For those not motivated to click on the links, Tully's article explores how sportsmanship in youth sports leagues is getting out of hand. He wonders why kids are encouraged to congratulate a team that beats them in competition and how this hyper-sportsmanship will affect how these kids function in the real-world.
Directly relevant to Tully's ideas is the AP article. Jericho Scott is nine years old and can throw 40 mph. Some league administrators felt that this endangered the other players in the co-ed league and told Jericho's coach that he was not to pitch in any game for the rest of the season or else the games would be forfeited.
This is hyper-sportsmanship taken to its farthest extreme. The league would rather have no one be able to play than to let the kids compete.
Those who think they are running this league are only ruining the experience for everyone involved.
Jericho doesn't get to showcase his skills, and the batters don't get a chance to improve their games and compete at a higher level. In fact, Jericho ends up feeling like he ruined the game for everyone. All because some are afraid that the children of New Haven might get a bruise.
This is exactly what Tully addresses in his B/R article. These parents are sheltering their kids, which will only make the reality of adult life hit them that much harder when they reach adulthood.
Youth sports is about building character, but the administration of the Youth Baseball League of New Haven keeps this growth from coming about by trying to level the playing field. The playing field is never level in the real world, and the sooner kids learn this, the better.
Stop the madness. Let Jericho pitch.