Yesterday, we told of an online post we found from a parent of an eight year-old who felt his son was deserving of an all-star selection, but did not receive it. Below is our response:
Response from Yesterday's Post
Unlike most of the commenters, I have a vast amount of experience coaching Little League, have served on my LL board, coached all-stars and I even run several businesses in the youth sports market. And, while the poster seems very reasonable (congratulations for your perspective) and most of the comments are decent, here is the one thing that is always missed in these scenarios: What the poster says, which is that his son was deserving and the coaches kids had an advantage, is accepted as fact. And while this all MAY very well be true...we don't know because we weren't there. Obviously, every dad has a bias toward his own child. The poster uses the child's batting average as evidence, but I can tell you that batting average is very subjective. Someone else scoring the games may not have awarded as many hits as this parent did. And, even if the average is legit, in 8-year-old baseball, it is common for kids to hit over .500. So, the point is, an impartial observer who watched all the games without a child involved may have believed that, while the poster's son was a good little player, there were others who were better.
With all that said, there are two remedies here: First, get involved. Youth leagues are begging for volunteers...coaches, board members, field maintenance people...and the only way you can earn the right to complain about the process is to be part of it. Second, the policy I implemented in my league was that there three tiers of votes for all-stars: Coaches, board members and, most importantly, players. Every player received a ballot and was allowed to vote for 12 other players. The top six vote-getters automatically made the team and the managers were allowed to select the other six. If a manager's son is ranked 25th on this list, it is very hard for him to select his own kid...trust me, this system takes almost all the nepotism out of the selections.
So, the bottom line is, maybe this is NOT a lesson about life being unfair. Giving that message to your child might, in fact, be the wrong one because it is possible he actually was not deserving.