Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Wide World of Sports

I hope I didn't scare anyone off with my title about sports because yes this post is about sports, but it is about sports in the news and not just sports themselves.

First, the Lady's Professional Gold Association (LPGA) has decided that all athletes who wish to compete on the LPGA tour must be able to speak English. If a golfer is not able to speak English after being on the tour for 2 years, than they will be suspended. The LPGA says that this is so that athletes are able to give acceptance speeches after a win without the use of a translator. This is also supposed to help with interviews if the athletes are able to speak English. This whole idea seems stupid to me. I understand, I guess, wanting your athletes to be able to speak English to promote your sport better, but when you punish individuals and not offer any assistance this would seem to be counterproductive, but maybe this is just me.

Second, a nine year old boy has been banned from playing baseball in a league in New Haven Connecticut. What did you he do you may ask? Did he hit someone? Nope. Did he display unsportsmanlike conduct? Nope. Did he lie about his age? Nope. He is too good. He has a fastball that registers 40 mph and the league has said that this is intimidating and dangerous to the other players. He has not yet hit another player when he pitches, so he does not appear to be dangerous, just too good. In fact, his coach was told he could not pitch anymore and when his coach did have him pitch, the other team's coaches forfeited the game and left. So basically you showed the players on your team that the point of the game is not to have fun, but that the only important thing is to win. If the idea was not to win, than you would have played anyway and let the kids have fun. They are there to play baseball, not to leave if one of the other team's players is really good. You are basically destroying a child's self-esteem here. Isn't the point of any sport to become good at it? So if he is good at it, why is the league punishing him? His parents and coach say that the team and child is being punished because he chose not to play on the defending league championship team which is sponsored by one of the league administrators places of employment. The league says this is not the case, but really have only said there are safety concerns. Well if there are safety concerns than why punish a whole team or punish the child? Why not have him pitch against older players or suck it up as a league for this season and then create a rule for next season that would limit how much one pitcher can pitch or set a limit on how fast a fast ball can be thrown, but deciding mid-season when this team is undefeated and has a really great player seems suspect to me. It seems they just are trying to prevent an outcome they do not want and/or they are just poor sports and so if the good player is not playing on their team than they do not want to play. I thought youth sports were about having fun, encouraging children to do their best and ultimately like any sport about making yourself to be the best athlete you can be.

1 comment:

Brave Sir Robin said...

You would have to look long and hard to find a bigger fan of baseball than me, but that kind of crap is why I never encouraged my kids to play organized baseball.

Little league baseball is a cesspool of bickering parents, egomaniacal administrators, and father/coaches who are nothing more than petty bullies, living vicariously through their children's athletic ability to avoid the reality of their own pathetic failures.

Err - rash generalization, but yeah - that's how I feel.