Good vs Bad Sportsmanship

Hello Moms and Dads,

First of all I wanted to give a belated father’s day shout out to all the dads that bring their kids week after week to the sports fields.  No matter what sport.  You are making a BIG difference in your kids life just by being at the field.  Sorry that I have been slacking in my blogging.  Home remodel takes too much time.  As the title of this blog captures, Good vs Bad sportsmanship-this is how our weekend games went.

Okay..now turning completely off the course…I had to dig through to see what good sportmanship means.  Yes, we had an awful situation where we had to talk to the umpire and here is what was the kicker..the sportsmaship was very different to the ASA umpires and USSSA umpires…at least the one who umpired our 10U championship game this Sunday.  We were playing a USSSA game (the umps who wear red) and during our Championship game we were playing against this team X.  I don’t really want to be mean and name the team as they are still 10 yr old players and do as their coaches and parents tell them to do.

Well, may be this is how they win their games because they do not believe in their own talent.  They almost had no cheers to actually cheer their teammates at bat.  They only had cheers to bring down the pitcher of the opposing team.  Pitch after pitch..the cheer kept getting worst.  Like screaming and increasing the intensity just as the pitcher was about to pitch.  I am sure you have played against similar teams.

When we have played in ASA tournaments against teams like this in the past, we have had the umpires call the game against the derogatory team because of bad sportsmanship.  This weekend, the distraction to our pitcher made her throw a ball that hit the batter, so our coach had a talk to the plate umpire to keep the intensity of the Team X’s cheer the same level and not increase just as the pitch was going to be delivered.  Mind you..they did not ask for no cheer but to keep it the same tone and not intensify just at the moment of pitching.

This is the same umpire that told all the kids in our team to take a knee since one player was hurt.  He said it is not in the rules but just courtesy to the hurt player.  We were fine with that, but when our coaches asked him to have a talk with the other coaches about good sportsmanship he surprised us by saying that our kids can do the same derogatory cheer to them while they are pitching.  Where did the courtesy go?  What are we teaching our kids?

Hmm…is that an ASA vs USSSA difference of sportsmanship?

We were just shocked that he would even tell our kids to have bad sportsmanship.  What is sportsmanship anyway?  Here is he Merriam-Webster version of it.

Simple Definition of sportsmanship

  • : fair play, respect for opponents, and polite behavior by someone who is competing in a sport or other competition

Here is what ASA says about their values.  Page 3 in values and Article 103 item C in page 5.  We also witnessed their parents encouraging their players to continue their bad behavior and their coaches not caring what they do as long as they win their game.

I am very proud of the team my daughter plays for.  Our players and parents are always told when they joined our team : when our kids wear their jersey, what they say, do and how they play reflects upon the entire team even when they are off the softball field.  You would never see any of our parents out of line or drinking in the field or our kids behaving badly.  They would be cut immediately.  I would rather my kids lose every single game and learn good morals and behavior then win one single game with bad behavior.

We may have lost our Championship game by 3 runs this weekend in Palo Alto but in our eyes our kids were Champions.  They learnt a valuable lesson in good etiquette and sportsmanship!!! Way to go girls! You will be outstanding young ladies when you grow up!!!  Thank you for not doing bad cheers even if the umpire said you can do it.  Okay, I got this off my chest…now we need to work with our pitchers to shut out all the noise and focus on the game.  More time watching Legend of Bagger Vance. We are working on it.

Have a great 4th of July everyone.