Creating an Inclusive Little League Environment

If you regularly checkout my blog here or read my book Off Balanced, you know I possess a great passion for baseball. As a result I naturally enjoy news stories about inclusion on little league teams. I came across one such story last week. New York NBC Channel 4 News reported on 12-year old Evan Sussman who despite not actually playing on the field remains a member of the Brewster Little League team.

Sussman, like his teammates, suits up for every game. Sussman, like his teammates, sits in the dugout. Sussman, like his teammates, contributes. Sure, the 12-year old doesn’t field balls or step into the batter’s box. Instead Evan Sussman contributes to the team atmosphere with his spirit. Sadly, rules and regulations recently threatened the Brewster team’s inclusive atmosphere.

According to the rulebook a player must play 60% of the games to become eligible to sit inside the dugout. Since Sussman didn’t literally play, his presence supposedly presents a liability. I voiced my personal frustration with the rule via the following tweet.

A tweet voicing my frustration.

I tweeted my frustration with the Sussman story July 24.

Frustration appeared a common response to the  news story and two days later I discovered a followup report about Sussman completed by ABC 7 News. Thankfully those who regulate the little league organization decided to grant Sussman and the Brewster Little League team an exemption to the previously mentioned rule. In other words Evan Sussman rejoined his teammates inside the dugout , returning everything back to Brewster’s normal inclusive way.

 

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