Monday, August 20, 2007

Its just soccer for goodness sake!

I agreed to take on a role of commissioner for our area in the local soccer league this season. I have coordinated teams for Samantha's age group for a number of seasons and honestly had just had enough of the parents and their numerous complaints about any number of things - that they made personal since they knew me.

We published the rosters for our fall season this weekend. I have already fielded a number of messages from parents about their unhappiness with the way the teams are formed. I even got a message from a coach who asked for 4 of his former players to be moved onto his team this season. Unbelievable. These kids are 6 years old. Yes, you heard that right - 6 years old! And the parents and coaches are already complaining that they don't get to play with the same players again.

The league has a very well-written policy regarding forming the teams. Its what I used to tell each coordinator in each group how to form the teams. It talks about parity of experience and balancing of kids from other schools, putting specific requests for coaches at the lowest priority - and a coaches request for a number of players with no priority. This is what my coordinators did. The problem is the league doesn't publish this policy for parents - I don't think intentionally, just hadn't been thought to.

The coaches are complaining. One said "we have been together since U5 then U6 and we expected to be together in U7". Well, U5 is 4 freakin years old. These kids need to play with a lot of different kids at this age. This coach even lodged a veiled threat of "I'll be checking out the other rosters to make sure THEIR kids weren't kept together". These coaches and these parents don't get it. Its the ones like this that ruin it for the others - these are the ones that are going to be out on the field assaulting other players when their kids are 14.

We haven't had a consistent commissioner in this area for a number of years - in my 4 seasons of working in Samantha's age group I had 4 different commissioners. With the verbal abuse that you receive in this role, its no wonder.

And if I had to guess - for my mother who is most likely reading this post - this is not at all different than the stuff they had to put up with for the years they helped to MAKE the little league the way it was when we were growing up.

Enough said. Rant over.

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