Why wasn’t my kid’s game in the newspaper?
About this time each year, we start answering the same question over and over: Why wasn’t my kid’s game in the newspaper?
The answer is because the people who need to tell us about it, didn’t.
Throughout late June and July, area youth play baseball and softball with a number of different leagues at several levels in all parts of the state and sometimes in other states, too. When the all-star season arrives, we shift our attention from predominantly high school sports to youth baseball and softball.
Every year, we ask the leagues and their coaches to report results to us — just like varsity high school coaches — so we can get the kids some attention in print. They like it, their parents and families like it and, logically, the leagues and their volunteer leaders would like it, too.
Just like with the high school teams, we can only cover so many games, and the rest are up to the coaches. It seems each year the number of reports we get is smaller.
Now, at the end of the season, we’ll get only so many entries for our annual summer ball yearbook, “Stars on the Diamond.” We’ll end up shouldering the blame for that as well — thankfully, we have broad shoulders.
The reasons we get vary, none of which seem very good to us: It was too late to call you (we’re here until midnight or later); nobody cares if I call (wrong); not my job (we’ll talk to any coach or other official of the team); or our all-time favorite, I don’t want to call when we lose (because, apparently, no one is supposed to lose, and surely we’re going to ridicule the local kids rather than pointing out their positive achievements, like who had multiple hits or performed well on the pitcher’s mound).
Youth sports coaches tend to be more involved with the kids and the outcomes on a personal level, and we understand that. That’s not a bad thing.
But choosing not to report anything other than victories (or nothing at all) only gives the kids less exposure for what they’ve already achieved — making the all-star team from their league and proudly representing our area no matter the outcome.
Youth sports are supposed to be about the youth, not the adults. Most coaches of youth players, as good as those coaches may be, aren’t going to convince anyone they’re the second coming of legendary manager Connie Mack, no matter how well the kids under their charge fare.
That’s why we ask you to report all the results, not just the wins. It may be well-intentioned, but all it’s doing is shortchanging the kids.