Editor’s note: the following is a very non-meaningful, nonsensical, get it off my chest, rant. AYSO is a fine organization as I’m sure are the people who run it. Never the less, proceed at your own risk.
Look man, I’m all for team sports. Although not nearly as fun, educational, and downright awesome as golf, team sports teach a lot of life lessons for our kids. Futbol, or soccer, is one of my favorites. An addict of the Premier League and fervent fan of the Arsenal Football Club, I think it’s a great sport, especially for my kids. So just remember this little intro as you read what’s coming.
Youth Soccer ain’t that important. It just isn’t. And I type that as I watch Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion.
As hurricane Joaquin was bearing down on the US, the south started getting the rain. It’s been raining in Knoxville since Thursday. The storm has since moved on but not before causing the cancellation of several Major League Baseball games and causing the NCAA to put plans in place for the altering of their Saturday college football schedule.
You get that? College football was planning to alter their schedule because of the storm. The irony of all that? I was planning on some serious football (both types) watching on this rainy, no wait, rained out Saturday. So imagine my surprise when my phone lights up at 7:45 in the AM with a text message from the good people at AYSO. That’s American Youth Soccer Organization for the uninitiated. The text, in short, read:
“U5 U6 and U8 games are on. All other games are off.”
U5 denotes age group. So U5 means all kids under the age of five. U8 is kids under the age of 8 but older than 6. You get the idea. I’m sure by now you also get the idea that my son Frank falls into one of those Game On category’s. U8 to be exact. Game time 8:30 in the AM on a field that floods from a heavy dew. It’s been raining for two days and it has just stopped raining. Here’s a peep at the weather in our part of the world this morning at game time.
So cloudy and 55. As I said the rain had just stopped. But take a peek and the bottom left of the first picture. The little radar map. I blew it up for you.
We are the middle red dot. See all that yellow and green on the right and the little green and blue to the left, that’s the storm window AYSO was trying to squeeze the littlest kid’s games into. Mind you that weather is moving east to west because of the hurricane. So yeah, the big stuff was yet to come.
And yeah I get it. Kids are soft, American is weak, the next generation is nothing like those that came befzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Yo man, he has school on Monday. You can stuff all that soft nonsense. Rain and cold on Saturday equals sick and absent on Monday.
My standard of toughness has changed. The nurse who ran the first baby class we went to as we waited for Frank to appear gave us all a good rule of thumb for baby comfort and safety. If the temp in the house is too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. If the bath water is too hot for you, it’s too hot for them, etc… Man that is quality advice.
I now adapt that to events like AYSO soccer. If it’s not weather I would golf in, it’s not weather for my 6 year old to be playing soccer in. Trust me, I’ve golfed in some serious weather. Ask anyone I’ve teed it up with. But if you have already made a conscious choice to cancel all the other games because of the impending weather why are you trying to jam the smallest kids in your program on the field?
These games have no playoff implications. There are no World Cup standings being affected. These games are not important enough for 6 year olds to play if you already know the weather will be too bad for the 12 year olds to play.
Of course I have no doubt the issue is money. We pay for the kids to play so missed games have to be made up. Parents no doubt want their money’s worth. Cancelling games altogether is problematic I would imagine. So the fewer games you have to make up the better. I get it.
But dammit man! It’s 55 and cloudy and the field is a muddy mess and Bournmouth v Watford starts at 10:00am on NBC SN and more weather is coming. Sitting in my barcolounger watching adults play futbol/soccer from the climate controlled comfort of my living room sounds so much nicer.
So, I made the decision. He stayed home.
And it was glorious.