Everyone has weighed in.

This was my response to an email floated around among the coaches..

Since you have invited feedback I volunteer that this has devolved into a nasty situation for no good reason.

I would never want to tell a kid they can't play. It now seems like we're forced to do that. The reason we have rules is to keep it a little more equitable, and to keep situations like this from occurring. There is no reason for a vote. There isn't a good reason for a kid to join a team for one game (seems like that's what's happened). The rules are clear on eligibility.

We have devoted far too much time on this issue and for the wrong reasons. For one game this season we faced a formidable player on an otherwise evenly matched team. There is nothing wrong with that.

Here is my take as a parent, which is no different from my view as a coach. At the beginning of the game a few parents brought up the fact that the Giants had a new player. Was he permitted based on age and attendance? I asked the opposing coach who said yes. For me that closes the matter. I would not expect anyone to question me about the team we field. We faced an issue similar to this a few seasons ago. A few kids who were registered when they were twelve played later in the season when they were thirteen. We played them best we could, lost and moved on. Sunday's game should have been the same.

Like I said I do not want any part of determining who plays or not.I'm not carding players or checking lineups. This is not travel baseball or the major leagues. Thats what the rules are for. Many of you are familiar with travel sports. This league, at least this team is not run like that. I would not want to remove kids for poor play or rank kids by ability. That’s not for all kids. The idea is to keep a level playing field. Little league, by design is not competitive - it's instructional. The point of the game we play seems to have shifted from that.

As a team we made a few good plays and made a few cheap errors, as usual. Thats why we play - to learn and get better. Despite our loss, we had some impressive fielding, good pitching and at least one big hit. By the measure of the score I know I made plenty of coaching errors. When it looked like we weren't going to come back we gave some players opportunities to play positions they had not previously played. I’d rather we do it with a lead, but thats what we aim for. 

We faced a good player - so what? We could have won. Thats a word I don't use in front of the team because that is not important to me. The fact that we did not is more a result of coaching than playing. One thing we also learn is that there are always better and lesser players. Everyone can be and be a star; to be great individually, as well as part of a team.

Why do I coach? Afew years ago we were on a team that was bent on winning - single minded parents who focused on their kids alone. It was a miserable season for my son and I. It could have been our last. Thats one reason I volunteered to coach. Todd and I try to give each kid a chance to excel. It hurts me to see kids sitting or unhappy. Like I said I make plenty of errors. Our goal is to be sure every kid walks off the field at some point realizing they are more capable than they and can accomplish something they couldn't before. That and to understand the game; tagging up, a forced runner, keeping count, where and how to play as the game develops. It can be a complicated, to play and understand. I like it, and I think it is good for kids to learn. IndeedI feel it’s integral to development, at least in this country. Some kids get it sooner than others. Everyone will eventually. We’re trying to help that process.