Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Let's Play Daddy Ball!

I know. We are all in NFL playoff mode and here goes SurferWife bringing up baseball. I'm kinda over the NFL at this point as none of my teams are left and I am ONLY rooting for the Niners now because Hutch loves them. And they're from California.

So, I am moving onward and upward and annoyingward.

Let's talk Daddy Ball -- I mean Little League for a hot second.

The Ace had tryouts for Little League this past weekend. What this means is, the coaches all get together and watch these little boys show off their skills and then decide who they want to draft.


At the point where my son's baseball career is now, coaches know who most of the boys are already because they've been playing a few years. The coaches come into this knowing, for the most part, who they want to draft. And from what I hear, these drafts get ugly because coaches 'claim' players for their own teams. It becomes more about fulfilling some jacked up dream the coach has of winning the whole season. I'd guess these same coaches never actually played on a winning team as a kid.

Again. Fine. WTF do I care? I'm not there.

Teams are established and the season starts. This will be roughly my seventh season of The Ace playing baseball in various leagues (he's nearly 10) and I'd like to share with you how I see baseball seasons go down...


Season starts: Coach and his assistant are super nice. Really happy, motivating and optimistic with the little guys they chose to coach. We all basically make out with one another and it's just one big circle jerk.

Mid-Season Approaches: Players really define who they are. Remember, the teams are drafted so this means there is quite a variety of talent on the team. Some are the natural stars of the team, some work their butts off and show improvement all the time, some are there simply because they love to play and some are there because daddy simply wants them to love to play. (<---Disaster)

Mid-Season: Some coaches start to get antsy when they sense their team isn't headed towards the World Series of Little League. Suddenly, little Barry who would rather pick grass than catch a fly ball to right field is getting pulled and little Woodrow who has played the whole game and is taking a 3 minute break is replacing him in an effort for the coach to get his win. (Excuse the run-on sentence, I'm angry, ok?)

Nearing Season End:
This is when games actually matter and can lead to your division championship. There is no more circle jerking happening amongst your team. There are hurt feelings, screaming red faced coaches, temper tantrums (from adults), and a lot of, "I have been telling you all season that you need to SWING THE BAT, Gunnar!" You see boys on the bench looking like they're about to poop their pants from stress and piles of shit below coach's feet because he can't hold his sphincter the way a 10 year old can.

Playoffs: Parents making mental notes of coaches they DON'T want for their son next year, coaches yelling at other coaches, parents yelling at coaches, parents yelling at umps, coaches yelling at umps and poor little Jerome frantically eating the sunflower seeds he spilled all over the dirty dugout when coach screamed at him.


It's going to be really fun, folks. Basically, the season ends up more about the coaches and parents than the boys. I can't wait to see which coach (that I don't like) drafts The Ace.


  1. Ugh this is what makes me so angry about children's sports... and I think the only thing that makes me more angry than THIS about kid sports are the teams that don't keep score and EVERYONE wins... BS I tell ya! Good luck w/ the season SW!

  2. I'm kind of stuck on this whole drafting thing? Maybe my experience is limited to rec leagues with baseball/softball but that just seems uber competitive. I can see how it would get out of control!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Lmao this is exactly true and was the same as my little league experience when I was growing up. Coaches go from encouraging to psychos. I had one coach who wanted us to blow off family events to go practice. He basically ran the team like we were professionals.

    Also I agree about the NFL. Over it but if someone has to win I'm rooting for the Niners.

    1. It depends on how many events. It is not about the coach but the commitment you made to the team. If you have a 18 game schedule and miss three events, give the team plenty of advance notice. But, when you break your commitment you open the door for other kids. Why should they go to practice or show up for a game. Pretty soon you have 5 kids at practice. You have to take resposnsibility. I had a good player in All-stars his family kept having events and he missed practice. I called the patents up and explained that it is not fair to the other kids who show up work on their skill set and your son plays. It was all -stars. I explained to the parents that it was a team and we represent our league. I told them I respected their family time but it does not mix with baseball and you are putting me in a bad position of being the bad guy. So I brought up an alternate and made the kid whose family weekly activities an alternate. It didn't hurt me nor was it a power play but what was best and right for the kids that showed up.

  4. We are very early in this 'sport' thing {oldest is 6} but I hate this shit. You know that a guy killed another guy at their son's hockey game around here?! Holy. Hell.

    I really wish we could go back to the days of you only play if you're good, Eff the "everyone gets a chance" thing. You earn your spot on a team. That's just me, though.

  5. Dude. The politics in kid's sports is effing ridiculous. When the oldest started playing football, only the first string actually practiced. The rest of the non-starters were simply left to sit on the sidelines to pick dandelions. THEY ARE NINE!!
    If you weren't a coach or screwing a coach, your kid didn't start either. It was utter bullshit.

  6. Ok, I'm all about competition for kids. But, seriously?? These "coaches" need to stop living in the past. Sorry you didn't make it past middle school baseball teams. Time to treat kids like kids. Wow.

  7. I hate to tell you potty talker but this is NOT Daddy Ball. Daddy ball is when the really hard working kids and the "naturally talented" kids get put in right field and don't get chances to pitch because those 6 spots were already designated before the season began, all coaches sons with a token agressive parent volunteer son thrown in. By 11 years old, their destiny is already cut off due to these coaches dominating with their sons getting 100% playing time in choice "hands on" positions while others get lesser playing time and less "touches". They fall behind in one year to the Daddy Ball sons who move forward just because they were given more game experience and touches. By the time these un favored boys reach high school, they have zero chance of making a team, start smoking pot and hanging out with the wrong crowd, because they were told by these Daddy Ball coaches that they have no chance, at age 11. It is disgusting. National Little League needs to institute more required game time and positions for all, not just Daddy Ball sons.

    1. It is a game and it is about completion. The best with the proper attitude should play the most. The kids without the ability or attitude, should be coached harder and encouraged. It is a game made up the sum of it't's players. Why should a kid and the team be penalized so a certain kid gets to pitch or put in a key position that kid is not ready for. Now if your are talking major ball up this applies. With the younger kids tp laying time should be more available. Daddy ball is a mental disorder. It is wrong but if you choose little league that is what you get. There are the traveling that are the chosen few. Many are called but few are chosen. I have known many kids in the same position as your son. The best way to get even is put in the extra work. Swing the bat 100 times a day correctly. Practice your fundamentals. If you work twice as hard the rewards will come.

  8. I whole-heartedly agree w/ the other anonymous. My 10-year old son missed tryouts and was put on a team that lost every game they played. He didn't even want come to the games at one point. Why, it appeared that the coaches' sons were smaller, mediocre players, and that the rest of the team included the kids that missed tryouts, were not chosen by the other coaches and were conveniently not as good as the coaches' kids. The best kid on the team hadn't a daddy coach and was too young to make the all-stars (convenient too, right). My son knows that unless he's the best kid on the team (he's not), he will never be chosen as an all-star. He knows the definition of little league all-star team is the undisputable best player of each team, followed by all coaches' sons. He also knows he will always alternate bench w/ 3 other non-daddy ball boys and will never bat earlier than 7th, though he hits as well as the coaches' kids. The positive side: the world's a cut-throat place, and nothing prepares a child for politics like Daddy-Ball.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Daddy ball will always live in little league, I’m almost certain that when little league was formed, it was setup to instill four constants. (death, taxes, the coach’s kid got to play 1st base and the assistant coach’s kids got to fill in the rest of the infield.). If you think you have signed your son or daughter up to be coached by someone on how to play ball... you better wise up. You have very little chance of getting someone who is coaching to teach the kids. My son played for more than 11 teams and out of those; only three were coaching to teach the kids how to play ball.

    Because my son is left handed he got a better shot than most and when I was an assistant coach, I sat him on the bench to make sure other kids got to play. I saw plenty of kids who were left to the outfield because the coaches only signed up so their kids could play infield. If you want the kids to learn, then sign up to coach and teach the kids. Let one of your assistants choose who plays infield. Work with "all" the kids on the team to teach the fundamentals!!!!!.

    I have seen it all from fights between the parents where the police were called to grandmothers running the 1st base line screaming at their grandkids to get their asses to 1st base or they were going to get a whipping.

    I was an assistant coach and noticed another kid from another team who was playing and we had 11 players. I questioned the coach and was told the kid was playing because there was a super 7 tournament coming up and the kid needed playing experience because he was going to be on the super 7 team?????? Sit two players from your own team so another kid can play?????? HOW SCREWED UP CAN IT GET??????

    Let me clue you into reality......All-star teams are not the best of the best. they are the coach’s kids "then" the kids of the other team’s coaches; "THEN".... the best from each team......Coaching has its perks!!!! Other realities are... your kid is not the next major league draft pick because he caught a fly ball on his 5 and 6 year old coach pitch team…. And your kid is never quite as good as you think he is… and guess what???? Every parent paid the same amount that you paid for their kid to play. If you want it done right, then sign up to coach and do it right. TEACH EVERY KID ON THE TEAM!!!!!! Get the parents involved and teach them how to coach their kids.