Basketball Diaries

Emma plays basketball for the local "recreational" league. See, our school district has no sports teams until 7th grade so all the kids in the district have to play for this league (or some other league).

On the league's website they state: "Our programs focus on the enjoyment of playing basketball in an organized setting, as well as fundamental training through the drills necessary to properly develop."

I call bullshit on this. 

We've been part of this program since Liv was in 4th grade and every year it gets worse. There is no "enjoyment" when it comes to the weekly games.

The majority of the coaches in this league - let's remember that this year I'm talking about FOURTH GRADE GIRLS - are only in it to win it. At any cost. 

The team we played today were rude, crass, and super physical. Like throwing elbows to the throat and shoving players to the ground. Which, in a normal game with REAL refs might actually be called as fouls. But not in today's game. 

Nope. Today the "ref" (I use that term really lightly) didn't call one single foul.

Now let's think about this for a sec. In basketball fouls are called on players for specific violations. It's a common and accepted part of the game. But in this league in grades K-4 fouls are only called IF the ref decides he feels like calling them. And then when the players get to 5th grade fouls MUST be called. But by this point the kids don't know why they are getting fouls called on behavior that was ACCEPTED SINCE KINDERGARTEN. 

See? Zero consistency. 

Oh and let's talk about the coaches. Last week we had the meathead who kept screaming "get your man!" to a group of 4th grade GIRLS. (And NO. I don't give two hoots that it's called man-on-man play. They're girls. Call them girls). This week? Oh, we had a real peach as the opposing team's coach - she was cheering as her girls threw elbows to the throats and SCREAMED in our player's faces. 

Being unable to control myself I actually yelled toward her (not at her...just in her general direction) "Seriously?!?" as the girls screamed in our players' faces, and she decided to yell at me "Stay on your side!" and something else that I can't recall. I'm pretty sure I responded in kind. I don't tolerate grownups mouthing off at me. 

At the end of the game a player on the opposing team shoved Emma to the ground so hard that she ended up in tears. This is not normal for Emma to cry in a game so I know it hurt. And....no whistle, no foul, no nothing.

Everything about this "league" is laughable from the management to the coaching to the "refs." I'm pretty sure this will be the last year we play in this "league." 

If their goal is to teach these kids the rules and regulations of the game they are failing in a spectacular manner.

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