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T-ball team DQ'd for cheating

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Flash, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Flash

    Flash Guest

    I don't have the original link but really ... T-ball?

    EVANSDALE --- A decision to disqualify a tournament-winning children's ball team in Evansdale has parents and coaches teed off.

    The Evansdale Youth Sports Association wrapped up a season of T-ball with a tournament over the weekend.

    Instead of taking home trophies, the winning team, the Walleyes, was declared ineligible. The team's coaches were banned from participating in EYSA organizations after board members discovered the team used two nonroster players.

    "If you have to cheat to win down there, we don't want you there," board member Diane Peters said. "They broke the code of ethics. They did not follow the rules."

    Walleye parents and coaches call the move heartless.

    Walleyes Coach Brian Thompson said he hasn't told the team about the board's decision.

    "I can't tell these kids that --- they won," he said. "They're 5 to 7 years old. That would be like taking their stuffed animals away from them."

    The Walleyes swept six straight games entering the tournament from the loser's bracket after dropping their first game.

    Team coaches say they added the two players to have enough players to participate in the tournament. One of those two, Shaden DeGroote, had played with the Walleyes since July 5 but never officially registered with the team.

    "All kids have to be on the roster first, for legal reasons," Peters said, adding that having non-registered players leaves the EYSA open to liabilities.

    The other player was on a different roster from an EYSA T-ball team but had missed his team's tournament and wanted to play.

    Thompson said he brought the two on board because the team had only five players entering the tournament. Even with two additions, the team played the tournament with just one outfielder.

    "We never expected to see them to win even second place," said Shaden DeGroote's father, Curtis DeGroote.

    League rules should have prevented the Walleyes from playing in the tournament at all since they call for at least eight players on each team.

    Two board members, including Peters' daughter, Danielle Peters, are also team coaches. Peters' team finished fourth in the tournament, and moved up to third after the Walleyes were disqualified.

    DeGroote said the decision to revoke the victory was in retaliation for winning.

    "They let them play all weekend long with seven players," he said. "I absolutely believe that if (the Walleyes) had lost, (the board) would have never said a word."

    Members said they had no motivation outside of enforcing the rules.

    "Do we let them break the rules constantly?" Peters asked. "They cheated. They literally cheated."

    Thompson said the players were being unfairly punished.

    "I think they should punish me, not the kids," he said. "Don't punish these kids by not giving them their trophies after they played six games straight in 90-degree heat," said DeGroote.

    Board Vice President Natalie Finger said the board didn't strip the team of its trophies.

    "We're not taking the championship away from the kids," she said. "It's the coaches who did that by deciding to break the rules."

    Other coaches are split on whether the Walleye players deserve their trophies.

    Cedar Valley Vikings Coach Dave Wyant didn't dispute the outcome of the tournament, had the coaches registered the players.

    "Everyone likes to win, but it probably wouldn't have been a big deal if they'd gone through the process of having the kids register."

    The two additions made a difference, he added.

    "They were the two best on the team, if not the league," he said. "To that degree it's not really fair when you have randomly selected teams."

    Brian Olsson, Troupe's Auto coach, said the board made a poor decision.

    "Nothing states in the rules you can't add kids," he said, adding that having teams coached by board members and using board members to umpire creates a conflict of interest.

    Olsson said the board should have spoken with the other league coaches before making a decision.

    Finger said the issue has gotten out of hand.

    "It's the way society is," she said. "Everyone is out for the win. You have to remember people, these are 5, 6, 7-year-old kids playing."

    Contact John Molseed at 291-1418 or John.Molseed@wcfcourier.com
  2. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    Here's the link:


    I am not surprised (this happened about three hours up the road from here). All these coaches care about is winning a damn trophy.

    My favorite is the one kid's father saying, "Don't punish these kids by not giving them their trophies after they played six games straight in 90-degree heat." Should 5-7 year-olds be playing six games straight in 90-degree heat?
  3. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    The kids should also be ineligible for Hall of Fame voting.
  4. Flash

    Flash Guest

    I thought words like 'winning' were frowned upon in T-ball where it's supposed to be about having fun and learning.
  5. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    The article forgot to mention the most important thing that some t-ball coaches around here call in... who were the winning pitchers in those games?
  6. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Everybody tried really hard!
  7. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    Oh no. It's about winning tournaments. It's all about the trophies. It would be like taking away their stuffed animals (to borrow from the moron in the story).

    The kids will probably be upset for five minutes and then go back to playing with their stuffed animals. The parents will be devastated for weeks.
  8. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Just weeks? I would imagine in typical parenting style, black marks will be held against some kids for the rest of their playing days. They won't get onto the travel team, they won't get scholarships and they'll NEVER get their names in the paper.

    Or, as I've seen done before, someone will start a renegade league and go into direct competition.

    All over a T-ball tourney.
  9. IGotQuestions

    IGotQuestions Member

    Win win win at all costs:

    I'll never forget the dad a few years ago screaming at his 4-year-old daughter to "mark your man! mark your man!" during a community kids' soccer tournament. She stopped running and broke down crying on the spot. He ran halfway to her onto the field and took a concilliatory tone while trying to explain to her defense. She stopped crying, he stepped back to the sideline, and she started to run after the ball and after a minute or so he yelled at her again and she broke down again. Never wanted to jack a parent so badly.

    Never mind that 4-year-olds have no business playing in a tournament with trophies to the winners only.
  10. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    From the league vice president's comment on the page, the crux of the issue is as I suspected -- these coaches (and/or the players' parents) never bothered to register players with the league. It sounds like that wouldn't have been a problem, because the VP spelled out how rules were bent because the season was delayed by the Iowa floods, so it understood that there might be conflicts because the league was going so late into the summer.

    However, with league officials around all the time, someone should have pointed out to these coaches what the rule was. At least from the info here, there's no malice on the coaches' part. They wanted to fill out a roster and perhaps were unaware of the rules, which happens a lot when you have volunteer coaches. I suspect, too, that everyone was willing to overlook this as long as that team didn't win a title.

    I would say, let the kids keep the trophies, and make sure next year you have coaches' meetings that spell out all the rules. And, hopefully, not have an historic flood. This reeks of NCAA-style justice -- punish innocent players for others' mistakes.
  11. Seahawk

    Seahawk Member

    Why are they running a competitive T-Ball tournament? When we played T-Ball, it was a 3-inning game in which each kid batted in each inning, regardless of outs. It was strictly an instructional thing, as most of the kids playing barely knew how to hold a bat, much less swing it.

    Competitive games didn't start until the level after T-Ball, when actual pitching was used. Even at that level, there was no need for a tournament.
  12. IGotQuestions

    IGotQuestions Member

    how will you fund your retirement?
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