Thursday, June 4, 2020
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Don’t you get tired of the compromised coaches who cause the rest of us extra work? The ones who compromise or bend the rules to give their team an advantage?  It’s true, youth sports leagues have had put in safeguards to protect the integrity and safety of the game.

The sad thing is that there are a small percentage of those “bad coaches” who create the need for this list of items and forms that need to be competed before your youth team can play in the league. Who needs extra work?

The peculiar part of this is that every time a new rule or safeguard is added to the already long list of protective measures I embrace it so that our kids will all have a chance to play on an “equal playing field”.

It does take extra time to make sure every parent signs the  “rules of conduct” form. It’s a hassle.  How many parents bring a pen when dripping their kids off at the soccer field? Not all parents are present at practices, so you send the form home with the kid, and it somehow mysteriously disappears before the parents can sign it and turn it in. Now a phone call is needed to arrange a meeting time and place to get it signed. Who needs the extra work?

Copies of birth certificates are now not just a good thing to have, but a requirement. Some parents can’t find them, so now you have to take the time call the league officials to ask for a grace period so that these families can go to the proper downtown office to get a legal document. What a hassle, and who carries enough quarters to pay for the parking meters downtown?

What an inconvenience for the coach to have to carry all those copied birth certificates with him in a folder to every game.   Even more frustrating is the time you forget to pick up that folder and it gets thrown away by the custodial night crew or run over and shredded by the lawn mower the next morning? Now you have to call each parent and do it all over again. Oh yeah, and that means another trip to the office supply store to buy another folder. Who has the time for this?

Then you realize that those proof of grade documents, also known as report cards, were also in that same folder. “Hi parents, can you get me another copy please?”

I love the regulation of providing your latest home utility bill so that you can prove that you really do live in that district.

Then there is this new one that was just implemented in our league: you must provide a photo of each team member three weeks before the playoffs. This of course to eliminate teams from adding kids (or “ringers”) to the team just so they can win that all important and coveted 3rd grade Fall season championship.

Finally, the child gets that all important “I am really in the third grade ID card” so that he is now officially authorized to play.   Everyone is so excited that the “safeguards” have all been met, and it is now time to “play ball!”

That is until he loses the card: “Hi, Mrs. Smith, this is Coach Johnson. I did call the league board, and they said that Johnny does need that card, no exceptions to the rule. I am so sorry that we have to do this all over again. I am really even sorrier that you lost that birth certificate again. Really I am. I heard that the downtown offices are less busy on Wednesdays.  Oh, hey, I have some extra quarters you can borrow.”

For comments or questions, email Tom Kuyper at:

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