Following the wettest spring I’ve seen in a long time, youth baseball games wrapped up on July 15 after the championship games were postponed a week due to weather and rodeo. Though all the championship games ended on a positive note, watching games this season got me thinking about what we teach our youth beyond the activity they are participating in?
In June during a youth baseball game in Colorado, a group of parents dissatisfied with the officiating caused a scene that has no place in athletics. After verbally harassing the umpire, parents from both teams took their frustrations onto the field and proceeded to get into a physical altercation, which resulted in injuries and arrests.
Incidents like this are causing a nationwide shortage of youth sports officials. Though many officials are paid, they are still giving their time and deserve the opportunity to enjoy giving back to athletics. Rowdy parents and coaches are also doing a disservice for their children and all other players by not providing the best possible example for our future generations.
We are fortunate in Sheridan to have a community that supports our youth and athletics to the extent that it does. As a community we must remember the values we want to pass on to future generations and provide a great example for them to follow.
Participating in youth athletics provides experiences beyond just the sport. Players learn more than just the rules of the game; they develop character and work ethic, learn how to work as a team and how to follow instructions. Those players are supposed to show respect to officials and they are supposed to learn that from coaches, family and teammates. Remember next time you are at an athletic event young people are watching you; be the example they need you to be.
Youth softball started games two weeks ago and is off to a good start. Participation is up this year and the transition to fast pitch for the fourth- through eighth-grade divisions seems to be catching on fast. As we continue to develop the league, please remain patient and remember we are all out there for the same reason: to create a positive experience for the players.
Adult softball has a few more weeks of regular season games before the end of season tournament August 3-4.
Beyond sports, in June the Sheridan Recreation District hosted it’s first Outdoor Adventure Camp at Antelope Butte. Participants went rock climbing with Bighorn Mountain Guides and participated in outdoor science activities to further their understanding of their surroundings in the Bighorn Mountains. Our next session is July 29–31.
As we start looking ahead to fall activities, check out a few of our new programs. We are adding an adult kickball league and continuing adult flag football, the cornhole shootout, little guy football, cross-country running and cheerleading. Registration started July 15.
Now that we are diving into the second half of the summer, I hope everyone takes the time to soak up some sun, catch a ball game or spend an afternoon at Kendrick Pool.
Seth Ulvestad is the executive director of the Sheridan Recreation District.