Little league has no “real” umps at games, but they do have volunteers that take the time to learn the rules for little league play.
But there seems to be unwritten rules for players to follow once they step onto the field. The following are suggestions from the parents’ sides of little league, as they often get a bad rap just because they were looking out for their slugger as he stepped up to bat.
- Don’t play amateur umpire. Often times, the biggest arguments aren’t on the field, but in the stands because your kid was called out or the play wasn’t fair. Remember the ump’s view is a different angle and much closer. Unless you have a solid reason to suspect unfair play, give him the benefit of the doubt or take it up after the game.
- Don’t assume everyone wants to hear a stream of criticism about the ump or other players. Remember: that’s their kid out there too and players are learning at this age, not experts.
- If you are coaching, remember; you are the teacher and your players learn far more than baseball from you. For example, if you try to make every one a “star” or de-emphasize those players that you know won’t make the “cut”, it sends an unrealistic or even unkind message.
- If you are a parent, be a parent. Kids and coaches will tell you, please do not coach from the stands. This can make your player more nervous that they already are and it is very distracting. Last thing you want if for the game to turn into a chore rather than a fun and learning experience.
- Don’t yell at your child in from of his or her team. You might think this should go without saying, but at just about every game, there is an upset parent. Again, this takes the fun out of the game and creates embarrassment in front of other people.
- Don’t expect an “all star” performance every time. Remember that the younger the player, the more the game is just that: a game. New skills and coordination take ti
- Do let your player play his or her own game.
- Have fun and your child will too. The younger your player is, the more likely they are playing for fun and not trying to build skills or win a game which comes later.
- If you are a coach, instruct, not destruct your players. In essence, avoid over coaching. Kids have shorter attention spans and each is in a different part of the learning cycle.
- If you are a parent, encourage the player. If you feel the need to criticize or become upset leave the field. Give yourself a “time out”.
- Develop and appreciation and understanding of the game. You will enjoy it more and your child will benefit from your example.
- Remembers that sports are a form of entertainment and excitement. The younger the player, the more likely they want to have fun without keeping score or taking the game too seriously.
- Do encourage you child to keep going. Games teach children about rules, fair play, teamwork and that fun is ok. There are many lessons to learn that have nothing to do with baseball.
Little league is a great place for family fun and togetherness. Don’t miss out!