The following article was written by John Dossman, a fellow libertarian beekeeper. Reprinted with permission. Please check out John’s blog.
A.J. had another TBall game tonight and the head coach was unable to get off work so he had his assistant fill in for him and asked me to help his assistant. Because of this it deepened my perspective on tball and it’s effect on society.
Now, I’ve been to every practice save the one I missed while I was in Texas doing a demo for work. I’ve not missed a game either. From the beginning, when we had the first meeting with the coach, I knew there was a paradigm shift from the time I began Tball as a lad to today. Sure, I had heard the stories and rumors of all the changes, but it never really became apparent until I was a witness to it all. I complained to my dad about it and to hear him tell me how it was with sports when he was a kid, I recognize there was a big difference from his generation to even mine, and an even wider disconnect from his to A.J.’s.
After doing some thinking I’ve realized that each generation’s effect on society can directly correspond with their interaction with sports and on a more fundamental level Tball. For example, my dad who is 50 years older than I am, is part of the “Greatest Generation”. It can easily be said that this generation had the greatest effect out of all current living generation on industrialization, American spirit, they possess a great amount of fortitude with their never-say-die attitude, and this generation has classically shown a work ethic unsurpassed. My generation, Generation Y, is largely known as a generation of technology, general laziness, and a comsi comsa attitude to generally every thing. I can’t help to wonder what A.J.’s “Yet-to-be-named Generation” will turn out to be.
Allow me to further explain, but first take a few minutes to reflect how things were when you played Tball and sports as a young child.
Now that you have reflected and refreshed your memory on how things were, allow me to tell you about A.J.’s Tball experience in a bullet point format:
>Every kid plays defense…I mean every kid at once! No longer do we have the traditional positions of catcher, pitcher, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, short stop, left, center, and right fields, but apparently we have added the positions of middle left, middle right, in-between-1st-and-2nd, in-between-2nd-and-shortstop, and if there are still kids with extra positions the coach is allowed to be creative and make up as many positions as he needs too!
> Now there is a predetermined amount of hitters in an inning. That’s correct, no more 3 strikes and your out rule (er…suggestion). The coaches meet before the game and decide how many batters get to bat before the end of the inning.
Again, what does a team have to strive for. Why try to make a non forced out? Why try to get any one out? Why try to catch the fly ball? What’s the point now? There is no need to be exceptional.
>No longer are there double plays, triples, and now even the classic accomplishment of home runs has been eliminated. Kids are only allowed to advance one base at a time. The errors that ball player makes have no effect in the game.
We’ve negated striving for more and replaced it with “Just take what is the easiest, after all if I go for more I may fail.” Yes, this is exactly what the American experience means *Sarcasm* There is no need to be exceptional.
> I imagine this is nothing new, and was probably the precursor to the bastardization of baseball…but no longer do we keep score in Tball. Now it is accepted that there are no losers in Tball. Well, guess what folks, without a loser you can’t have a winner!!!! “But it’s all about fun” you say. You’re damn straight it’s about having fun, and it’s always more fun to win!!!
Now, I imagine me having this feeling will invoke thoughts that I am a heartless person by some who may read this. I will argue that the lack of keeping score promotes individualization rather than team spirit. Why do I feel that way? The next time you are at a Tball game…or any game that does not keep score, pay attention to what the kids say after the game. I guarantee you’ll hear the kids say “how did I do, mom/dad?” instead “how did we do; did we win?”
While I only list four changes I ensure you there are many more changes that will leave a negative impact on society by this current generation as a direct result of the changes in the sporting world. I encourage you to attend the next game you have the opportunity to and study what is taking place. Once you’ve done that, reflect and ponder the effects of what you’ve witnessed. I’m sure after you’ve done this you’ll be thinking the same thing I’m thinking….WAKE UP AMERICA!
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