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Little League Baseball/Collision in LL baseball - Always interpreted as intentional


My son is 14 and a lot bigger than most of the kids he plays with at 6'2" and over 200 lbs.  Over this past season, we had an incident this weekend in a championship tournament where he was ejected from the game, and then suspended a game, for a mid-base collision.  He was the runner going from 1st to 2nd.  The 2nd baseman was standing in the middle of the baseline (also a bigger kid), and didn't have the ball as my son was running towards second, but waiting for the ball to be thrown to  make the tag.  Neither boy yielded the base line and collided.  2nd baseman ended up getting the ball about a second before the collision happened.  I don't believe it was intentional, my son said he couldn't slow down when he realized the kid had the ball, and also didn't anticipate the fielder remaining in the baseline without the ball, and my son was told he should have slid instead (which if he had, would have taken out the feet of the 2nd baseman).  I understand it is at the umpire's discretion, but I am being told my son plays too aggressive.  We had an incident where, when playing first base, he had to reach to tag out a runner trying to avoid the tag, and due to such a big size difference (the other kid was about 1/2 my son's size), the tag knocked the runner over.

My son is never angry during these incidents, he's not intentionally pushing anyone, but because of his size every incident is being treated as if it is intentional.  He's a kid that has grown faster than he can keep up with at times.  He loves baseball, and plays well as long as there are no close calls happening with him, as due to his size, he appears intimidating.  I am afraid that he is being pigeon-holed into a problem player role, and it's mostly due to his size.  I have watched other kids have the same incidents happen, but because those kid aren't bigger, it's not treated the same.  Again, I understand the safety issue.  After this past weekend, I told him not to worry about what other kids do in a game - what HE needs to do is avoid contact with the other players no matter what, even if it means giving up the out. It's the only solution I can come up with.  We are coming up on All Star tryouts, and he wants to try out, and skill wise he should make the team.  But I believe he won't because the coach won't want him there because of these incidents that happened over the season.

I am at a loss on what to do with this giant kid who loves to play baseball, but is being told his actions are intentionally overly aggressive at times.  He was found at fault as the runner in a mid-base collision, and also as the fielder in a different game mid-base collision.  I know it's confusing to him to be found at fault as the fielder, and then when the same incident happened to him as a runner, he was found at fault as the runner as well.  Taking the out is fine, but he is being ejected from the games because of these incidents when it's his size that is the problem.  And the ejections are treating everything as if he is intentionally colliding with the other player, and not just trying to make the play and the collision happens.

First, it is a fine line between incidental contact and intentional collision. Usually an incidental contact would not be factored into the play, the play would be based on whether the baseman tagged the player before he reached the base. Umpires are taught to put safety first and to keep baseball from becoming a full contact sport.

Bull-dogging is when a runner deliberately hits a player to aggressively impact and injure the player or to jar the ball from the player's glove or otherwise interfere with fair play. In this situation, I believe the umpire called your son out because of suspected deliberate collision or bull-dogging.

Second, in a couple of years this is not going to be a problem. By the time he is sixteen, the other boys will grow and the issue will disappear on its own. What I would suggest is that your son try-out for competition teams. Generally those coaches tend to pick larger players. At a tournament, the umpires with more experience are used for competition team play. If you're playing A ball move up to AA or AAA leagues.

Keep in mind that your son does need to study the rules. If the ball was in the air and he did not slide and there was contact then it was an automatic out.  

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Julie Butcher-Fedynich


Problems with coaches, players, other parents? Don't know the difference between A, AA, and AAA Little Leagues? Participation team or competition team, what's the difference? Can you get a home run without hitting the ball? How about tournaments?


I've been a baseball-mom through over 45 seasons of spring, fall, and tournament Little League Baseball teams. My sons have been invited to play All-Star games, High School, and College Baseball. We've had some of the best coaches available and some of the worst. I'd like to save other parents some of the agony that can be found in organized sports.

I'm the mother of three girls and three boys who play baseball, the wife of one husband who has coached over 22 seasons. I'm a baseball mom. I know what to do, and when to do it.

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