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Getting Ejected vs. Sticking Up for the Kids

The Sporting Dad argues with some coaches who don't mind getting tossed from a game.

After barging into an online discussion and then not being able to pull away, I found myself in the very center of a long and intense exchange of opinions.

I've decided on using a few of the quotes for discussion here, but the full discussion can be found on the attached pdf. The posts on this link are numbered to easily identify the points if you’d like to discuss any of them in the comments section.

As is my policy, I will not use names or locations. I have also removed any referrals to specific children as well as all identifying content. You will have to trust that I’ve taken good care in preserving the integrity of the conversation.

At issue here is whether there are leagues where the tension between coaches and umpires/referees is taking away from keeping the focus on the kids.

Another topic is if a youth coach needs to “fight” for his players during a game in order for them to “believe” in him.

Person #1

Got ejected today! I'm protecting my kids, when did umps become so (darn) sensitive?? It's nothing like when I played? (DARN!!!)

Person # 2

That’s because (it’s) not one of our dads (umpiring).

Person # 3

Lol. You love getting thrown out of games. Last time I saw you at (X’s) softball game you got thrown out (of) there too!! Hahahaha

Person # 4

Everyone is getting soft.

Person # 5

When u played, (it) wasn't like it is now — (too) competitive and u being a chump!!??

Ron Goralski 

Zero tolerance from youth coaches.

Person # 6

Love this. First of the young season?? I am good for (an ejection) every year. Always stick up for your players. Problem is, at that level you get the bottom of the barrel of umpires. Or young, snot-nosed punks with something to prove and the lack of integrity for the game or respect for its past.

Ron Goralski 

Seriously?

Person # 1

I'm always defending my guys. Period! But this was ridiculous!

Ron Goralski 

Yeah, but getting thrown out of youth games. C'mon man. That's just wrong (on) so many levels. So many other options. Booooo!

Person # 1 ‎

8th (grade) and freshmen are not youth sports, Ron. It's the changing of the guard. When (we) teach the guys the game of baseball. If you are referring to little league then I'll agree. If not, I feel bad that you were never TRULY taught the GAME!

Ron Goralski

You should be suspended for that! It is still youth sports. Terrible example to set. Even HS coaches need to keep their cool and control themselves. You are wrong, sir.

Person # 1

And high school coaches are ejected every day! I AM suspended for one game! And again, being a fan IS NOT (the same as) knowing the GAME OF BASEBALL!

Ron Goralski 

Glad you were taught how to be confrontational. Knowing the game has nothing to do with being tossed and suspended. NOTHING. You've done nothing to teach the kids that couldn't have waited until after the game. You don't need to act like Billy Martin to teach your teenagers the game, Coach.

Person # 7

How about a change in direction — my daughter dances, when competing there are judges, I would expect her coach/instructor to stand up for her and the dance team if they were unfairly judged. Same is true for musicians, science fairs, academic contests and any arena children are competing against each other.

Ron Goralski

Now you're just playing with me, right? So wait ... you are going to argue with the science teacher if you think your child should have gotten a ribbon — but didn't?

Can I ask how old your daughter is?

Person # 7

(Under 10). She plays (baseball) and takes (dance). What I'm saying is this is bigger than sports. It's about life. Wherever there is a competition with kids and coaches/instructors/teachers/mentors I would expect them to stand up for our kids if they feel they were done wrong.

Ron Goralski

Competition is fine. Competition is healthy. But we are clearly too obsessed with results at the youth level. Even into the teen years.

That’s all we have room for here folks. As you can see from the discussion on the attached pdf, Person # 1 is a thoughtful and caring coach who is obviously extremely knowledgeable about the game and cares deeply for his ballplayers.

My intent is not to question the motives or abilities of any of these volunteer coaches. There are issues that go way beyond one person’s behavior and has more to do with the structure, the tradition (for better or for worse), and the foundation that many youth organizations are standing upon.

Person # 1, while taking a proverbial shovel to the head as a result of my irritating digs, helps to unearth that which hides from those of us who crave the answers.

Now it’s a matter of deciding if it’s a hole worth filling.

Ron Goralski May 04, 2012 at 01:27 PM
FROM THE RJG INBOX: Ron, I applaud you and your comments regarding this exchange. Is this what youth or high school sports has come to. What do you win in the end. I'm an avid high school sports fan and my son played at college. In the end, 99.9% of these kids will stop playing sports after high school. I wonder if this guy has an issue with his boss at work he argues like he does with umpires and gets fired? Is that what we want to teach our children? If so, there will be many job openngs in the future! Ron you so get it and have great morals and values. Thank you.
Ron Goralski May 04, 2012 at 02:09 PM
HERE IS MORE OF THE CONVERSATION AS PROMISED ABOVE. I HOPE YOU CAN ACCESS IT FROM THIS LINK... http://rongoralski.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/the-rest-of-the-discussion-3/
Ron Goralski May 04, 2012 at 05:41 PM
You can read more comments at: http://westhartford.patch.com/articles/getting-ejected-vs-sticking-up-for-the-kids
Mario Saccoccio May 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Mr. Cassidy is right on target. Rules in youth sports are often different than pro sports in that the rules are modified to protect the kids from injury. Students are to be taught sportsmanship by the coaches and that is enforced by the officials and the Schools. Sportsmanship starts with the coaches. If a coach is disrespectful to an official, then the players and the "fans" will try to insult the officials as well. The rules regarding High School Baseball have gone about a change in that any coach or player that harasses an official beyond the field of play can be suspended or removed from the team. Judgment calls by an official are just that. In the officials judgement, a player is either safe or out, a pitch is a strike or a ball and a batted ball is either fair of foul. Right or wrong, that's the call. If a call applies to the rules, say interference, then the head coach can ask for the ruling, so long as he asks for time and then asks in an appropriate manner. Either way, the players forget about the game 20 seconds after the game. Coaches and "fans" should learn to do the same. There is an architectural feature built into every set of viewing stands at all youth sports games. No matter where you sit, you are never more than 5' from an expert. Just enjoy the game and cheer for your kids!
Admiral Nelson May 20, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Arguing with the umpires on any level rarely accomplishes anything anyway, so in that sense, its pointless. Its fun to watch, but from a kids standpoint its setting a terrible example that when something doesn't go your way to just yell and scream about it instead of trying to get a hit next time up or make the play next time.

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