Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Posts Tagged ‘Texas

Don’t break up a kids’ game fight — it just leads to more fights

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You may or may not have already some version of the above video, which features coaches from two Pearland, Texas, youth football teams (you can tell it’s Texas because the preteens are playing on a pro-quality field) brawling during a game.

The report I’ve linked mentions that the brawl started after a coach stepped onto the field to break up a scuffle involving two players. So why did one coach trying to make peace start a fight involving other coaches?

Maybe the answer — which is not apparent on video — comes from a story a friend told me about his then 8-year-old son’s soccer team.

Like in the Texas football game, two kids collided, and they came up pushing and shoving. A coach stepped out to break it up. And almost immediately, the parent of one of the kids swung the coach around and angrily shouted at him, “Don’t you EVER touch my child AGAIN!”

Fortunately for all involved, that was the end of that whole series of unfortunate incidents. But as you can see from the video, things can get amped up pretty quickly when an adult steps into a place that some other adult — whether it’s a parent or another coach — feels he or she should not be. It’s “just” a kids’ game, but the combination of people’s competitive natures and, yes, their desire to protect their children can go very, very wrong.

I’m being only half-facetious with the title of this post. It would seem against all instincts to not break up a kids’ fight at a game. If there’s a referee, it might be best to let that person handle it at first — after all, that’s part of the reason a referee is there. But if you do try to break up a fight, keep your head up. And know that if things go wrong, you’ll end up like this video, with the kids stepping in to try to break up the fight between adults.

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Written by rkcookjr

October 1, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Texas City Little League suffers epidemic of unhinged coaches

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Junior, Senior & Big League Baseball

Image via Wikipedia

In the northern climes in which I live, youth baseball games have not yet started. Meanwhile, in warmer climes, adults are already infecting their local fields with craziness, and none more than in Texas City, Texas.

The Little League in Texas City has suspended two coaches in three weeks, and might suspend a third as early as tonight. All three of them have been arrested, as well, for losing their shit in the presence of the way-before-preteen set.

The latest incident was April 8, and involved one Jeremy Brian Delgado, whom the Galveston Daily News identified with three names as if he was the guy who shot John Lennon. Instead, Delgado shot, as the newspaper said, “F-bombs,” being arrested on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for getting a little too passionate in his defense of a player. From the Galveston County Daily News:

A parent who said he was upset about how a coach handled his son made the allegation, [Texas City police Capt.] Brian Goetschius said.

The father of the child who was yelled at asked The Daily News not to reveal his name for fear of reprisal against his son. The game involved 9- and 10-year-old boys.

The father said his son was on the field but not doing anything out of the ordinary during a bases-loaded ground out to shortstop that ended an inning.

He said he approached Delgado, asking why another coach yelled at his son.

Delgado, one of two assistants, then had words with the head coach on his team, in support of the boy who was yelled at, Goetschius said.

Delgado is accused of yelling bad language at the coach and assistant coach as the argument escalated, Goetschius said. He also is accused of using the same sort of language toward an umpire when he was ejected.

A Texas City police officer saw the commotion and heard some language before arresting Delgado, Goetschius said.

Actually, if police arrested every parent who went on a swearing binge at a youth baseball game, there would be 25 adults to a lockup cell every game night. I’m not defending Delgado’s choice of “some language,” but I’ll say that parents should consider themselves lucky they don’t have the Texas City police monitoring their public profanity. Then again, as the Houston Press points out, cops in Galveston County are fairly quick to arrest and prosecute the foul-mouthed.

If the Texas City Little League decides to bounce Delgado [APRIL 16 UPDATE: the league suspended Delgado for the remainder of the season], he’ll have company in its virtual penalty box. Coaches Jose Luis Duran and Johnathan T. Kimsey got sent there after a March 27 brawl that started after one coach got upset by a trick play used in a game involving 7- and 8-year-olds. Wait, a trick play in a 7- and 8-year-old game? I hope the coach who pulled that one is proud that he could outsmart a first-grader.

The Galveston County Daily News didn’t identify who called the trick play, but it did note the argument ended with a brawl, and disorderly conduct charges for Duran and Kimsey. A third coach in the brawl got his suspension lifted when he successfully argued his role was limited to being choked into unconsciousness.

The first game of the 6- and 7-year-old baseball team I’m managing doesn’t have its first game until April 27. Certainly, I have my work cut out to catch up to the pace set by the coaches in Texas City.

Written by rkcookjr

April 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

School sports recession: Not in Texas!

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Most of the nation’s school districts are slashing away at their sports budgets (Just do a Google News search for “school sports budget cuts,” and wait for your community to appear).

Allen, Texas, is not most of the nation. Instead of chopping middle school sports or instituting pay-to-pay, the Dallas suburb, thanks to the largesse of the one place in the nation that passes bonds no matter what, is building a $60 million, 18,000-seat football stadium that looks a little something like this:

I’d love to opine that Allen, Texas, is a prime example of a community whose priorities are seriously out of whack, especially because the local high school already has an air-conditioned indoor football practice facility, something a lot of colleges don’t have.

Except that Allen, Texas, is a prime example of a community that seems immune from the Near-Great Near-Depression. Allen, Texas, voters passed a $119 million bond issue in May 2009, when it still looked like we might all survive on the meat of our grandparents, cooked up in squatted McMansions. Allen is a fast-growing community of 77,000 in a fast-growing portion of the Dallas metro area, and it’s a haven for Texans who actually feel like investing in education is a valuable thing, beyond buying new textbooks dedicated to the history of Phyllis Schafly. Allen has, in the past, also passed bond issues to build facilities related to actual academic education.

Plus, I come from a state (Indiana) that has something like 19 of the 20 largest high school basketball gyms, places where the arenas sit more people than live in town. So I can’t really argue too much — except to say if the economy ever goes south in Allen, Texas, that football stadium is eventually going to be a white elephant. But that day, in Allen, is a long way away.

New service lets you calculate your T-Ball shortstop's VORP

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The founders of Houston-based SelectStat.com, an online youth statistics database, have in mind as customers the sort of people who want to build up their kid’s resume so they have a better chance of being selected by travel teams or otherwise get better opportunities at each level, kind of like all those services that promise to make highlight videos of your kid for the benefit of college recruiters.

“I look at this as a child’s athletic resume,” co-founder Phil Jones told the Houston Business Journal. “If child moves out of state, it can travel with them. It’s good for the coach and good for the kid.”

Or, co-founder, Sean Ulrey, your $19.99 could go for making an online “baby book” for your child’s sporting career.

While I’m sure the co-founders/sports parents are on to something — there’s no doubt there’s money to be made from both those bases — I think Jones and Ulrey are missing a very key demographic: fantasy sports.

There are a million ways to play fantasy baseball, football, basketball, even golf and NASCAR. But why not get a database together and create a fantasy youth sports league? Have you SEEN the money these fantasy nerds drop? Magazine subscriptions, Internet inside information sites, flights and hotels to fantasy conventions — these folks are more shameless than youth sports parents at spending big bucks for useless activity.

And the thing is, parents will stop being interested in SelectStat when their kids stop playing sports. But fantasy nerds are forever.

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Sheesh, even Bloomberg, which presumably exists to cover Wall Street, knows where the real money is.

Written by rkcookjr

March 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm

170-35: Why such a lopsided basketball score happens

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We have a final in the Houston Independent School District: Yates 170, Lee 35. Yates is 14-0 and Lee is 1-12, but that doesn’t even come close to explaining this margin, which reflects Yates’ national championship aspirations. Yes, I said national championship.

But first, it sounds like it was as wacky a game as the score indicated. Yates set a Texas state high school record for single-game scoring, but not before a fight broke out in the third quarter, and the referees ordered (with the consent of the coaches) that only five players from each team would finish out the game. Yates became the first Texas school to score 100 points in a half — to Lee’s 12. The fight was precipitated by Lee’s frustration that despite the enormous margin, Yates continued to play full-court press defense and otherwise did not step off the gas.

As you could probably predict, the Yates-Lee game, reminiscent of the infamous 100-0 girls’ basketball game in Dallas a year ago, has opened up the usual debate on who is in the wrong when a team scores such a blowout. On one side you have people wringing their hands over poor sportsmanship, about how the winning team should back off once it’s clear the margin is in hand. On another you have people balling their fists that this is America, dammit, where winners win and losers lose, and that if a team doesn’t want to get beaten so bad, maybe it shouldn’t be such a bunch of pussies.

The view of Yates coach Greg Wise is that his team couldn’t let up because, well, once it did that in a blowout and ended up losing. The other reason is that its eye is on the prize of a mythical high school national championship. That’s why Yates also does things like blow off this year’s Houston Independent School District tournament to play (and win) a tournament in Hawaii. Or post 170-35 victories. That way, it can keep up its standing in places such as the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 (Yates is No. 2), have Nike representatives show up to its games, and keep getting those invitations to national tournaments. If nothing else, Yates’ success can help people forget how a 2007 Johns Hopkins study listed it among the nation’s “dropout factories,” or about that more infamous Houston Yates, Andrea.

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It seems patently ridiculous that a high school team is going for a national title. But that’s how high school basketball has changed. A curiosity like USA Today rating the nation’s top 25 teams in the 1980s has turned into a basketball-industrial complex, with schools private and public (especially public schools that are open-enrollment districts, like Houston, or have charter schools) competing for spots on ESPN instead of spots in the county tournament. It’s the AAU culture making its way into high schools, and, well, given that colleges want to see top players against other top players like in AAU, it might be the way to ensure that elite players keep suiting up for their school, even if it’s a school like Findlay Prep in Nevada, which technically does not exist.

Unfortunately, a lot of these superteams still have to play some games against the local puds, the suckers actually drawing from the actual student populace. And that’s how 170-35 happens.

Written by rkcookjr

January 6, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Sports radio does something other than call for the manager’s firing

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Millsap, Texas, population 350, was looking at possibly having to shake $20 out of every man, woman and child to pay for the $7,000 theft of equipment from Millsap Youth Athletics. That is, until a talk radio station two counties to the east, in Dallas, took up their cause, what with their good heart and so much time on the air being freed up since Terrell Owens left town.

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Um, that’s Millsap, not Milsap.

The folks at ESPN 103.3 raised $3,000 on the air through bids on a sports ticket package until an anonymous listener called in, off the air, to pledge $5,000.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

[Millsap Youth Athletics secretary Rita] Switzer was profoundly grateful.

“Whoever this anonymous donor is, I love you, I love you, I love you,” she said.

Switzer said smaller donations have come from residents across North Texas, both pledged on the telephone and sent through the mail.

Switzer said the community’s response to the theft is teaching the children about the good in people and how positive things can come out of bad.

“Before every meeting we have, the first thing we do is we pray. We pray for God to watch over the kids and for him to allow us to be the best we can be,” she said. “I feel this is an answer to those prayers.”

 I was just crying the whole time I was listening. They talked that story up like we were big-leaguers.”

Millsap isn’t the only youth sports organization to get a helping hand in a crisis wrought by theft. The Blue Island (Ill.) Little League has shaken a lot of helping hands after it lost $3,000 in food and equipment in a concession stand burglary. One man gave the whole kaboodle. The Chicago White Sox kicked in $500 and free tickets for the players. Other parents and other leagues kicked in some money, as well.

It’s nice to know that in a crisis, you can find friends in unexpected places. Especially if you can get the word out. Seriously leagues — if you suffer a sudden loss, let the world know so someone can help.

And this little piggie stayed home

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The Your Kid’s Not Going Pro emergency alert center reports the following athletic cancellations as a result of H1N1 — oh, forget it, you’re all gonna call it swine flu no matter what authorities say. (NOTE: I am adding to this list and alphabetizing by state rather than creating new posts every team a school or organization cancels sports.)

EDIT: On the Pitch has some great practical resources for handling the swine flu scare. Its advice is targeted toward soccer leagues. But the lessons — including handling communication with parents — are valuable for any kind of league and coach.

ALABAMA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION All events postponed until further notice. Events postponed until May 5.

MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA — All children’s activities, including T-ball practices and games, in county parks canceled until May 4.

BRANHAM HIGH SCHOOL, CALIFORNIAAll events canceled through May 6.

INDIO HIGH SCHOOL, CALIFORNIAAll events canceled through May 7.

BATAVIA HIGH SCHOOL, ILLINOIS
All games and practices canceled through May 4, as well as a ban on outside groups using school facilities.

HOMER COMMUNITY CONSOLIDATED DISTRICT 33, ILLINOISAll afterschool activities in middle and elementary schools, including sports, canceled for May 1.

WABASH SCHOOL DISTRICT, INDIANAAll practices for Thurs., April 30, called off. Games still scheduled, unless rained out.

WOODHAVEN-BROWNSTOWN SCHOOLS, MICHIGAN — All after-school activites, including sports, canceled for Thurs., April 30, and possibly through the weekend.

BEMUS POINT SCHOOL DISTRICT, NEW YORKAll sports canceled through May 3.


FABIUS-POMPEY HIGH SCHOOL, NEW YORK
All events canceled through May 1.

MAPLE GROVE SCHOOLS, NEW YORK
Schools and all sports activities canceled through May 4.

ST. FRANCIS PREP SCHOOL, NEW YORK — All events will go forward as scheduled, unless opponents are too scared of contracting swine flu to show up.

NORTH KINGSTOWN HIGH SCHOOL, RHODE ISLAND
All events canceled through Friday.

MAULDIN HIGH SCHOOL, SOUTH CAROLINAAll activities, including games and practices, canceled on April 30 and May 1.

NEWBERRY COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINAMost after-school activities, including sports, canceled through May 4.

MONTGOMERY BELL ACADEMY, TENNESSEEAll after-school activities, including sports, canceled through May 8.

THE CITY OF THE COLONY’S PARK AND RECREATIONS DEPARTMENT, TEXASAll youth league events at city facilities canceled through May 6.

CITY OF DENTON, TEXASAll league play and athletic programs including Denton Youth Soccer, Denton Boys Baseball and all field rental activities suspended through May 11.

CITY OF FORT WORTH, TEXASAll recreation center-hosted activities canceled until at least May 8..

CITY OF HIGHLAND VILLAGE, TEXASAll organized youth sports league games canceled from May 1-10.

LEWISVILLE ISD, TEXAS
All school district sporting events canceled through May 11.

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE AND PAROCHIAL SCHOOLSRegion I-5A and 4A South Regional track meets scheduled for May 1 canceled.

UNIVERSITY INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE, TEXASAll events canceled until May 11.

SALT LAKE CITY CATHOLIC SCHOOLS, UTAHAll sports at Judge Memorial Catholic High School and Our Lady of Lourdes School canceled until May 5.

PARK CITY SCHOOLS, UTAHSchools and all sports activities closed through May 4.

CLOVER PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT, WASHINGTONLakewood High School sports activities canceled for May 1.

Further updates as events warrant. Please send any closing and cancellations to rkcookjr at comcast.net, or through Twitter to @notgoingpro.

Written by rkcookjr

April 29, 2009 at 11:43 pm