Exceeding the Speed Limit: The Jerico Scott Dilemma

Nine year old Jerico Scott can’t pitch for his Little League team anymore…the Youth Baseball League of New Haven threatened to disband the team because the coach of Jerico’s team allowed him to take the mound in violation of a regulation that considers it unsafe for a pitcher to throw a fastball in excess of 40 mph.  Now the heat is on.  Jerico’s mom pitched a fit.  Other parents are crying foul, accusing opposing teams of refusing to play them because they’re afraid of getting beat.  Still a majority of comments batted in are centered in “it’s not fair”, “a kid is punished for being too good”, and “no one has ever gotten hurt”. 


The argument “he’s never hit anyone” is irrelevant.  It only takes one child getting nailed  by a stray ball to set off an unpleasant chain reaction…courts are packed with people who sue over that “first” accident.  Yes, this boy is good, wonderfully talented even.  The proof is in the team’s is 8-0 winning streak.  I’ve got no problem with this team handing out repeated defeats.  Kids need to learn how to lose graciously.  It’s called “sportsmanship” for a reason.  But what about winning at the expense of the rules? What no one seems to be acknowledging is that the 40 mph speed limit is a League Regulation.  Right or wrong, it’s the rule.  If we don’t like the rule, we take action to change it.  That’s part of the beauty of living in a democratic republic {at least for now}.  We accomplish nothing positive by whining & complaining about how “stupid” the rule is, especially in front of our children!  What are we teaching them if we go off into a rage, as Jerico’s mother did, demanding “fairness”, screaming about how ridiculous the policy is?  Can you just picture these kids 10 years from now?  Yeah, I know underage drinking is against the law but my parents say  that rules are for sissies.  They don’t apply to me…  Don’t kid yourself, our children are watching, listening and taking notes. 


It’s not like Jerico is without options.  No one is asking him to go sit down.  He could play other positions for the team.  Or perhaps he could play for a team of older children that does allow for faster pitching.  However, simply because he is talented does not mean the rules should be broken for him.  For those screaming about how unfair it is to this one boy, how unfair is it to the rest of the athletes who follow the rules?  And truly, should “fairness” even be an issue here?  The sooner our kids learn that life is not fair, the better off they’ll be.  There’s no such thing as fair in life.  Fair is a place where pigs win ribbons.


I applaud the parents of Jerico Scott and others like them who are investing time & energy in their children to develop their God-given abilities & help them become great athletes.  Can you imagine what kind of world these kids could grow up in if these same devoted parents poured as much energy into teaching the fundamentals of character?  Obedience to rules, respect for authority, self-control…if we fail to instill these traits in our children, the ramifications are significantly more important than whether or not a kid gets to play ball.