Ok - When I was a teen, there was a banner, "good sports are winners" at my High School. Someone marked it up and it ended up reading "good sports are weiners" for a couple of days before someone took it down. My mom and I found this endlessly funny and have made many a "good sports are weiners" jokes over the years.
I think the local softball group here has perhaps taken the idea of "good sports" a tad too far. Everyone is a good sport, because EVERYONE is a WINNER. There are no outs. When it's time to bat, they bat the entire line up. When they go out on the field, they ALL go out on the field. There are no strikes - the coach pitches the ball until the batter hits it (sometimes 10-15 pitches).
Julia's "game" the other night was ridiculous. They played three innings and it was over 2 hours long. I thought maybe they were playing that way because it was the first game, and some of the kids hadn't even had a practice yet, but no. Apparently this is how they play ball at 7-8 years old.
I am not one of those ultra competitive parents. Really, I'm not. I'm all for teaching good sportsmanship (being a gracious winner, not being a sore loser, not throwing bats/helmets/gloves in frustration, shaking hands with your opponents, playing by the rules... I'm all for that, you could even say I'm a bit of a stickler for these things). I believe everyone at this age should get a turn to play. I believe in coach's pitch. I might even be persuaded to believe in no strikes for this age. I could even go along with not officially keeping score (although everyone always knows who wins).
I just think playing the game the way they are is a dis-service to our daughters.
How are they supposed to learn the play of the game if there isn't any game play? Why sign your kid up for a competitive sport if you are afraid of letting them compete? Your daughter might not get a hit each time, but she doesn't feel like an idiot having to take 15 pitches to hit a dinker. Your daughter might get called out at first, but imagine how amazing she'll feel the first time she makes it there on her own.
I don't think this set up allows them to understand the various positions, the flow of the game, correct batting technique, the rules of the game.... and so on and on and on. It's good for skills practice, but it's not a game, it's not preparing them for the next league.
I think we are cheating our girls by forcing them to play like this, I think it makes us all look like weiners.