Honestly, it’s a great system. In a day when it’s all too common to hear about some parent who is Taking It All Too Seriously, the whole “league” is centered around having the kids have fun (all players get to bat every inning) and they do learn/improve year to year.
Now, I’m all for keeping idiot parents from arguing with umps. That’s good. Very good in fact, as it teaches children they have to fight their own damn battles.
But no score keeping? Letting everyone play at the expense of the team?
I am not looking forward to that Chinese moon and Brazilian netbook.
I’m certain you were making a larger point about how a lack of competitive experience at a young age is something that can possibly be a detriment later in life. But isn’t it also a bit hyperbolic to draw a straight line between a sports league for 4-8 year olds and the DOOMED FUTURE OF OUR MOTHERLAND BECAUSE ZOMGTEHCHINESE?
Youth sports are neither a literal nor metaphorical recruiting center for future employees. Especially at the age TJ is referring to. Now, high school sports? Sure – if you stink, you’re gonna sit the bench. Or not even make the team. But to say that a 5-year-old is at a competitive disadvantage later in life because he was allowed an at-bat every inning? Ludicrous.
Let’s say you’re that 5-year-old. And let’s say you’re a small kid. A really small kid. And your coordination isn’t all that great. But you like baseball and you like being outdoors and you like spending time with your friends and your dad. And if the coaches are allowed to bench you because they know you can’t hit a ball and spend most of your time in the outfield daydreaming, then what happens? Does knowing that you’re on the bench because you’re not a big kid or a strong kid or a skilled kid or a talented kid help you at that age? Does it really instill a sense of “team”, whatever that may be? Does it make you a better engineer later in life? A better scientist? A better plumber? A better dad? I submit it does not.
Again, I agree with your larger point that many things in children’s lives today are being watered down and de-risked for the wrong reasons, but linking pre-adolescent sports rules and future national economic conditions is specious at best.