Every year our city baseball league creates teams for the elite players. We have the 10 year old all-stars, the 11s, and this year for the 12s, we have two teams. For the 12 year old players, one team runs a 70 foot baseline from home to first. This team is the "A" team for all practical purposes. Then there the other team, the "B" team runs a 60 foot baseline.
After about 10 regular season games, the all-star teams are formed. My son wanted to try out for the 70s. But his coaches told him, that while he'd probably make the team, he'd probably sit on the bench, since he wasn't the elite of the elite. He was assured that he'd make the 60s all-star team, and that he'd "dominate." Which sounded good to him.
The try-outs came and went. My son wasn't chosen. The influx of opinion about my son's exclusion leaves us as parents not knowing what to do. Some coaches called it a "travesty of justice". Parents on the all-star teams were shocked that my son was left behind. Conjecture roams freely from person to person asserting that money talks and as a result tow other less deserving boys were placed on the team.
So how does one investigate this? Since tryouts are subjective assessments, it's hard to compare kids to one another. Nonetheless is there a more objective way to assess the elite players? One proposal is that the coaches of the all star teams be left out of the process of selection. Rather, other coaches might be able to assess and then hand on to other coaches the athletes who have been determined as more deserving. One suggestion is to drop the entire short season followed by a longer summer travel season and go for a a superleague in which teams play ball from March through July and ending then with a series playoff. Yet our city's league make a lot of money off of traveling team tournaments, it is doubtful that they would want to forsake that income.
In the past, when parents and children have been mistreated by the system, they have left. Some go to other city leagues, others leave Cal Ripkin ball and go to Little League. But no one advocates or lobbies to change the existing system. In some degree out of fear.
As the summer travel team and tournament season comes along, some non-all-star teams form. Since they are outside the system, they have been called renegade and outlaw teams. As such, they are ineligible for regional championship tourneys, or the world series. They play in the tournaments, but outside the system. So, they are called renegades.
Perhaps we as parents should take a lesson. Perhaps we need to step outside the culturally sanctioned role tradition has developed and we should become a bit more renegade. We need to develop a keen sense of politics and challenge the system which carries out a "travesty of justice" against 12 year old boys. We wouldn't stand for such behavior from teachers at our kids schools, so why cave into it from coaches?