A friend of mine is coaching tee ball this year and asked if Libby, my 8-year old daughter wanted to play. She did, so now I'm the assistant coach of a tee ball team. The ages run from 5 to 9, with 8 and 9 year olds only allowed if they haven't played ball before. It's fun and frustrating at the same time.
We've had several practices and the kids are getting better at hitting and throwing, but holy crap, they can't field worth a damn. Watching them try to run down a fast grounder is like watching the the keystone cops. It goes under the shortstop and whizzes right by the left and left center fielders and the second baseman who decided to run out and go after the ball instead of covering the bag. Then they throw back to the pitcher (actually a kid playing a position called the circle, as the coaches pitch in tee ball). Play stops when the ball gets into the circle. But most every time it flies right by the kid in the circle and ends up near the dugout.
I look at these kids, nearly all who have never played and I know they're mostly having fun, and they really only signed up to hit the ball anyway; fielding is the price they have to pay to get up to bat. But it's a funny sight. And of course, while the ball is flying around the field, four or five coaches are yelling instructions at the same time to kids who really aren't listening to them.
Our first game is Monday. Libby is pretty excited. As long as everyone has fun, it'll be worth it. But it would be nice to see someone get thrown out at first.