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The problem isn't the Little League World Series, it's that we watch it

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  • The problem isn't the Little League World Series, it's that we watch it

    The first myth about competitive youth sports is they’re just for the kids, building character, teaching teamwork, imparting life lessons. They’re not. They’re really for the adults, making them feel worthwhile as parents, allowing them to boast to co-workers at the water cooler Monday morning, allowing them to post team photos on Facebook with medals and braces glistening in the sunlight.

    Basking in reflected glory, the shrinks call it.

    The second myth is that successful youth teams are the wholesome residue of coaching and hard work. Sometimes they are. But more integral to victory is filling your roster with kids who may or may not be from the neighborhood but were born in the months immediately after the age cut-off or grew early.

    http://www.sandiegouniontribun...-20180804-story.html

  • #2
    I'm watching this year for the USA bat difference.
    "Whata crowd, whata crowd! I tell ya, I'm all right now but last week I was in rough shape..."

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    • #3
      kind of on topic, i was in cooperstown this week and had the opportunity to watch the dreams park finals. winners were the USSSA 12u majors 2nd place team nationally. they had multiple 6 footers and hit something like 72 home runs in 44 innings of baseball. i could not believe these kids were 12 years old. team was the motor city hit dogs.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by abc123 View Post
        kind of on topic, i was in cooperstown this week and had the opportunity to watch the dreams park finals. winners were the USSSA 12u majors 2nd place team nationally. they had multiple 6 footers and hit something like 72 home runs in 44 innings of baseball. i could not believe these kids were 12 years old. team was the motor city hit dogs.
        second year in a row that org won it. they won it last year when my son's team was there. had guy throwing 80 in the final. I'm not sure if he flew in or if he was with them the whole week but it was impressive.

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        • #5
          Well the 1st myth is not intended to be a myth, but it is the unfortunate reality. Youth sports were absolutely created and should exist for the noble reasons listed. Unfortunately it has been bastardized by overzealous parents. This isn't a new phenomenon either. You can look at the original Bad News Bears and the Yankees team in that movie. No doubt that Yankees coach had an "in" with the league to ensure his team was stacked each and every year. Growing up in the 80's we had similar dads of influence in our little league. I just think there are more of them today. Maybe growing up envious of those teams they weren't a part of as a kid and wanting to be that team for their kids has made more of them today?
          Last edited by sunderB; 08-06-2018, 03:14 PM.

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          • #6
            I think the LLWS is great. I'm always amazed that young athletes can play such a difficult game so well in front of all the TV cameras.

            I'm a neutral observer. Though I coached four sons (now grown), I only coached in the Little League organization for two years ('95 and '96).
            Skip

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            • #7
              Here's a fun fact for you. My town won the State. They're in the regionals now.

              My son is a rising Freshmen. He starts HS in one month. This past spring, he was a 14U player. He's been playing 60/90 since September 2016.

              Half of the LL team that won the state this year are exactly one year (yes, just 12 months) younger than him. And, they're playing on a 46/60 field with 200' fences.

              That's a bit silly, no?
              Coaching experience: Managed 5 Little League teams and coached on 4 others. So, what do I know?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Francis7 View Post
                they're playing on a 46/60 field with 200' fences.

                That's a bit silly, no?
                Basically the same dimensions as womens college softball, which I enjoy a lot..
                Skip

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                • #9
                  This is the last year of the 5/1 deadline. Next season it returns to 8/1. 5/1 was a bad idea.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Francis7 View Post
                    Here's a fun fact for you. My town won the State. They're in the regionals now.

                    My son is a rising Freshmen. He starts HS in one month. This past spring, he was a 14U player. He's been playing 60/90 since September 2016.

                    Half of the LL team that won the state this year are exactly one year (yes, just 12 months) younger than him. And, they're playing on a 46/60 field with 200' fences.

                    That's a bit silly, no?
                    Weren’t you involved in the league? Support the team, man!

                    As far as the OP, I agree that parents ruin almost everything (cheering errors, banging on bleachers when pitchers in windup, etc), but like Skipper said, I’m amazed at the ability of these kids to play on tv.

                    The click through article looks looks like it was written by a kid who didn’t make all stars. So bitter.
                    ​​​​​​
                    “The bigger issue, though, is between the ears, not the lines. What happens in five years when you’re still 5-10 and that scrawny 5-2 kid you used to overpower with your 77 mph fastball grows to 6-4 and starts ripping it over 400-foot fences?

                    What happens to your sense of self-worth when you face the public humiliation of being cut from your high school team, as some Little League heroes inevitably do?”




                    Last edited by Baseball 100; 08-07-2018, 05:49 AM.

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                    • #11
                      We play Dixie Baseball and are at the World Series as a 12U team now. The dimensions for us are 50/70/230 (they also have a 46/60/225 division), so a bit different than Little League (and we only have our games streamed online, and not on ESPN). With the USA Bats, there are homeruns, but they are not common (one every 3rd game or so). Also, there are definitely some early developers, with some throwing 80 or higher (and some kids who are bigger than their coaches), but nobody is stacked with them. The teams that do good have good defense, put the ball in play, and have deep pitching, not one or two early developer stars. I am sure there are some bad things that go on, but for the most part, I see people cheering for their communities, their state, and their organizations. I compare it with some of the regional travel teams that pick up early developers, moving kids who fall behind out, and I like the overall Rec league with All-stars model. I will have to look back in a year or so to tell you how much the kids remember these times.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Francis7 View Post
                        Here's a fun fact for you. My town won the State. They're in the regionals now.

                        My son is a rising Freshmen. He starts HS in one month. This past spring, he was a 14U player. He's been playing 60/90 since September 2016.

                        Half of the LL team that won the state this year are exactly one year (yes, just 12 months) younger than him. And, they're playing on a 46/60 field with 200' fences.

                        That's a bit silly, no?
                        What does it mean that your son is a, "rising freshman?"
                        Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

                        I am an ex expert. I've done this long enough to know that those who think that they know it all, know nothing.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cannonball View Post

                          What does it mean that your son is a, "rising freshman?"
                          It means he is was in 8th grade starting 9th grade.

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                          • #14
                            ---------- never mind

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                            • #15
                              We live 45 minutes away from Williamsport. So we have had several opportunities to watch LLWS games live at the stadium. It really is a cool event and it is a lot of fun watching these kids from all over the world play this game at such a high level. I would like to see the fences moved back some for that age group. 200 seems short. But I'm not sure they would even be capable of moving the fences at Lamade Stadium without impacting the character of the park. Especially the hill beyond the outfield.

                              As the dad of a softball player, I can tell you that it is much more difficult to hit a softball over a 200 foot fence then it is to hit a baseball the same distance. Before DD was capable of hitting a softball that far, we would sometimes do batting practice with baseballs just so she could do it.

                              I don't want to even get started about the parental issues with youth sports. I have witnessed quite a few things over the years, and it just seems to be getting worse every year.
                              Last edited by FP26; 08-07-2018, 08:18 AM.
                              "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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