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Player’s age controversial PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

My husband, Ben, and I are currently the volunteer coaches for the girls t-ball team in Grant. Yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call from the city recreation director informing me that she will be “pulling our team from the Tri-County tourney” if my daughter Reagan plays in another game.

Reagan, who is four years old, has played in three regular season games, against the wishes of the City of Grant as they do not feel she is old enough. The age limit for Tri-County t-ball for girls is “not nine before August 1st.”

I was told that I could only play Reagan if our team was short of players. Our team has 12 players, not counting Reagan, and we play with 10 players at a time. After coaching for many years, I know that with 12 players on a roster there are games throughout the season that we will be short of players because of family vacations that conflict with the schedule or other various reasons.

At our game last Thursday, we had only six players when it was time for us to take infield and only nine players at the beginning of the game. (These numbers include Reagan).

Therefore, I have played my youngest daughter in not only the one game we have been short, but also in two other games. I don’t feel it is fair for any player, not just my daughter, to be told they can only play in games when we are short players and not any other time. They are either a part of the team or they aren’t.

What is happening with the summer ball program in Grant is that the city manager and recreation director are telling girls that they can’t play until they are five years old, when this is a rule that they have made themselves, not a Tri-County rule.

I know that there were other girls under the age of five that were also told they couldn’t play this year and to you I apologize and I wish I knew who you were. I think that was a poor decision and I tried to convince them, as the coach, that anyone with an interest should be allowed to play.

We are short on numbers the way it is. In Grant this summer, there are only two girls ball teams total, for all age groups. In Sutherland and Hershey, who are roughly the same size as Grant, there are two teams per age group.

Our girls summer ball program is slowly dying and the city is imposing an age limit and turning kids away that have the desire to play. For the girls that want to continue playing or start playing, I hope that changes are made in the near future so that there is a program available for you in the years to come.

I would encourage anyone who shares my concerns to take the time to visit with the city manager. Hopefully all the girls playing for the t-ball team will be allowed to finish our their season.

Jill Pelster

Elsie