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Thread: My rec league player is on our opponents tournament team...

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    Checking out the clubhouse SquarePeg's Avatar
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    Default My rec league player is on our opponents tournament team...

    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
    rec practice

    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.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    I agree with a lot of what you said but it sounded like you had an idea what you were getting into.

    I do not get hung up in players missing practice or games.

    I think something is broke on my side if they are not coming.

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    You knew your catchers priorities at the beginning of the season and were ok with it. That shouldn't change because its rec playoffs.
    Start the best players for that position

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    We let DD play REC when she was 13. It was a chance to try different pitches and gain confidence. She was only allowed, by league rules, to pitch 4 innings.
    The other Pitcher was a first year player so we tried to get a lead, pitch DD first 3 then bring her in for the last inning.
    That said we would NEVER miss a travel practice for a REC game, even playoffs. Those conversations took place first REC practice of the season.
    "The charm of softball is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    Why doesn't a game take priority?

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    Quote Originally Posted by quincy View Post
    Why doesn't a game take priority?
    Because your travel team is your #1 priority (High School aside because of their rules).
    "The charm of softball is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope

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    Look at it this way, her family is paying a lot of money to play club ball. If she misses a practice, it's likely she'll also miss playing time in an upcoming tourney. Club coaches make it clear their team is the #1 priority when making an offer to join the team. Some are more lenient about missing, others are not.

    Rec is a chance to play with her friends in town, and most club players will look at it as just that... playing with friends. As the coach, this is a chance to give other girls the opportunity to step up and play a position in a big game. Maybe even catch by committee. At the end of the day, recreational softball is supposed to be about learning and having fun, hence the name.

    Now I have a different opinion about having a dominant club pitcher throwing against rec level girls. This is not good sportsmanship or good for the development of either the pitcher, her defenders, or the other team's hitters. Let her develop her secondary position, and let some other Rec pitchers develop their skills. But we see this time and again. Rec daddy-ball coaches getting that all important plastic league trophy at the end of the year.
    Donít practice until you get it right. Practice until you canít get it wrong.

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    Checking out the clubhouse SquarePeg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BT3100 View Post
    We let DD play REC when she was 13. It was a chance to try different pitches and gain confidence. She was only allowed, by league rules, to pitch 4 innings.
    The other Pitcher was a first year player so we tried to get a lead, pitch DD first 3 then bring her in for the last inning.
    That said we would NEVER miss a travel practice for a REC game, even playoffs. Those conversations took place first REC practice of the season.
    We do have inning limits for pitchers to encourage/force teams to develop pitching and give other players chances. However, it was decided that during playoffs all rules about number of innings pitched, number of innings played per player etc. would be off and it would be "play to win" in the playoffs. Not my idea and didn't get my vote. I didn't think changing the rules for the playoffs made any sense but I was the only nay vote - the other 3 coaches wanted it that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by #7sDad View Post
    Look at it this way, her family is paying a lot of money to play club ball. If she misses a practice, it's likely she'll also miss playing time in an upcoming tourney. Club coaches make it clear their team is the #1 priority when making an offer to join the team. Some are more lenient about missing, others are not.

    Rec is a chance to play with her friends in town, and most club players will look at it as just that... playing with friends. As the coach, this is a chance to give other girls the opportunity to step up and play a position in a big game. Maybe even catch by committee. At the end of the day, recreational softball is supposed to be about learning and having fun, hence the name.

    Now I have a different opinion about having a dominant club pitcher throwing against rec level girls. This is not good sportsmanship or good for the development of either the pitcher, her defenders, or the other team's hitters. Let her develop her secondary position, and let some other Rec pitchers develop their skills. But we see this time and again. Rec daddy-ball coaches getting that all important plastic league trophy at the end of the year.
    I tend to agree with your last paragraph but not sure what to do about it.

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    DD has become a very good pitcher over to the last year. I wouldn't put her in that rec league now.. but for two seasons she threw her change up over and over in those games.. now it's a go to Pitch.
    League rules are fine.. there's just a short supply of pitchers in our area.. sad
    "The charm of softball is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope

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