The Atlee Junior League softball team was the only undefeated team to go home without a trophy or championship when they paid the unreasonable price to a social media post.Atlee Junior League had been undefeated all week in Kirkland, winning 1-0 on Friday in a hard-fought semi-final game to host team. The girl of the team went home Friday knowing they were about to compete for a championship.Unfortunately, members of the Atlee Junior League made the decision to post a so-called ‘inappropriate” picture on the social media app, Snapchat.
Sadly, this post was used by the Little League officials to disqualify the team from participating in the Junior League Softball World Series championship game on Saturday, August 5th.The post that caused all this drama pictured several of the 12 to 14-year-old girls on the Atlee Little League team standing and holding up their middle fingers with the caption “watch out host” directed at the host team from Kirkland, Washington. Players from the Kirkland Little League had not been as courteous as hosts should be, so of course, there are unresolved negative feelings.Atlee manager Scott Currie does not agree with the Little League officials and their decision to disqualify the team.
“It’s a travesty for these girls,” he stated Saturday afternoon. “Yes, they screwed up, but I don’t think the punishment fit the crime.”Currie then organized for his team to give an apology in person to the Kirkland team that night.”We wanted to do it face-to-face,” he said.
“One of their coaches had a very gracious speech about how this is what the Little League is about, learning life’s lessons.”Here is the Little League official statement regarding their decision:”After discovering a recent inappropriate social media post involving members of Atlee Little League Junior League Softball tournament team, the Little League International Tournament Committee has removed the Southeast Region from the 2017 Junior League Softball World Series for violation of Little League’s policies regarding unsportsmanlike conduct, inappropriate use of social media, and the high standard that Little League International holds for all its participants. The Tournament Committee will advance the Host Region from Kirkland American/National Little League to participate in the championship game, scheduled for Saturday, August 5 at 3 p.m. eastern time in Kirkland, Washington.”I understand that and have no doubt believing that the post obviously broke Little League rules and policies, but the Little League spokesman, Kevin Fountain has yet to address exactly which policies were broken to explain such a harsh consequence.
We all know with actions come consequences, and we all know that with anything considering rules and policies there is a well detailed and explained list of consequences with each offense. So, what I am trying to find out is how bad of an infraction can it be to have the girl disqualified?? I understand the Snapchat post was inappropriate and a stupid decision on the girls part but I think that should be a matter for the parents and coaches to discipline on rather than by the Little League officials.In all sports, consequences are specified whether it be in softball, baseball, soccer, football, wrestling or lacrosse.
You are given consequences for any given penalty or action that is against the rules.So again what was so wrong with their post that caused their chance at a championship to be taken right out from under them?Even the Little League’s code of conduct notes that unsportsmanlike conduct is to be handled by a coach, then repeat offenses are handled higher up by Little League officials. So technically that means the official’s decision was unjust toward the girls.Although the post was unsportsmanlike and rude, that does not affect the outcome of a game like a player that is not included on a teams roster or a player that is under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs.
Also, how does that compare to Kirkland’s baserunner and the team manager being ejected for stealing and relaying Atlee’s defensive and offensive signs? This is very against Little Leagues rules and regulations and is far worse than a simple social media post.I am shocked and amazed by Little League’s absence of clarity on the decision.The girls of Atlee Junior League still did return home to many supporters and fans.”I think it was a huge, huge help for all the community that was there at the airport to meet us,” Currie said. “I think the girls really, really, really appreciated that. I know I did.
I know the other coaches did. It was awesome to see that support out there. After sitting up all night and all day reading all the stuff on the internet, all the posts, all the negativity behind it, to see these people at home that know these girls and know that they’re not bad girls … for them to come out and support us was very rewarding – very, very good for the kids.”As we move further I hope Little League officials realize their decision to disqualify the Atlee Junior League softball team was not only unfair but unjust to every single parent, coach, and player that has ties to the team. Maybe in the future rule and regulations will be updated or followed to back up and reflect the Little League’s choices.