We have been training for several months. The kids, if I had to guess, are wondering
When are we going to get to play another team??
Well, we want the same thing! The issue is with the availability of other teams to play. This is a sport that is growing, and one of the growing pains is lack of easily-accessible competition.
So, when one of our players’ mums found a baseball game across town, I was delighted.
It would be a chance to network. It would be a chance to play. So we got ourselves together (those of us who weren’t on holiday) and over to St Albans rugby club for a day of ball on Saturday.
We were told to be there at 12 noon, and I didn’t get there until a quarter past because the park is not really that easy to find first time by car. When I got there, I thought the other players were very transparent – or at least not there yet.
We finally met some of the players – who were very friendly – and eventually went to the far end of the rugby club where Welsh baseball diamonds were marked out. I was hoping that, after playing their game, they’d play against us in our game.
Now, despite the beginners’ complaints about how uncomfortable the glove is, they now don’t like playing without one. I KNOW, ME TOO! The St Albans players were very welcoming and allowed the kids to play with their gloves. We decided to make a mash-up amongst the group, as quite a lot of our players were taller than their kids.
It took me a few minutes to not want to rip all my hair out at some of the rules, for example…
You can run without hitting the ball…?!?!?!?!
You can hit the ball in any direction…?!?!?!?!
I did manage to chill out, and kind of learned to keep score. It was interesting AND frustrating. There was a lot of hitting and running, so that’s a good day out. (?)
It was funny to shout to our kids to run when they’d swung and missed, when that is something I’ve been trying to get new players to *STOP* doing!
After everyone was all out, it was on to the adult game, so we went off to the side and decided to have our version of baseball with all the kids. We split up and tried to get the St Albans kids informed quickly, but with so many kids, sometimes it’s a case of learning while you play.
There was one little boy who did NOT like walking – he wanted to hit!,I found this to be a funny contrast to the swing-and-miss-but-still-run aspect of Welsh baseball.
There was also a bit of short-attention-span going on, as, after the first inning, there was severe attrition, with kids going off to see what else was going on. We were losing them! What to do?
Get out the batting machine!
Everyone loves the batting machine! It did seem to go down well, and we also gave out some Play Ball bat and ball sets, so hopefully the kids enjoyed it.
The thing I gained from this day is an understanding of why some of the new players to our sport do some of the things they do – like running when they haven’t hit the ball, or running when they’ve hit it foul, or running completely around bases without touching them.
It would be good to have more days like this, to build bridges across the sports. We can truly benefit from each other – and grow the sports.
And next time – I want to try to hit a Welsh baseball pitch!