Wow! That didn’t take long.
Three weeks removed from San Pedro Valley Little League’s 51st annual Opening Ceremony and boorish behavior is in the spotlight.
Volunteer coaches — and we strongly emphasize here volunteer — according to SPVLL President Trey Francione via a lengthy league Facebook post, have been verbally and physically threatened.
Thankfully, this sorry display is in the minority. Most of our Little League parents go far beyond the norm for the enjoyment and betterment of our young people.
It’s become an all-too-common problem in youth sports. Perhaps the most recurrent and certainly most disturbing trend is it almost exclusively involves “grown ups.” It also serves as a starch reminder that we’re not entirely immune from the ugliness. Far from it. That it has occurred so brazen and quick in a young season we hope is not overture of imminent vitriol.
It’s Little League people!
A game for our boys and girls to have fun — period! That the outcome or game circumstances would warrant need for intervention, and in the presence, mind you, of the youngsters we are tasked with teaching civility and fair play, escapes us.
The reality is your child is probably not the next Cal Ripken Jr. or Jenny Finch, but if in the rare occasion that they are, they’re going to be just fine, regardless of the final outcome, game-time play or strategy in a SPVLL game.
Thankfully our volunteer coaches are doing a much better job of instilling the importance of teamwork, fair play, grace and dignity on impressionable young minds. Those attributes gained from participation in team sports transgress the field into everyday life.
There is no denying the unpalatable aftertaste left from the overzealous bullies, whose conduct is woefully short of the behavior that’s expected — and applied successfully, we might add, by their own Little Leaguers.
Let the kids play, let the coaches coach, and please refrain from offering your input, unless, of course, it’s to offer support and encouragement to our boys and girls and their respective coaches.
Little League baseball and softball is about the fun — period!