CNN did a little “man on the street” thing about this. The reporter asked one woman and two men what they thought about the story, and all three of them had the attitude of, “Oh, so what, it’s just kids playing a game, no big deal, who cares, why is it an issue…blah, blah, blah.”
Excuse me, but have you ever heard of “Rules” ?
How about the fact that the parents are teaching this kid that it’s okay to lie to win?
Ever hear of “sportsmanship” ?
What a sad state this nation has come to…
Little League probably only would have revoked the charter if it was believed that many of the officials were aware of the deception. They apparently do believe that Rolando Paulino,the president, was aware of it, because they banned him from any association with Little League for life.
It’s even worse. Judging by my conversations with other parents (at Little League games), many people apparently don’t realize that a “twelve year-old” team with a player or two who is older (and likely to be bigger,stronger and more experienced) has an advantage when pkaying a team of actual twelve year-olds.
True, it may be kids playing a game, however, there is a big difference in the physical and mental developement, between a 12 year old and a 14 year old.
Having coached youth sports for some 20 years, I can tell you that having a 14 year old, (and not just any 14 year old, this kid does have some talent) play for your team, is a huge advantage.
Why is it an issue?
It’s an issue because in youth sports, we, as coaches, stress the 3 F’s, Fundamentals, Fair Play and Fun. We teach kids the fundamentals- running ,catching, throwing, hitting, etc. We teach them the rules of the game, balls, strikes, outs, fair ball, foul ball, etc. With these basics, they can now have fun playing.
Having to play against an older kid is not fun, because it’s not fair. I have had some of my players from previous years, fill in during practice, and, (if I allowed them to), they dominated the action. “He’s older than us, of course he’s gunna make us look silly, it’s not fair”, is a comment I usually heard when I did this.
Almonte is a good pitcher for a 14 year old, but against 12 year olds, he became legendary.
Rules is rules, and in sports they should apply to everybody, even the physically gifted.
This story says the team must forfeit all its wins; that all their records will be erased from the books (including Danny’s perfect game); that a team from the Netherlands Antilles will be awarded third place; Danny’s father and Paulino are both banned from the Little League for life; the teams in Paulino’s league cannot play next year unless they can prove they are in full compliance with LL rules. (I bet they change the name of Paulino’s league.)
They have not revoked the charter of Danny’s team. Danny may continue to play LL as long as he plays with kids his own age.