Hi All. Coaching a 14U rec team. Our catcher, who was our #1 pick in the league draft and is our #2 hitter, also plays on a tournament team. I knew about that when I drafted her and was aware that she would not be available for some games and practices. The coach of her tournament team lives in our town and happens to be the assistant coach of one of the other 14U rec league teams (Team A). His daughter is the best pitcher in the rec league. The two girls have missed or arrived late to several games this season due to tournament team commitments. Our catcher missed 4 games out of 12.
Our team beat team A twice when the two girls were not available to play so I know we can win without our starting C but I don't see them winning without their #1 pitcher. I believe all 4 of team A's losses this season were games where #1P was not available. I like the AC, he's a decent guy and his daughter is a great athlete. Though I have a feeling that being in the rec league is just looked at as extra practice for her against live hitting. The phrase cannon fodder comes to mind when she is up there mowing down some of the less athletic rec league girls - many of whom have never played before.
Now it's the playoffs - with only 4 teams at 14U this year, we're having a double elimination tournament. We won the first game but lost the 2nd (to their team). We have an elimination game tomorrow night which is the tournament team's regular practice night. Catcher's dad told me after our game last night that she won't be at the playoff game tomorrow due to tournament team practice.
Many girls on our team are playing multiple sports this season (lacrosse, gymnastics, dance team, tennis team) so I don't have a problem with anyone missing a practice or even a regular season game for something that is a higher priority like a play off game in another sport or a gymnastics meet. It's a super busy time of year around here and the girls who are good at softball are good at a lot of other sports...
I expect the priorities to be
tournament/gymnastics meet/dance recital/family wedding/graduation/family trip...
play off game (in any sport)
tournament team practice
regular season rec game
I suspect that if our opponent tomorrow was team A, there would be some accommodations made so the girls could both play as they would need their #1 pitcher to have a chance at beating us. Instead, we will need to win without our #1 catcher and then I will have to decide if she should even start in our next game (against team A) after missing a play off game for a tournament practice.
Just looking for some opinions. Is it unreasonable to expect a player to skip a tournament team practice for a rec league playoff game? Should I have passed her over in the draft and let team A have her (they had the next pick)? Honestly, I took her because she was the best player on the board but also because I knew it would be a huge advantage for them to have both the best pitcher and the best catcher, especially with the two of them having played together for a few years... and the DD of the HC of team A is the best SS in the league so they would have been really stacked.
My assistant coach thinks I should sit her or put her in RF for the next game if we get there. I tend to think that at 13, it's not really up to her - it's her dad who is making the decision to miss the play off game. I'd sit him if I could, lol. I could sit her for a few innings (assuming we win tomorrow and play again). I do have another excellent catcher but she usually plays 1B as she is even better there - saving countless outs. We would be taking a significant step down at 1B if I do that.