Lowest Common Denominator

Friday 9 May 2003

First of all, sorry about no rantings for the last two weeks - I've had Thursdays off and so getting a rant in place on Thursday has been slipping my mind.

Last Sunday, before my softball team's doubleheader, I was sitting on the bleachers eating lunch and the woman who oversees the entire county athletics program happened to be at the field to spectate. We got to talking and she commented that other teams were complaining about the few teams - including mine - who are winning almost every game. She also mentioned that teams with the best record in a season need to move up to a higher level of play, even if it means playing elsewhere because her county doesn't offer that level of co-ed softball.

Okay. We field three teams right now. At the time of this conversation, their records were 5-1, 2-4, and 4-0 (with 2 rainouts). Four of those wins were 1- or 2- run games. So this year, we're barely 11-5 with two rainouts-to-be-made-up, 60% of the way through the spring season. And I'm being told that we're too good and that we need to move up to "B" league softball somewhere else, despite at least two teams with better overall records than us, one of whom has not yet been beaten.

To give you an idea, last year my team's overall record (spring + summer + fall) was 17-18. In 2001 it was 24-23. In 2000 it was 9-16. Yes, we're better now. It's not because we got ringers. It's not because the leagues are suddenly weak. It's because we've practiced damn near every Saturday from March to October for the last three years...it's because I've kept mostly the same players and they've worked hard and gotten better and gelled as a team. Our hard work may get rewarded with our removal from the league because we're finally winning.

I have it on good faith that this sort of thing happens at the childrens' level, and in other sports. People want to have fun, not have slaughter games - so they weaken things down to the level where everyone sucks...but hell, what does it matter as long as everyone's having fun?

Well, we want to have fun too. We got beaten for three years (six if you count 1997-1999 when we played elsewhere) and we worked hard and now we're good. THAT is fun: progress through hard work and perseverance. It's a shame that no one understands this.