Sports Parents

22 Jun

I hope I’m not one of those sports parents. I love cheering on the girls but never lower myself to poor sportsmanship. I don’t think I do at least. It’s only a game. The girls are 9-10 years old for Pete’s sake.

At Wednesday’s city ball game we were playing another team from our own city. Most of the girls are friends and go to school together. I don’t see it as a major rivalry – just a fun game. My daughter was pitching and really fell apart in the third inning. The nice thing about city ball at her age is that each team can only score five runs per inning. It’s a good rule for learning. Anyway, my daughter walked too many and the girls overthrew the ball and made throwing errors. Six runs scored but only 5 counted because of the aforementioned rule. I keep the book for our team and mentioned to our head coach that the scoreboard was incorrect. The scoreboard reflected the 6 runs instead of five. He ignored it until the last inning when he asked if the scoreboard reflected the correct score. It showed we were tied when actually we were ahead by one. Gianna had been replaced by another pitcher and she was also in a slump and walked too many. When that extra run scored for the other team, the ump called game over. 11-10. I came out of the dugout and said, “actually, the scoreboard is incorrect. It’s now tied.” The other coach came out along with the official score keeper and we talked like the reasonable adults that we are and compared books. The official scorekeeper saw that she erred and gave the other team 6 runs in the third inning and everyone agreed that the score was tied.

Problem? The adult parent fans! One dad screamed at me as I walked back to the dugout. “The official score keeper has the final word! What are you trying to pull?” He’s all red in the face and I’m floored! I calmly say, “The official score keeper agrees. She made a mistake. The score is tied.” That was the worst thing I could have done because that gave him free rein to continue his rant. I just kept walking to the dugout. Really, buddy? These are 9-10 year old girls.

Did it make a difference? Actually it did. The coach put my daughter back in to finish the game and she tagged out two girls at the plate stealing on a passed ball (wild pitch on Gianna’s part) and then struck out the last batter. The game ended tied 10-10. The time limit was reached so instead of losing we tied. So should I have just kept my mouth shut and accepted the loss? I am so rule based that it is tough for me to do that. Was I snotty in pointing out the error to the official score keeper? I hope not. Sometimes when I make a point I’m blunt and authoritative and maybe that rubs people the wrong way. It seemed like the coach and score keeper and I were smiling and talking just fine. Why do you think that parent reacted the way he did? Weird… And over the top!

On the same subject, all stars were just selected. I think four were selected from each of the three city teams. I guess the head coaches are receiving calls from parents complaining that their daughter didn’t make it. Our coach keeps elaborate stats (thanks to my book) and can support his choices with data. I think parents in our area are just too into their kids’ sports. Are they like that everywhere? Am I turning into one go them?

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One Response to “Sports Parents”

  1. craftyland June 22, 2012 at 8:28 PM #

    Nope, that guy was out of line. I went to my 10 year old nephew’s championship little league game last week. The other team crushed his team and the score ended up 15 to 6. The other team parents? Absolutely screaming, crazy, out of control cheering. These little boys were already crushed. Really? Was it necessary to act like that? Sad. 😦

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