Ray Karpis

Coaching Youth Sports - Crazy ### Parents

514 posts in this topic

I've coached youth baseball for the past 5-6 years. I've probably mentioned before that I have two boys (now 11 and 9) that play rec league ball in the spring and then play all-stars in the summer through the Cal Ripken organization.  I've had an amazing stretch of having great parents....honestly almost never had an issue with parents complaining.  I'm not Connie Mack, but I played enough and know enough about baseball to teach fundamentals to this age group.  We moved to a new park this past season, and even though it's my first year in the program, I get voted by the league coaches to coach the 9-year-old all-star team.  We have a very good little team, win a few tournaments and ultimately finish as the state runner-up.  This age group had never finished better than 5th in the past.

The night we finished the state tournament, I get the craziest, delusional parent text I've ever received.  It was from the dad of my starting CF/3-hole hitter.  Athletic kid, very good player, fast, big arm...natural outfielder.  He was playing exactly where he needed to play to help the team win.  Played nearly every inning of every game. Anyway, here's the text:

Quote

Forgive the late hour as we just got home. ( stopped for a cool swim in the river) :). Congratulations on Second place in State Tourney. It's too little and too late, but I want to get a couple things off my chest. I don't know you outside of baseball so let's just stick to that subject so nothing is "personal". Suppose I was the All-Star coach and I put [your son] in the outfield for every game? Suppose I gave [your son] one start pitching against a 10 year old team and one start against [Team A] and a butt load of errors cost him the game? [My son] is at LEAST as good at short stop (maybe better) but I started another kid at SS instead of [your son]?  How do you think the Cardinals won the league?? We beat your league team once with [my son's] pitching , and once with [my son's] hitting . (Grand slam off of [your son]). You had the gall to tell me that hit was luck? You listened to bad advice from your lap dogs my friend. [My son] brings energy, excitement , and enthusiasm to the game. For whatever reason you insisted on starting Davis and Young on the left side. You kept the books; how many runs on errors did that cost you??? Did you make a deal with the devil? When you brought Johnson in to pitch the last game , Davis and even Johnson's parents were asking why [my son] wasn't pitching. Who got in your head. Did You really think White was your best pitcher? His own Dad said you must be " Throwing in the towel". Suppose I brought White in instead of [your son] in the championship game? I'm perplexed at why you didn't use the top player in the league more effectively ??? FYI; My grandfather  is a THREE time World Series champion with the Saint Louis Cardinals. Earl Smith; Google him. No way Davis can get enough RBI to justify his errors . And Young never made one play except for a one hopper that barely got there. Davis, Young, and your son missed more routine outs than my son did combined all year. Did you see something that deceived you into thinking he was second or third tier player. Fatal error on you my friend. In 5 years in this league my son has won 2 championships, 2 runner ups , and one third ( first year) . You threw it away and I would really like to know why?

11 of our 12 families were thrilled with how our team finished....beat two our biggest rivals in the state tournament.  And yet this jack### is mad because his precious kid didn't play in the position HE thought he should be playing...regardless of the fact our team had a tremendous amount of success.  I know coaches deal with this crap everyday but this is new territory for me.  This kid is a good ballplayer, but he's not even close to being the "top player in the league."  It's comical.  Like his dad, the kid is a bit of a headcase.  In the semifinal game, he made a great catch in CF to end the inning that prevented the other team from taking the lead. As he's coming off the field, I go out to congratulate him, and he says, "I don't really want to win this game...I'm ready for the tournament to be over...I want to go swimming."   

I don't know why I'm sharing any of this, but it's been driving me nuts the past 2 days.  About 36 hours after receiving the text, I finally responded to the guy today with the following:

Quote

Thanks for sharing. Hope you and your family have a great summer.

 

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Drop it at that, forward it to the league, and let them handle it.

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3 hours ago, Ray Karpis said:

My grandfather  is a THREE time World Series champion with the Saint Louis Cardinals. Earl Smith; Google him.

I hate when a hole parents do stuff like this. Who gives a crap who your grandfather was.

Imagine if you had put that kid where his father had wanted, and he had imploded; the dad would have been all over you about that too!!

Things like this are one reason why people love FFA. You can put something up here, ##### and moan a bit ;) without bothering your wife and we understand it and hopefully someone will post something funny enough to get you over it!!

 

Edited by Mr. Ected
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18 minutes ago, Ray Karpis said:

I've coached youth baseball for the past 5-6 years. I've probably mentioned before that I have two boys (now 11 and 9) that play rec league ball in the spring and then play all-stars in the summer through the Cal Ripken organization.  I've had an amazing stretch of having great parents....honestly almost never had an issue with parents complaining.  I'm not Connie Mack, but I played enough and know enough about baseball to teach fundamentals to this age group.  We moved to a new park this past season, and even though it's my first year in the program, I get voted by the league coaches to coach the 9-year-old all-star team.  We have a very good little team, win a few tournaments and ultimately finish as the state runner-up.  This age group had never finished better than 5th in the past.

The night we finished the state tournament, I get the craziest, delusional parent text I've ever received.  It was from the dad of my starting CF/3-hole hitter.  Athletic kid, very good player, fast, big arm...natural outfielder.  He was playing exactly where he needed to play to help the team win.  Played nearly every inning of every game. Anyway, here's the text:

11 of our 12 families were thrilled with how our team finished....beat two our biggest rivals in the state tournament.  And yet this jack### is mad because his precious kid didn't play in the position HE thought he should be playing...regardless of the fact our team had a tremendous amount of success.  I know coaches deal with this crap everyday but this is new territory for me.  This kid is a good ballplayer, but he's not even close to being the "top player in the league."  It's comical.  Like his dad, the kid is a bit of a headcase.  In the semifinal game, he made a great catch in CF to end the inning that prevented the other team from taking the lead. As he's coming off the field, I go out to congratulate him, and he says, "I don't really want to win this game...I'm ready for the tournament to be over...I want to go swimming."   

I don't know why I'm sharing any of this, but it's been driving me nuts the past 2 days.  About 36 hours after receiving the text, I finally responded to the guy today with the following:

 

I would have subbed for him right there..  

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2 minutes ago, Parrothead said:

I would have subbed for him right there..  

Meh, he's 9... that's the kind of thing 9 year olds say.

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You showed a lot more restraint than I could have.

"You're a bleeding hemorrhoid. Google it."

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:thumbup:I liked the response you gave him!!

Edited by JNox3
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So you cost your team the championship and he's the bad guy?

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Yeah, that is absolutely insane.  Does this guy coach too?  Agree that this text needs to be forwarded to the league board.  Entirely inappropriate.  

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I coach a 10u club baseball team and have been fortunate to have some great parents on my team.   That text would have drove me nuts as well.   I think your response was very good.   Doesn't sound like you will need to deal with him next year.

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2 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

Yeah, that is absolutely insane.  Does this guy coach too?  Agree that this text needs to be forwarded to the league board.  Entirely inappropriate.  

I'm guessing the guy isn't a coach.

I spent too many years on the board for Youth basketball. Its always the parents who refuse to coach that complain the most. 

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I am coaching my son on a Rec team full of 8, 9, and 10 year olds.  We still rotate positions they play during the game.  I understand this is a higher level team and there is consistency needed in where kids play, but do they normally put kids into 1 position and that's it?

 

The guy was a tool and your response was probably better than mine would have been.

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1 minute ago, ArbyMelt said:

I'm guessing the guy isn't a coach.

I spent too many years on the board for Youth basketball. Its always the parents who refuse to coach that complain the most. 

Yeah, I agree.  I'm on the board of our soccer league, which is rec only.  Our president went on a 2 month vacation so me and another gal took the reins in her absence.  It is mind boggling how many complaining emails flood in from parents.  In addition, there are some coaches out there that are passing background checks, but absolutely have a screw loose.  Check out this doozy from a parent of a KINDERGARTEN GIRL and wannabe coach that we got last month.  It's.....it's just weird!  (I posted this in GMTAN because, well, I just needed other humans to read it).

Quote

 

Hi Millhouse Soccer!

Used to coach my sisters team age K-7th grade, played all thru school and college and med school, etc .      

Wanted to ask about coach selection for my daughter, Hortense, Kindergarten this Fall.  I would like her suited with an aggressive coach, as she is playful but very competitive in nature, and that's a good thing on the field.  I know all the coaches are great, but some are more aggressive and forceful than others, and have a more competitive reputation.  I would like some names of coaches recommended that meet this description.     

Additionally, as my sisters coach, I feel, as did the parents of her teammates, that the line between family and professionalism on the field was upheld with excellence while I coached my sisters team over the years. That being said, I welcome feedback on what you would recommend, as far as my coaching or assistant coaching a K team and beyond, either with or without my daughter (or 2 year old future player son) on my team.  It sure made for convenient scheduling if I coached my sisters team, and not someone elses.  But I wanted to be upfront about my detailed awareness and study of the psychology involved with both the other players and me and my daughter.  I assure you my daughter won't be calling me "daddy" on the field at anytime....lol... or she will be running laps.  Haha!  Been there, done that. 

Looking forward to contributing to the highest and best use I am called upon by your wonderful organization, at Millthouse USC!

 


:mellow:

 

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8 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

Yeah, that is absolutely insane.  Does this guy coach too?  Agree that this text needs to be forwarded to the league board.  Entirely inappropriate.  

He was an assistant coach for a league team.  He knows nothing about baseball.  He "coached" so his kid could be an "automatic" on that team.  I am on the board for the upcoming year, and one of my assistant all-star coaches, who has seen the text, is a board officer.  

The part that really infuriates me is how he badmouths so many 9-year-olds in the course of his text. If I shared that with the other parents, he would never show his face in that park again.

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I would have had to get a jab in there, something along the lines of

Thanks for sharing, yes I agree it was a great season and I look forward to seeing your son playing center next year for another very successful season.

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3 minutes ago, dino259 said:

I am coaching my son on a Rec team full of 8, 9, and 10 year olds.  We still rotate positions they play during the game.  I understand this is a higher level team and there is consistency needed in where kids play, but do they normally put kids into 1 position and that's it?

 

The guy was a tool and your response was probably better than mine would have been.

Nothing wrong with that during a rec ball season, but this was an end of the year all-star team playing tournaments, so yea kids find a position and stay there when not pitching.

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2 minutes ago, Megla said:

Nothing wrong with that during a rec ball season, but this was an end of the year all-star team playing tournaments, so yea kids find a position and stay there when not pitching.

Our coach did this (rotated) last year when my son (10, then) made all-stars and the problem was that he was putting him (and other kids) in positions in the infield that he wasn't completely familiar with and that he had not practiced in, and while he had a general idea of what to do, he wasn't always sure about himself when the pressure was on (where to go, who covered the bag, etc.), and it showed in his play; I didn't agree with the coach's decision, and still don't, but I certainly never would have sent a text to him like what the OP received. My grandpa didn't even play pro ball. :lol:

At the end of the day it's little league baseball, and they're there to learn the game, and hopefully have FUN and make good memories,  while doing it. 

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You had 12 sets of parents to deal with and only had one real #######.  Consider yourself ahead of the game.

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And #### that guy.  Send him a professional sounding text letting him know what you thought of his text.  Even better, call that jackhole.  And forward his text to the league.  Don't just let the #### think he can get away with being dickish to anybody he wants to.  #### him.

Edited by James Daulton

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Everything that's wrong with youth sports in particular baseball is in that text. I too have coached at a high level of travel baseball until this past season when I finally gave it up.  It was the best thing I ever did. Now I just sit back and watch my son have a great time playing a game he loves with a great coach we hired.  I still work out with my son, have a great time practicing with him one-on-one but now I just hand him off to a great coach who has no kids on the team so all baseball decisions are made by the hired Coach. If you have a question talk to the coach he has no son on the team and it make things a lot easier.

Your situation is obviously different as your coaching Little League that takes volunteers to run  so I feel for you. It sucks you never had a problem and then you get some crazy ### parent like this.

 

Forward it to your league commissioner and leave it at that. He's ####### delusional. 

Edited by Todem

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10 years ago. 11 - 12 year old All Stars.....my son was CLEARLY the 12th kid picked.....but he busted his ### in the 2 weeks of practice.....impressed coaches and got to start first game in right field......after game an Asian Mom , called the Coach and railed on him , how her son should have started.....

 

Coach sent a scathing email , ( talking about the phone call he received,)    to all families saying he's not tolerating any complaints about playing time......it was clearly about my son starting the game.... I loved it 

Edited by FiredMartz
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To add just a little more flavor to the situation, we had a few attitude issues in the game the day before. My son made an error in the field, and proceeded to "lose it" mentally after that.  I tried to talk to him/pump him up as he was coming off the field after the inning was over but he refused to make eye contact with me and refused to stop and listen to me.  So I subbed him out.  Hated to do it in a big game - he's our best player - but I wasn't going to put up with that crap.  A few innings later, our CF grounds out to end the inning and proceeds to throw his helmet. Of course, I subbed him out. I found out after the game from my wife, that this kid's mom had a ####fit when I pulled them out and announced to our parents that it was "BS" and I had "thrown in the towel" by benching our "two best players."  I tried to call her and she wouldn't pick up.  I tried to text her and she would not respond.  So finally, I decided to give her a big FU by calling her out (not by name) in front of the entire team via a message on our group message app.  Here was my message:

Quote
Let me say a few things about today's game. I would rather have a face-to-face discussion with everyone, but frankly, we don't have time to do that before tomorrow's game. I have emphasized from the first parent meeting and with these kids at every practice how important it is to learn to play through adversity. Chris, Jimmy and I have challenged them every step of the way to not take the easy way out and let your emotions overcome you when things go badly. For the most part, I've been proud of how few "meltdowns" we've had this summer. The boys are growing as baseball players and as kids. It told you at the first parent meeting, that for me, this summer was about more than just winning as many games as possible.  It's about helping these kids grow up, get mentally tougher, and learn how to compete for an entire game, so that they are tougher next summer when we compete as 10s, and stronger the next year when we compete as 11s. This is about more than just this summer or one game.
 8
Tonight, I pulled two players out of the game for on-field and dugout conduct that was unacceptable. I told both players I wasn't mad at them, I wasn't trying to embarrass them, but we have to learn from it and realize there are consequences when we lose our composure on the field. They are 9 and immature...I know that.  But if I don't hold them accountable now, they are never going to get better than they are.  It's no secret one of the players was my kid.
 8
I learned after the game that the decision to take players out didn't sit well with some. I don't know who all was upset, which is why I'm taking this up with everyone. Look, I'm not going to make everyone happy with every decision I make - I get that. But when it comes to holding kids accountable for attitudes and actions, there should be no disagreement about how we was parents/coaches handle it. If you're more concerned with whether we had a marginally better chance to win a baseball game vs. doing the right thing in holding kids accountable, then you and I have a very different philosophy on why we're out here. You should know by now that I put winning right up near the top of my priority list, but there are more important things.
 8
I love these kids and love coaching them. Unlike a few all-star teams in our park, I think we've mostly avoided parent/dugout drama.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the parent support we've had.  Going forward, if you have a problem with me or the decisions I make, come talk to me after the game.  Don't stir it up in the stands, don't mouth to other parents, don't mouth at the dugout...act like an adult and come talk to me. That kinda stuff is like a cancer and is what has ruined other team's chances of being successful.  I try to avoid controversy, but I'm not going to sit back and let that stuff distract from the unbelievable summer these have had.
 9
This group is going to win big in the future - I can almost guarantee it. I want everyone of you to be a part of it. 

About an hour later, the dad responded on the group text with this:

Quote

Did the behavior of either of these players rise to the level of ejecting them from the game? Essentially forfeiting the game and a potential state championship? All these players are emotionally charged and giving 110% for this team and this season. Some emotion should be expected

I found it amazing that he was willing to insult every other parent/kid on the team by suggesting that we forfeited the game by removing my son and his son.  This was my response:

Quote

As good as I know my son is, not for a second do I think having him sit two innings and miss one at-bat is "essentially forfeiting the game." This team is plenty capable of winning with or without any one or two players.  Your son sat one inning and didn't miss any at-bats.  I'm not going to change my standards or expectations based on who the player is or where we are in the game.  Throwing helmets and refusing to make eye contact or listen to a coach repeatedly during a game is not going to get excused because you play with "emotion." Sorry if you disagree with that decision.

Youth sports!  Hooray!

Edited by Ray Karpis
typo
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Some people are insane when it comes to their kids.

Oh, and Earl Smith never won a WS with the Cards.  He won 2 with the Giants and 1 with the Pirates per Wiki.

 

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5 minutes ago, FatUncleJerryBuss said:

I think he banged your wife in Mexico.

Nice cross-reference. But, no.

 

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Remember the World Series Champion Earl Smith?  His grandson is a huge dick!  And who TF uses a smiley like that?  "I'm about to heavily criticise you, but here is a little happy face". Sounds like the guy is a huge P.  He didn't say dick during the season, then gets home and starts drive king to finally build up the courage to "get something off his chest".

Can you imagine when he was playing.  He obviously wasn't half the player his grandfather was, so he had to have hit that point where he wasn't going any further.  I guarantee he told the coaches "do you know who my grandfather was"?

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I just can't get inside the head of parents who are so caught up in winning at these levels. It's insane. Honestly I don't know that it even makes sense to be that aggro about it in high school. Do the best you can, win/lose doesn't really matter much if you gave your best effort and did things the right way.

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2 minutes ago, Quez said:

Remember the World Series Champion Earl Smith?  His grandson is a huge dick!  And who TF uses a smiley like that?  "I'm about to heavily criticise you, but here is a little happy face". Sounds like the guy is a huge P.  He didn't say dick during the season, then gets home and starts drive king to finally build up the courage to "get something off his chest".

Can you imagine when he was playing.  He obviously wasn't half the player his grandfather was, so he had to have hit that point where he wasn't going any further.  I guarantee he told the coaches "do you know who my grandfather was"?

Exactly what I told my wife.  You're going to start off your ###-filet with a smiley?!  

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Dear Sir,

Earl Smith won the World Series with the Giants and the Pirates, not the Cardinals.

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Just now, Ray Karpis said:

Exactly what I told my wife.  You're going to start off your ###-filet with a smiley?!  

Also nice that he hoped it wouldn't get personal and then he got personal. :lmao:


 


 

 

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40 minutes ago, General Malaise said:

 I assure you my daughter won't be calling me "daddy" on the field at anytime....lol... or she will be running laps.  Haha!  Been there, done that. 

And the question is: What are things people who should probably be committed and/or have restraining orders written against them say?

Edited by Gr00vus

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Quote

You listened to bad advice from your lap dogs my friend.

My assistant coaches loved this little line.

Can't wait for that moment at our team swim party in a few weeks when I present my assistant coaches with custom dog tags.  

Ordered them today. :D

Edited by Ray Karpis
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1 minute ago, Joe Summer said:

What's with the family's obsession with swimming?

Well, for the kid it gets him away from baseball, which the dad is obviously making a miserable experience.

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Some of the difficulties with baseball and youth sports is that everyone thinks they know the game because they played it.  Baseball is very nuanced and has many aspects that many people have difficulties understanding but everyone thinks they know best. 

 

One specific situation is substitution rules and minimum play time.  For All Stars with the Little League Organization, they require a minimum play time of six consecutive outs in the field and one at bat if you have 12 kids on the lineup card.  This changes to one AB and no field time if you have 13 players on the lineup card.  They also require a straight nine lineup (not continuous batting order).  So this causes very restrictive substitution patterns that really bind the hands of the manager.  It requires that 6 players must play the entire game and your three substitutes can only switch back and forth for the specific player they went in for.  If things break the wrong way (your team to goes three up and three down offensively for the first three innings) you cannot even begin to substitute for some of the players until the 4th inning.  So when Timmy's mom wants to know how come my son hasn't played yet in the 3rd inning it's tough to explain the substation issues leading to the situation to someone that has no idea what substitution rules even mean.

 

Parents all think their kid is the best and should play all the time.  It's impossible to get them to see reality when it comes to their own kid.

 

 

Edited by Gally
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Also, Little League is a terrible organization for baseball development.  It is ok as a youth activity organization but if you want to develop baseball skills it is a terrible organization.

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17 minutes ago, Ray Karpis said:

Nice cross-reference. But, no.

 

Saw the boobies when she went clothing optional?  :shrug:

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1 minute ago, Gally said:

Some of the difficulties with baseball and youth sports is that everyone thinks they know the game because they played it.  Baseball is very nuanced and has many aspects that many people have difficulties understanding but everyone thinks they know best. 

 

One specific situation is substitution rules and minimum play time.  For All Stars with the Little League Organization, they require a minimum play time of six consecutive outs in the field and one at bat if you have 12 kids on the lineup card.  This changes to one AB and no field time if you have 12 players on the lineup card.  They also require a straight nine lineup (not continuous batting order).  So this causes very restrictive substitution patterns that really bind the hands of the manager.  It requires that 6 players must play the entire game and your three substitutes can only switch back and forth for the specific player they went in for.  If things break the wrong way (your team to goes three up and three down offensively for the first three innings) you cannot even begin to substitute for some of the players until the 4th inning.  So when Timmy's mom wants to know how come my son hasn't played yet in the 3rd inning it's tough to explain the substation issues leading to the situation to someone that has no idea what substitution rules even mean.

 

Parents all think their kid is the best and should play all the time.  It's impossible to get them to see reality when it comes to their own kid.

 

 

This is very true.  As a coach, you have to educate the parents on those rules before you start playing games.  Cal Ripken doesn't have minimum play time or participation rules for tournament games, but the substitution rules are very restrictive. At 9, you also don't bat round-robin in tournaments, which is a departure from league play. If you don't prepare parents and kids for that ahead of time, you are asking for problems.

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