Here is 9 year old Jericho Scott. He used to play baseball in New Haven, Conn. He has been banned from playing. He was told he’s to good to play and he should play somewhere else because he scares the other kids.
Right now there is steam coming out of my ears. REALLY. I wouldn’t kid you about this. Apparently he can throw a ball 40 miles and hour. He has never hit anyone and has never broken a rule. They told him he had to play another position and could no longer pitch so when he took to the mound last week, the other team packed up their gear and went home.
Okay first…oh, I don’t even know what to say first. Calm down…deep breath….Let’s start with Jericho. How does this make him feel? He said he felt sad. He’s no different than the other 9 year olds. He wants to play with his peers and his own friends. Second, how do you tell him he can’t play to his potential or he’ll get kicked off the team? How do you tell a child not to do their best?
My boys played baseball at a level that at times, I didn’t like. It was so cut throat to me. When they were 10, they tried out to make what was called The Majors. When Jason was 10, there were over 180 10 year olds that tried out with only 16 making it. Each team took two 10 year olds. He made it and it was a tough league to play. Toby also made it though his class wasn’t as large as Jason’s. Then they played on that team until they graduated to the next level. If you didn’t “make” any of those teams, you still played but were on The Minors.
Every kid that tried out really wanted to make it. Let me tell you, these kids were good. We were talking about this last night and Toby said “remember “so and so,” I was always scared of hitting off him.” So this is nothing new. Kids that shouldn’t have been on that league, weren’t. This league is some kind of a developmental league but I’m not sure yet what that means. If the kids can’t hit against this boy or are afraid of him, I don’t feel the answer is to kick him off the team.
I’ve been reading blogs and reading the news on this all day today. Opinions are varied. Mine is this, if in his neighborhood league, there is no option of him playing “higher” up with his own peers and in his own neighborhood, then I feel he should be allowed to play in this league at whatever position he chooses to play. People have said “put him with older kids” but that can’t work for many reasons. Baseball little league rules state age and where you live as a requirement. You could play on a team where you didn’t live but you could not be on any “All Star” type teams. On All Star Teams and State Teams, they all go according to age and where you live. Our neighborhood little league had this option but where I live now doesn’t. So a lot of how this works depends on your parks and little league options.
I also believe that all kids need to learn facts of life like this. There is always someone bigger and there are always going to be people that your scared of but you don’t just quit. What does that say? Should we also tell our kids not to try their best because if they do, they might be kicked off the team?
Think if this were reversed and this boy wasn’t “good enough” and was being kicked off. Would that be any more fair?