anyone elses. Have pride always. Support your kid always. There's always another game somewhere to play. It's only a game. Teach your kid to hold his head up whatever his/her decisions.

In regural play, one game, a coach paid his son $20 to hit my son with the baseball so my son would not get a homerun. What does that teach his kid? Taught my kid that jealousy can make people do silly things.
Lisa

Beaumont, TX

#20 Jul 9, 2010
Bob johnson wrote:
Allstars does not mean the best players.
But it should "mean" the Best Players...
All stars yeah right

Northport, AL

#21 Jul 30, 2010
Yes, I see that I'm not the only one that is really turned off by the "Daddy Ball" leagues. Both of my boys have been playing little league for several years and I have tried to help coach with both of their teams. However, when it comes to All stars or "Supper Daddy ball", if your not the coach, you can forget about your son getting any infield position or pitching. I hate it for the children. There are some good kids that never get to play the game due to this selfish behavior from adults. It's "marketing my son" work at its best. It will never change unless we can get coaches to coach ball just for the enjoyment. If a coach is only coaching for his son, then its always going to be "daddy ball."

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