I have an 8 year old who played in an 8/9 year old league last year. At times, he was incredibly overmatched by the 9 year olds, and even a few 8 year olds who were much further ahead physically. There was one boy, my son’s age, nearly a foot taller and probably 20 lbs heavier. The kid could also really play. He hit great, pitched well. And kids knew he’d probably strike out most players. And never once did anyone even comprehend mandating that this boy couldn’t play. In fact, he stuck one in my son’s ribs. It happens. It never entered my head that this boy shouldn’t be allowed to play. I only thought that my son needs to flinch/duck faster!
That the New Haven league in question above would bring in an attorney to this situation is just pathetic and goes to show how parents suck. Just let the kids play. If a kid, in any sport, any gender, can excel, let them excel so long as it’s done within the rules of the league. All leagues at these ages have pitch counts and limits. As long as this boy, Jericho Scott, was pitched within the limits of the league, he should have been able to play.
I completely understand that the point of these leagues is to develop kids, let them have fun, learn the game, etc. But at some point, they have to learn to face adversity and deal with failure. That’s as much as part of the development as the physical part of the game. Yeah, they will all get participation trophies at season’s end because that’s how soft we’ve become that we need to over-coddle our kids. My son struck out more often than he made contact, but he still had a good year. He knew he was going to have a tough time with the older kids, but it was a learning experience and he found out some things about himself along the way. And he still thinks he’s going to be a major leaguer.
“Facing that kind of speed is frightening for beginning players“, [League attorney Peter] Noble said.
Boo-freakin’-hoo. Let the kid pitch. Let the other kids try to hit him and if not, tip their caps, shake hands at the end of the game and then go out for ice-cream. Overly intrusive parents and league attorneys can keep their mouths shut. Let them play. Learning to deal with adversity is also a skill that is learned, just like hitting and pitching and catching.