Each new season brings a new sport for many Oakland County, Mich., parents. Spring is no different as it starts the baseball season. Registration deadlines, personal friends, and ability level all play a part in who gets to play on a team and who doesn’t. This parent has missed registration deadlines and made registration deadlines, both with varied results. Once I discovered the ins and outs of youth sports the process went more smoothly. Typically, there is a group of us that discuss what sport our child is playing and then we research the different leagues until we find one we agree on.
Last year we started our first and second graders in baseball; it is after all the American pastime. All but one of the families decided on Lakeland Sports Coach Pitch, as our children were new to the sport we felt this was the best starting point. The low pressure league was reputed to be focused on the kids having fun, not so much on winning. We had a good group of parents and children on our team and we were looking forward to the season. Although we joined the league for the low pressure reputation, not everyone was of the same mind frame. The league did not provide unbiased referees for the games, the coaches were left to adhere to the rules and regulate each other. It seemed as if different teams had different rule books, and many didn’t seem to have any rule book at all. I hate to say the word “cheat”, but there were many teams that were being taught less than sportsman-like behavior. One game we stopped as the tempers and disregard for rules became too much. I was disappointed in the administration of this league, although, I do not have experience with the higher levels of this league so I cannot comment on whether the same lack of sportsmanship exists as the players get older.
The one family that did not join us on the Lakeland Sports League joined the Commerce Little League. They had a great season, regardless of the higher level of competition this league was reputed to have. Although many of last years baseball team has decided to try other sports (one of my sons included), a few of us are trying out Commerce. We are hoping the playing field is more even and the rules are the same from team to team. After speaking to other parents that had playerson the Commerce Little League last year I feel that this will be a better year. The season has already begun and I am getting a good impression from the coaches and the league administrative communications.
Another league in the area that has a good reputation is the North Farmington/West Bloomfield league. Their registration fees are a little higher than the other two leagues, but the reputation for appropriateness and fair play seems to be right on track for this area. Regardless of which team or sport you choose in the Oakland County area, a parent must do their research both online and through personal references before making a decision. Football registration has already begun for the fall, many leagues are already full.
For any sport, start your search at least 6 months prior to the beginning of the season, or you may lose out.