So it’s Memorial Day Weekend, summer is finally here. Which for many of us Little League families means baseball, baseball, and possibly even more baseball. Team SD&R has at least three games this weekend.
Which brings me to an email that was recently sent out to Little Leaguers:
We have been receiving an alarming amount of reports of incidents at the Little League fields involving parents who either are unaware of the Code of Conduct, or are ignoring it. Please note specifically #4, #6, and #7. Spectators shall not verbalize their objections to umpire calls, and they should be reminded that they are role models for the kids.
So what are these rules?
#4. I pledge to honor the game by showing respect to officials, coaches, and players. If an official makes a mistake, I will honor the game and be silent.
That’s right, parents are needing to be reminded to be good sports and not yell at the umps.
#6. I pledge to refrain from making negative comments about any participant in Alameda Little League.
AND parents are being reminded not to talk smack about the Umps from the stands.
#7. I pledge to always be mindful that as an adult I am a role model to our youth, and I will behave accordingly.
AND they’re being reminded that they are role models for kids.
It’s a concern that any parents would need to be reminded that they are role models for the kids, but apparently, that’s not clear to everyone.
First off, I think it’s great that Alameda Little League (ALL) is being proactive in addressing these issues. It speaks directly to their commitment to teaching sportsmanship, teamwork, and friend competitiveness. When I got the email, I thought it was too bad it had to be sent (and since I hadn’t seen any physical fights break out between parents like I did three years ago, I was under the impression that things were going smoothly….that’s right, set the bar reeeeaaal low.)
But then it occurred to me that the league was stepping in and taking care of the issue early. Too often, Little League (in general, not Alameda specifically) gets blamed for bad parental behavior, as if the league itself were responsible for the parents and setting up situations that encourage this behavior (you know holding games where kids swing bats at balls).
Baseball, like other sports, is officiated by human beings. That’s part of the game. And as such, bad calls will be made, there’s no two ways about it. Add in the fact that Little League umpires are just volunteers, and the idea that people are yelling at them, to the point of the league needing to say “knock it off” is pretty sad.
As we head into Baseball weekend, I think it’s great that the league is reminding parents of their proper role in the stands (encouragers of the players on the field….period). Sometimes, even the grown ups need a firm but gentle guiding hand.