All-stars – How do parents feel?

In reading through a blog about all-star selection rules and processes, several comments caught my eye. Many were unpublishable, but a smattering are below. These are mostly written by disgruntled parents who feel that the all-star selection process in their league is either unfair or non-transparent. The overriding theme is that leagues are run by “Good ‘Ol Boy” networks and the managers’ sons get preferential treatment over the players whose parents don’t spend time volunteering.

“My son’s league you had 3 coaches for the 8 year old all star team…that took up three roster spots. Why do you need 3 coaches for an 8 year old team?”

“These coaches would not even make a phone call to tell the rejected kids they didn’t make it. If you didn’t receive a phone call by 5 pm you didn’t make the team.”

“The manager of my son’s team tried to participate in the manager’s meeting to select all-stars but was barred from the meeting and the vote on the basis that he hadn’t sold tickets for the reverse raffle. 2 0f 7 managers then proceeded to select 16 kids for the all-star team.”

“This little league has failed and refused to put their local rules such as the all-star selection process in writing. That way they can make the rules up as they go along. “

“Based on your story, it sounds like you are in the exact same little league as me (except my son is 8). In my league there is absolutely no documentation on the website regarding anything aout all stars, all star selection process, time committment for all stars etc…¬† Nothing.”

So, what can be done to help fix a situation that clearly brings out so much emotion and anger? Anything?

There are a couple things I’d suggest:

  1. Let the kids vote for the team. Maybe they don’t pick the full team, but if you allow their first six picks to automatically make the team.¬†Have manager and coaches vote too. Then, from that combined vote, have coaches/managers/board members pick the remainder of the team. There is no risk that the kids will mess it up. You’ll likely not find anyone among the top six vote-getters who doesn’t deserve to be on the team. The additional benefit of this process is that you now have a foundation of objective data to go from. If a parent is adamant that the process wasn’t fair, but learns that the kids’ vote was such that a player didn’t merit consideration, it is difficult to claim bias.
  2. Publish the rules early. Before the season begins, document the rules determining how the all-star team and coaches will be selected. This eliminates much, if not all, of the “conspiracy” whispers once the process is in full swing.