Competing youth baseball leagues

It’s a curious thing to see two different baseball leagues – West Hartford Youth Baseball and West Hartford Little League – seeking players each spring who are the same ages. I assume this all began because of some kind of personality conflict, but can’t somebody hold a summit or something and get thse two groups on the same page? It sure appears to an outsider that having two baseball leagues in the same town with the same seasons for the same kids is STUPID.

Perhaps the town’s recreation department and the mayor could sit everybody involved down and work out a compromise?



Filed under Entertainment, Recreation, Schools, Town government

23 responses to “Competing youth baseball leagues

  1. Do you know the reason why the two came to be? It had to do with the fact that one league was getting crazy competitive. Parents broke away and formed a new league, because they wanted all kids to have a chance to play.

  2. That does sound familiar, now that you mention it. The Little League is the newcomer, right?
    Well, God knows I hate the crazy competition of youth sports so I’m glad that some parents had their heads screwed on straight.
    But it’s still time to bring the two together. Surely God there aren’t many parents in either league now who prefer crazy competition to healthy fun.
    Save the competitive insanity for the real world. Kids should just have fun together — and learn how to play a great game.

  3. John Hornblower

    And the Little League isn’t competitive? What are those international games we see every summer? Funny how some people define “crazy competitive”, isn’t it?

    There really isn’t a reason to bring the two together. Let the non-competitive league do its thing and let the people that want to teach and learn true competition do their thing. It’s the American way – CHOICE.

  4. tony dante

    When every kid in their school receives an “A” in all their classes then and only then should we stop keeping score

  5. tony dante

    I got cut from every little league team i ever tried out for. To this day i get feelings of inadequacy as I drive by the field on trout brook drive. Let the kids play in peace free from parental control.

  6. Ah, I was a terrible baseball player as a kid. Couldn’t see and had a back problem. I became an athelete at age 30 but still can’t look at a baseball diamond without hearing the jeering. [shiver]

    My son can’t play in West Hartford Youth Baseball because he is born on 5/1/03, not the 4/30/03 cutoff. One day too young, but he reads and writes his own stories, and is a great soccer player. Can he play in the other league?

    And if not, I guess I’ll not have to face the evil diamond.


  7. No, actually I got it backwards. He was rejected from Little League for being a day too young. (It is about insurance, not just an arbitrary cut off date.)

    Looks like West Hartford Youth Baseball starts at age 6…

    Anyone have ideas on good spring and summer sports for a 5 year old boy? Any soccer opportunities besides the YMCA?


  8. WH Alum

    Try West End soccer – it’s coed, run at UConn law campus, lots of Hartford but lots of WH, as well. I liked it better than the Y soccer program when my kids were too little for the WH Leagues.
    I do not know a contact name or number off hand, and a Google search did not give me much… sorry. Then again, doesn’t WH boy’s/coed league start at age 5?

  9. Greg

    (here I am resurrecting a year-old post, but I guess I’m not the only one…)

    West Hartford is a big town, and while the split may seem unfortunate from one perspective, from another perspective it’s anything but.

    Last year I had the misfortune of watching a 3rd grader spend an inning pitching and leave the mound crying after walking the other team’s entire batting order. He was on a team where “everyone gets a chance to play every position” in the name of “fairness.”

    Fair doesn’t always mean equal. We need to be explicit about that.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve had kids playing WH baseball for 6 years now, on both the WHYBL and the WHLL. It’s very important to note that they’re both good leagues, organized and run by friendly and caring people who just want to instill the love of the game in our kids.

    My older son is anything but competitively athletic; he’s generally the worst one on the field at any given moment. And he loves every minute of it. He’s never been laughed at or mocked, despite a long history of strike outs and missed fly balls. When he gets his one decent hit of the season, he generally gets a standing ovation from his whole team. The athletic fields are a kinder and gentler place than they were when we were kids.

    I think it’s wonderful that we have the opportunity to choose between a ‘just for fun’ league and a more competitive one — just one more reason to appreciate our town.

  10. nickg

    Statement on splitting up teams is simple. “Daddy Ball” The coaches need to get together and do what is best for the children to compete. Unless of course y’all aren’t competetive

  11. magnus

    My son played two years in LL and is now in Youth. I coached him in LL and I will tell you that while well-intentioned, it’s the same old stuff in a different package. In LL we had coaches who were directors of the darned division (ie, should be enforcing rules) cheating. The desire to change rules on the fly but then demand to see my scorebook so I could prove that every kid saw every position was ludicrous. Coaches and parents kept trying to change the rules (‘We know Johnny swung and missed but he didn’t mean to so can he have another swing?’). There are so many people today who are afraid for their kid to fail at anything. Failing and getting up again is a part of LIFE people.

    I spent more time as a coach in LL trying to play baby sitter to kids who could care less about playing ball than I cared to. In his brief stint so far with Youth, my son has had an exceptional time surrounded by kids who actually care.

    Both leagues have parents of all types. Stay out of your kids’ business. What league you join will likely be determined by where their friends play rather than some philosophical high ground that the league claims to value. I met some very nice people from both leagues.

  12. david

    i play in the youth league because the price is better

  13. Mike

    Both WHYBL and WHLL can be enjoyable experiences for the kids.
    There are plenty of talented, competitive athletes in WHLL, many of whom play lacrosse or travel soccer, but still want to be able to play baseball; in such instances WHLL is often considered by parents to be a more welcoming option.
    If your child loves baseball and is moderately athletic, then the competition in WHYBL is the better of the two leagues.
    I have boys in each league and have coached in both leagues as well. The upside of the two leagues is that there is a place for everyone to find his niche. I’m not sure if girls can play in WHYBL, but they are certainly welcome in WHLL.
    WHLL tries to balance the talent by allocating players to teams each season. Generally it works well, but there are some competitive imbalances despite the effort.
    Finally, there is a history of acrimony between the two leagues. Frankly, it is my opinion that those who are stuck in the past need to move on. The more kids that get to play ball and learn to enjoy the game, the more they will have the ability to share the wonderful game of baseball with their parents and ultimately their children. In a world where things change so fast it’s nice to know that there are some things that people of all ages can appreciate and share together.

    • Bob

      What Are U Talking About? Girls Have Played In The Youth League… You Non Competitive Lets Live In A Rainbow Tree Hugger

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  15. steve johnson

    what a bunch of babies, you people suck

  16. WHPerson

    yes girls can play in the WHYBL, a girl several years back won the jack flattery award. (for being a leader, on and off the field, showing good sportsmanship, and also showing good play) But I do think that many people regard WHYBL as the league for the “better” players. It may be true in some cases but definetely not all

  17. Real Deal

    My son has been playing LL baseball since he was 4 yrs old and is now 9. We moved here more than 3 yrs ago from NYC and he now plays w/WHYBL. Although he is one of the top players on the team, he has been placed in the bottom of the line-up and benched during every game only to be replaced by a kid whos mother/father has some kind of special relationship w/the coach. The kid cant catch a fly ball, grounder, or line-drive, much less get a base hit. It seems its more about these coach/parents, politics, and neighbors, than kids and talent. I have seen the coach start this kid every game knowing he is not one of the better players. I am the only parent/coach who’s kid does not start out of 6 parent/coaches, no matter how supportive we are. That includes being @ every practice, game, helping with the field, assisting the coach with practices, etc. This is just one example. We have played in the WHYBL in the Spring, Summer, and Fall Ball. I’m tired of it and will be sending my son to play w/the AAU next yr…a real league, none of this neighborhood bullshit that’s going on here. Did I fail to mention I am also a member of one of the biggest minority groups in America and a Yankees fan. Cannot stop our shine. The experience here has only made us stronger in sports and more motivated for my son to learn the game like I know it. I dont know if this is jealousy, predjudice, or ignorance. Whatever it is with the water in WH, I’m not drinking ! And that, ‘my friends’ is the Real Deal

    • Breslin

      Did you talk to the manager about giving your son more play time and a higher position on the roster?

  18. Gar

    Thought everyone might like this.
    Google- “Ultimate Hitting Machine”

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