This is adults forgetting that this is about the kids that are playing, not them. I witnessed when my kids were in rec ball. The parents are just as gulity though. They try to get their kid with a certain coach. If I had my way, any of the coaches that were caught red handed "fixing" their team would be banned from coaching rec ball for at least one season. Until drastic measures occur the same old good old boy BS will continue at the expense of the young men and women that are playing for FUN!!!!!
As I have pointed out to others, if you have a problem with area teams (which have existed in Liberty County for a long time in various sports) then you have at least a debatable point and you should feel free to raise the issue with LCRD representatives. My son was on B&A, and after the season and seeing how it went, I myself spoke with Mr. Martin concerning whether or not they should exist. They have their reasons, whether you or I agree with them or not.
But in the end, it really doesn’t matter what you, I, or anyone else thinks of area teams, the coaches, the LCRD, or anyone else involved in the existence of area teams in any sport. According to current policies, if any particular area has enough players to form a team, then that team can/will exist. If they happen to be good and/or well coached, then they will win. What does matter is that the children not be punished for something they did not do. No child on any team did anything wrong. Yet, B&A players were targeted specifically for omission. That is not an assumption, that is a fact. And that is just wrong, regardless of motive. And as a result, ALL deserving kids ended up losing.
Good job talking to Mr. Martin about the issue. I think that is great that you also saw a gap in the playing abilities of B&A compared to the rest. I think it is awesome we have talented players here in Liberty County!!!
I believe the kids where punished by the Board when their All-Star season was cut short. To give the All-Star Coach the final roster (that was apparently approved by everyone to include all coaches and LCRD or else why give it to him) and then hold practices only to have to tell the kids they do not get to play is WRONG plain and simple!!
I also can not see how you believe B&A players were omitted when the final roster had 2 B&A players on it!!!! As I stated before I do not know what directions coaches are given to select an All-Star team but simple math says top 2 from each team should be on the roster. As an outsider to the process, that seems to have been what happened. Having only 2 players from your team getting picked is not a bad thing. To have 6 players from one team get picked for All-Stars seems to monopolize the system especially when the team in question does not have to follow the same evaluation process as the rest of Liberty Co (even though this seems to be the LCRD policy weather we as parents or coaches agree to it or not). Just because a child feels they should be on the All-Star team does not necessarily mean that they should. All of the players for the LCRD feel that same way as well.
I think what really upset me was the rumors I heard (my son does not even play for the LCRD anymore so for me to hear this begs the question as to who else heard as well)that this was a racism issue (as the article alludes to when it stated that B&A was a predominately African American team) To have a Coach who did not seem to get his way and have his whole or even most of his player selected start to say it was a race issue to me shows ignorance and pettiness.
Thank you tiger5 for taking the time to read this and comment on this. However now it is up to the Board to do the right thing by the children and stop issues like this from happening again.
You need to understand that there was a concerted effort, brought to light, to keep B&A players off of the team. So when the votes were counted and only one kid (my kid, by the way) was voted onto the team, what could anyone possibly expect in the way of reaction? Was it racism, hurt feelings, or what? And although my son was one of only two white kids on the team, I personally believe it was hurt feelings. Whatever the reason, it was WRONG. And yes, Coach Johnson and I were highly upset about it. And for the record, there is nothing petty or ignorant about the man. You will have to trust me on that one. Can you blame either one of us for searching for an answer?
Either we had a team full of All-stars or the best coaching the world has ever seen. They certainly didn’t vote for our coaches either. So how did we win so many games so easily? Coaches are instructed to vote for the best 13, regardless. They did not do that. All teams do not have to be represented. It is not equal opportunity when it comes to All-stars. The ones who earn it are suppose to be on the team. B&A’s kids were just as much a part of the league as any other kids. They did nothing to deserve being slighted. And when you staple a known conspiracy plan to the vote, you get some upset people.
Regardless of anything else, my whole problem is that these guys actively sought to get back at somebody, whoever they are blaming and whatever for, by hurting kids. Period. Blame whomever you must. Just don't blame the kids. And that goes for everybody and for all decisions that are ever made in youth sports. It is about them.
And now all deserving kids are paying the price.
As I said earlier, this is about adults not being able to be objective and keep the boys in mind. You can rationlize any way you want, it still comes down to good old boy BS. I observed this for years when my kids were in rec ball. Parents "talking" to certain coaches, parents making sure little Johnny had to ride with so and so. Coaches telling kids to not "show out" during evaluations and lastly, coaches acting like they are forming a world series team at the expense of the boys. Its like this every year; I suspect someone will respond with how this is isolated but its not. I watched this dance for 5 years and was glad that my Son at least got to play. Which brings me to my final point; rec ball is about inclusion, everybody plays period. It is about teaching kids the game while instilling good sportmanship. Unfortunetly, some of the parents and coaches have forgoten this and once again is only fixated on the "#3" players. Until some of coaches and parents quite the practice of nepotism this will continue at the expense of the boys.
I do no doubt the skill of the players on your team. Nor do I blame the kids in anyway. If anyone is to blame I believe it is the LCRD or whoever made the decision to not allow 13-14 deserving players to compete. Like I said before Liberty County has a lot of talent. The problem as I see it is when all of that talent is allowed to be put onto one team and allowed to play against other teams who are subject to skill evaluations and are split up to ensure fair and equal play. That is a major issue the LCRD needs to rectify.
As for any conspiracy that occurred I would like to believe that the Coaches chose the way they did because it was not fair to their players, who were evaluated and played their hearts out during the season, only to have to be denied the chance to play on the All-Star team because of an extremely unfair rule in place by the LCRD. I do not believe for an instant that they meant to hurt any child. But instead were only trying to look out for their players like any family or team should.
To quote what HMJC wrote “Rec ball is about inclusion, everybody plays period. It is about teaching kids the game while instilling good sportsmanship.” A ”travel” level team has the option to pick and choose players any way they what , to try to put tighter a championship caliber team, while a “Rec” level team does not. To play them against each other does nothing to help either level. This is what the LCRD needs to focus on rectifying.
Thank you, tiger5, for allowing us to have this civilized discussion. Maybe if it had happened before by more than you or I this whole mess would have never happened. I wish you and your players the best of luck as they continue on in their baseball careers.
Thanks for your comments and concerns. I will leave it at this because I am not sure I am lucid enough with my words to make my points fully understandable.
I simply must disagree 100% with any notion, statement, or suggestion that the B&A kids were not treated unfairly concerning the All-star vote.
The “good ole boy system” you are referring to exists in every Recreation Department. I have been involved in more than one. And you better believe there are unreasonable moms, dads, and coaches who don’t have a clue what rec ball is for, no matter where you go. It certainly is NOT isolated. I could not agree more. However, the LCRD does an outstanding job of leveling the playing field as much as possible, MUCH more so than others I have been involved with. It is a shame that because many times the outlying area teams (in any sport) are dominate that they must field harsh criticism (I’m guessing nobody would have a problem with them if they weren’t very good.) Those teams exist because of economics and logistics in an effort to keep children involved who might otherwise not be, according to the LCRD and its board. Again, that subject is certainly debatable but it is not as easy as just saying they should not exist. But one thing is certain; kids should not be conspired against just because they play for one of those teams.
Little league team stacking needs to stop. It goes on everywhere, and all it does is kill the fun of the game. My goodness, these are 9 & 10 year olds just wanting to play a fair ball game, they are not not major league ball players. Any coach or parent involved in any type of team stacking or rigging should be ashamed of themselves.