It’s things like this that make you wonder if our society hasn’t reached a tipping point and gone over the edge into the abyss of insanity.
A girls Little League softball team from Snohomish, Washington, playing in the national World Series tournament, was ordered to deliberately lose a game against a North Carolina team in order to position themselves to play a softer opponent.
The coach played mostly bench players in the game and ordered everyone who came to bat to bunt.
The injured party in this stinking mess is a team from Iowa that is apparently the class of the tournament. The Washington team took a dive in order to avoid playing them.
The Snohomish club lost the game 8-0, with zero hits—which fit with its larger agenda of not playing quality opponents on the way to a World Series title.
Having already secured a spot in the semifinal, the West squad throttled back its game, knowing a win against the North Carolina team Monday would’ve pushed a club from Central Iowa—apparently the Murderers’ Row of Little League softball—out of the tourney and allowed North Carolina to slide in and take that spot.
The Snohomish coaches did not want this, and as a result, it appears 12-year-old children were baptized in the less-than-subtle arts of game-fixing.
The best part is, the West team’s plot has backfired spectacularly.
Fans watching the thrown game raised hell over the farce, and officials at the Little League World Series headquarters have since concluded that the game’s integrity was compromised.
Responding to protests by Iowa’s coaches, the Little League International Tournament Committee issued a statement Tuesday morning affirming foul play, per the Des Moines Register’s John Naughton.
“The Little League International Tournament Committee recently received credible reports that some teams did not play with the effort and spirit appropriate for any Little League game,” the statement read.
Naughton also spoke with Central Iowa Little League president Chris Chadd, who said the cheating was blatant and the coaches who ordered it are the ones at fault.
“It’s clear to everyone that they basically threw the game,” Chadd said. “It’s not the girls’ fault. It’s the coaches…they should be disqualified.”
After all this hullabaloo, Little League is giving the Washington team exactly what it didn’t want and pitting it against Iowa in a tiebreaker Tuesday with the winner taking a spot in the semifinal.
The team from Iowa played Washington on Tuesday afternoon and won 3-2.
Yes, schadenfreude is a bitch, but what would have happened if the Washington team won? I can understand the impulse not to punish the girls for the sins of their coaches, but if Washington were to advance, they would not suffer the consequences of their blatant cheating.
It’s a tough lesson for anyone to learn at any age, but those coaches should be held accountable regardless of who else might be hurt. The officials should have kicked them out of the tournament, no appeal allowed, and given them a significant ban on participating in future World Series tournaments.
Hard on the girls, but a hard lesson well learned: you will be held accountable for your actions.