Saturday, April 09, 2005


My son's team had its first game today. He has been anticipating the game with ever growing excitement for the past couple of weeks. Last night was dark, windy and disturbingly cool but the morning dawned warm and clear. The field where the game was held was the first place that the entire team has even been together; many had missed some of the practices and some had missed all of them. So we had to scramble (I'm the assistant coach) to figure out line-ups, substitution schemes etc. Of course discussing any sort of formation was utterly futile. No matter how many times we lined them up and spread them across the field, once the ball started moving around the field, it exerted, black hole-like, an irresistible attraction on all players who proceeded to gather around it in the stereotypical clump and kick away. The only exceptions were the goal-keepers (of course) and the last line of defense. Since the ball spent the vast majority of the game in the opposing team's half of the field, these four kids spent the time picking dandelions, kicking at the dirt and otherwise ignoring everything that went on except when we would frantically scream in their direction because the ball was hurtling their way. Our team won, 1-0. I suspect that the outcome of most games of 6-year-olds is pretty random. Still, a lot of fun.

And while I sometimes scratch my head at the sheer amount of time and energy that such events require--every kid had at least one parent at the game, some had both parents, siblings, and other relations--I think there is something to the notion of teaching kids how to operate within the limits of a system that has rules. Of course all too often the rules in the real world are broken by those who either have the wealth, connections and resources to avoid the consequences or those who have little to lose. But in the end I think that teaching kids to play by the rules is probably a good thing.

Go Wildcats!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention one indication that my six-year-old still hasn't quite figured out that he isn't the center of the universe: a few days ago he asked me, "will our game be on TV?"

How did Jon do? It sounds like fun.
Well, darn! that it wasn't on TV! I would have watched it! (At least a bit!) :-)

Hmmm, he might be on to something -a cable station devoted to little league games of all sorts! Wow!
I'd rather watch Little League games than professional poker players any day of the week.
If you and the other parents worked out some sort of deal, there might have been "highlights" of the league on one of the local news channels...

The local highscool team is also the Wildcats... so I feel pretty safe in echoing your call: Go Wildcats!!
There's a Will Ferrell movie coming out May 13 about kids soccer called "Kicking and Screaming" that pretty much echoes everything you just talked about. Co-starring James Duvall and Mike Ditka, strangely enough.
Maybe afterall I can leave a comment, Hooray if it works! Asking if his game was going to be televised is so cute and so 21st century.
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