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An issue with the local junior basketball league and a letter I want to write


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#1 boatiebabe

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:04 AM

Firstly all names of teams have been changed to keep it confidential.

I have drafted the letter below to send to the person who administers the league. I was so disappointed last night at the game my son played in that I just feel that I can't not say anything. The league is trying to encourage new players and keep players in the game, so I feel it is my duty to say something.

My son plays in a league of young players - many of whom are on representative teams or desperately trying to improve to get onto a rep team. So it's not just a turn up and have a giggle competition.

Should I send the letter below as is, or make some modifications, or just forget the whole damn thing?

Happy to answer any questions.

Hi (basketball official)

I wanted to bring to your attention a game between Sharks and Chooks in the U12 Championship game last night.

If you have a look at the results the Chooks got an absolute pounding from the Sharks team. Watching the game it was obvious from the outset that the Chooks were going to have a bad night. They were a couple of players down, and played woefully, and Sharks were on fire, but that happens sometimes! That is not the issue.

What I couldn’t understand was the level of pressure exerted from the Sharks each and every time the Chooks threw the ball in. Full court press, and it just got more aggressive as their score climbed. Not to mention some very unnecessary physical play.

In every other game of regular kids competition basketball I have watched (u10s and U12s), if one team is racking up the points and the other team is floundering – the coach will pull the players back to half way or encourage more passing around of the ball by their players, giving their opponents an opportunity to get back into the game.

What was even more disappointing was the person who was on coaching duty last night for Sharks (an assistant {NBL *team name taken out*} coach and community development officer for basketball) didn’t check his players and get them to drop the insistent pressure down just a notch.

If the Chooks boys had been given a chance to take a breather, and get some of their fundamentals sorted, they may have got some of their teamwork going, and given the Sharks a game at least. As it was they were completely subjugated and left very very demoralised. I don’t think that’s a positive for young players.

I don’t think the play by the Sharks was in the spirit of the game and certainly did not follow your code of behaviour for players/coaches/officials.

I’m really loathe to criticise people who give their time and volunteer for coaching positions, so I am not asking you to necessarily address this to the individual coach. However it may be a good idea to remind coaches about fair play in these situations, and remind them that they are able to modify the play a little if things get one sided.

I ask that you keep this correspondence confidential, but I do implore you to act on the information provided.

Boatiebabe

#2 teaspoon

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:10 AM

View Postboatiebabe, on 14 February 2018 - 11:04 AM, said:

or just forget the whole damn thing?

Yup - sorry, you need to step away.

Get involved as a coach, or ref or manager, but drilling into detail like this is way over the top.

#3 Anon wife

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:12 AM

Sorry I agree with teaspoon, i'd let it go.

#4 boatiebabe

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:13 AM

teaspoon I am a manager for a rep team, and I volunteer in many other sports and school things.

I just feel that something should be said.

I appreciate your advice and comments.

#5 bakesgirls

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:14 AM

Personally, I'd drop it. My eldest DD plays basketball in a rep team, so I do get it.

She's had games where they were down players and were absolutely flogged by the opposing team. She's had games where she has been on the team that was doing the pounding. Swings and roundabouts.

It was not the other teams fault that your child's team was down a few players. That's life. That's sometimes what happens. The other coach is responsible and answerable to his team, not the opposing team.

It sounds like the other team took the game seriously, as did their coach, which is perfectly reasonable to me. They don't owe the other team any sort of 'easing' up on play. Losing by a lot shouldn't lead to the team feeling demoralised. If they do feel that way, perhaps that's something their coach can work on with them.

#6 -Belinda-

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:16 AM

I think it is fine, if nothing else it might trigger them to have a look for themselves and then decide whether intervention is required. Sport should be for fun at that age.

#7 Lou-bags

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:20 AM

Disclaimer- I have a 4yo involved in a sport but it’s not a team sport so I’m inexperienced with what you’re talking about as a parent. I do well remember the wallopings I experienced as a player as a child and teen though.

I think you need to let it go. Something like what you describe is going to be hard to quantify. It’s fairly subjective and it would be simple for the coach/other team/whomever to say ‘sore loser’ and dismiss the whole thing.

Is it a thing, though, that teams are expected to go easy if they are winning? Surely it’s as demoralizing to make some scores against a team you can see aren’t really trying as it is to not score at all? They are old enough to know the difference.

If there was unsportsmanlike rough play, that’s also on the refs to reign in though, and if you feel like they were overly physical to the point of breaking the rules or skating on that line perhaps that would be worth bringing up.

If you do decide to send it, take some time to calm down and the reread as it is a bit heavy with emotion on my reading. Which is understandable but just makes it easier to dismiss IMO.

Hope the chooks rally and have a better game next time!

#8 JAPNII

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:24 AM

I wouldn't send it - I have 3 kids playing bball from a young age so I know its hard when they sometimes get flogged.

Phsyical stuff is different and should have been fouled.

Beyond that, the kids will need to suck it up and so will you.

#9 Beltie

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:24 AM

You are asking that every player on the other side should not try their hardest in every game. That's not a very sporting way to play a game.

#10 boatiebabe

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:29 AM

Beltie we must have different views of what being a good sportsperson is all about!

But I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

#11 kimasa

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:36 AM

I'm on team don't send it.

I just don't feel like it's something that needs to be said and it comes across as being a bit of a poor sport. Sometimes you come up against teams that play better, or take the game more seriously. It sounds like they didn't actually do anything wrong, they were just better at the game.

Sure kids sports are for fun but it's still a competition, and it's really not fair to ask kids to purposrfully not do their best.

#12 zenkitty

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:38 AM

View Postboatiebabe, on 14 February 2018 - 11:04 AM, said:

So it's not just a turn up and have a giggle competition.

I think that’s the answer - if the boys are expected to take it seriously I don’t think it’s fair to ask the Sharks to modify their play to give the other team a breather, the Chooks also can’t expect that they are going to get any concessions moving up if they have a bad night. Kids sport is about learning to lose as much as learning to win.

#13 boatiebabe

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:43 AM

Thanks everyone.

I won't send it.

I'll leave it to the coaches and league to sort out if they think there is an issue.

The teams are put together by the league to make the competition even, so most games are very evenly matched score wise. The anomaly in scores in last night's game might make them take a closer look at what happened. Or not!

#14 zenkitty

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:43 AM

Also, is the NBL coach a regular? Could the Sharks boys have been a bit overexcited to try and impress him if they’re all trying to get on rep teams?

#15 annodam

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:45 AM

Seriously?

Let it go!


And this is from someone whose kid competes at National level.
I have been there, done that & have sat on both sides of the fence.

Your Chooks team is identical to my 9yos u12s Baseball squad, they get pounded week in, week out.
They haven't won a game all year, if I was to start complaining, I'd be writing a letter every week!

#16 Prancer is coming

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:48 AM

My kid played on a school team that lost pretty much every game of the season.  The team set goals other than winning and they did not need the team to go easy on them.  Some times it was a close-ish game, sometimes a flogging.

Then on the other hand, last year she was on a team that won every game.  The only time they played ‘soft’ was when it was against a team that basically had not scored all game.  They still wanted to play as a team and do their best every week and I would not expect them to dumb down every game to make it more competitive.  If your team had some rep players on it, I certainly would not expect them to play soft, particularly if your team had bet them in the past.

#17 Dianalynch

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:50 AM

I dunno op, I see what you mean, on the other hand I remember being trounced on the odd occasion, I recall it as a good life lesson.

#18 teaspoon

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:50 AM

View Postboatiebabe, on 14 February 2018 - 11:13 AM, said:

teaspoon I am a manager for a rep team, and I volunteer in many other sports and school things.

I just feel that something should be said.

I appreciate your advice and comments.

I know it's hard to watch when kids get trounced - my son plays in an under 14 sydney league and they sometimes play boys that appear to already be men!

Guess, what though - when it all evened out, last season our boys won the comp. It's about the whole season, not a single game.

Go Chooks!

#19 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 14 February 2018 - 11:57 AM

Why is everyone assuming the OP’s son was in the losing team?

I don’t think I’d send the letter. I think if you are involved in the game, maybe just have a quite word about your observations if you get the chance.

#20 boatiebabe

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:04 PM

I just want to clarify something.

I don't care that they lost and I don't care that they lost by a lot. Couldn't care less. That can happen.

Some weeks they win, some weeks they lose. All good. As long as they are playing, learning and enjoying it.

I just think the play y the opposing was very unsportsmanlike. That was disappointing.

My DS played in a tennis tournament during the day a won a few sets very convincingly.

If he'd started aiming balls at his opponent's heads or bodies, and smashing them around more than he needed too, I would have told him to pull his head in.

As it was, he did what he needed to do, without completely demoralising his opponents.

#21 Hini

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:11 PM

If your issue was that they played too rough and ought to have been fouled that is a different issue.

Your letter reads as though you think they ought to have stepped off the pedal to give the other team a 'chance' which might be OK for little kids but not in the type of league you discuss.

Maintaining intensity even when you're winning is also an important skill in sport.

#22 seayork2002

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:18 PM

View Postboatiebabe, on 14 February 2018 - 12:04 PM, said:

I just want to clarify something.

I don't care that they lost and I don't care that they lost by a lot. Couldn't care less. That can happen.

Some weeks they win, some weeks they lose. All good. As long as they are playing, learning and enjoying it.

I just think the play y the opposing was very unsportsmanlike. That was disappointing.

My DS played in a tennis tournament during the day a won a few sets very convincingly.

If he'd started aiming balls at his opponent's heads or bodies, and smashing them around more than he needed too, I would have told him to pull his head in.

As it was, he did what he needed to do, without completely demoralising his opponents.

I get your point but if they won would you still right the same letter?

to be honest I lost my train of thought with the OP letter - Maybe talk to them

#23 Moet08

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:19 PM

Op I’m in team don’t send that letter.
However if you feel strongly  about the opposing team being unsportsmanlike be more consise in your statements.

Don’t mean to sound mean but the letter you wrote sounds Whiny.

#24 Mollycoddle

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:27 PM

I probably wouldn't go into that much detail but take the angle that the teams seemed mismatched.  Even then I probably wouldn't send it until a few more games have happened so you can see if it mismatches (or possible foul play) are going to be an ongoing thing.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 14 February 2018 - 12:27 PM.


#25 Sentient Puddle

Posted 14 February 2018 - 12:32 PM

DS started playing in an Under 14s league this year - most of his team are only 12 currently but most will tick over to 13 by the mid year cut off.  I swear for most of his grading matches they were playing 18 year olds.  In reality they were playing those on the upper end of the age group - almost 2 years at this age makes a huge difference to size etc.  Some of these grading matches they were lucky to actually score - despite winning their league the previous season.  One match they were beaten by 40 points and the opposition were as gung ho scoring the first point as they were the last.  We didn't expect the opposition to let up (it would have been nice for the parents of the opposing team to clap when our boys finally got on the board as we were clapping their points - but that is another vent for another time) and they didn't.

I am also on team don't send it.  I think that matches like this can be seen to be character building if the coaches and parents approach it in the right manner.




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