High School Daddy Ball

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Aug 8, 2022
27
13
I need your advice and also just perhaps want to rant a little. My DD is a Sophomore catcher / utility. She plays travel ball on a team that played in the PGF Premier nationals last year. They aren't the best team out there but play some high level ball. I tend to be realistic about my DD's abilities. She is the second catcher on her travel team and that is fair, the other catcher is definitely better than her. She plays in the field (3rd and OF). Last year her high school team was chock full of seniors and even though she was better than the starting catcher according to many people including the coaches, she sat the bench. GC says she played 11 innings while the senior played 100+. It was disappointing as my DD needs experience, she's playing catch up but we all understood it. Fast forward to this year. There are no seniors on the team and only 3 juniors. She was told at the beginning of the season that she is the starting catcher. There is a freshman catcher whose dad joined the coaching staff and in fact is "in charge" of the catchers. The freshman is seeing a lot of playing time and lately more and more. She has a lot of work to do to be able to play at this level, you feel for her as she digs herself in a hole. It's been so bad she has been pulled mid-inning. My DD is clearly the better catcher. We at first thought they were playing her only against the weaker teams but she started yesterday against one of the toughest teams in the league while my DD sat. One other note, the freshman has gotten to try other positions when not at catcher but has failed significantly at them with many errors and the coach has said cost the game on several occasions. My DD has a lot of experience at positions in the field because she is second catcher on the travel team, but never gets puts in the field when not catching. Also, it's not a case of hitting. The freshman catcher has the worst BA on the team and a 000 batting average against higher level pitching. The whole situation has been extremely frustrating to my DD as she feels she put her time in as a freshman sitting the bench while this freshman is being given chances because her dad is a coach. The other note is that the other starters always play, even against the weaker teams. Even when the starting pitcher (who is the head coach's daughter) is not pitching, she is playing. It seems my DD is getting the shaft to help out the assistant coach's DD.

My question for you is do I bring this up to the athletic director? It is very obvious daddy ball that should not be tolerated in high school. It's a private school with a pretty put together sports program. I'm especially concerned that the freshman catcher's dad is in charge of the catchers so not certain how my DD is being treated here. Part of me wants to go and fight for her and the other part is just resigned to the fact that it's just high school ball and there's not much to be done. Life isn't fair. Thanks in advance for your advice!
 
Sep 19, 2018
1,007
113
If you want her to play on this team next year or the year after, I am not sure that going to the AD is a great idea. Perhaps she could ask for the chance to play other positions. Ask what she needs to do to get more playing time. You putting yourself in the middle is probably not going to help.
 
May 7, 2015
864
93
SoCal
The situation sucks, but there is nothing that you can do that will yield what you want.

Just keep working with your DD to be undeniably better than someone else on the field.
 
Jul 27, 2021
303
43
Situation sucks. Daddy ball sux. Every coaches daughter has gotten preferential treatment. I haven't seen a single inning where the coaches daughter didn't play. They don't play outfield either.

Typical statements here of "That sucks" "Nothing you can do" "Don't speak up because of retaliation" "Practice harder so you'll been seen" ETC. All crap.

There is a lot you should be doing. You're a parent and should be taking care of your child.

Its obvious that you and your DD have nothing to lose. Make some changes or be happy riding the pine.

If you believe these statements then make that call. "It is very obvious daddy ball that should not be tolerated in high school. It's a private school with a pretty put together sports program."

I don't pay for private school so I don't know if their values. Does their CREED include nepotism, lies, free rides when you know the right people, ECT?

Local private school here.....

Mission.... is dedicated to excellence of mind, body, and character. We prepare students, through challenging and relevant learning, to become creative, resilient problem solvers who bring their best to the world.

Virtues.... is committed to the development of character. We foster this personal growth with focus on these four adopted virtues as points of emphasis: respect, compassion, courage, and integrity.
 

marriard

Not lost - just no idea where I am
Oct 2, 2011
4,323
113
Florida
My question for you is do I bring this up to the athletic director? It is very obvious daddy ball that should not be tolerated in high school. It's a private school with a pretty put together sports program. I'm especially concerned that the freshman catcher's dad is in charge of the catchers so not certain how my DD is being treated here. Part of me wants to go and fight for her and the other part is just resigned to the fact that it's just high school ball and there's not much to be done. Life isn't fair. Thanks in advance for your advice!
That is NOT the next step if you have not done the following. It is the last step - the 'all out of options, can't get worse option'.
Once you get involved, anything you do, you must do knowing that you may burn your bridges if it goes wrong.

Also this is not a position for you to step into unless your DD ASKS you to or you feel your DD is not in a safe situation. Below is a reasonable process, though it may be too late in the season to get through it all.

  • First, this is on your DD to try to handle first. Until she is out of things she can do; it is not you.
  • Your DD has to have a conversation with her HC about why she is not starting and not getting other opportunities in the field and what she needs to do to get that. She need full clarity on what they expect from her and what role the coach thinks she has on the team.
    • Your role here is to help her form her thoughts, practice on you what she wants to say, give her the goals of the conversation, etc.
  • If she does what they ask, and they still doesn't get an opportunity, she again needs to meet with the HC and ask for further clarity.
    • Again, your role is advisory
  • If that doesn't work, she needs to figure next steps; you can even prompt her with "Do you want me to have a word with the HC?" (not the AD)
  • If you end up talking to the HC your self, you need to step back and decide what to do next depending on what is said; They may not see your DD as you or others see them. They may have reasons (not necessarily good ones, but reasons none the less). If you get angry you lost.
AD is last step. That is for when things can't continue anymore for the team. Normally I would say you go to the AD with a GROUP of parents for a much bigger issue than just your kids playing time. If you go in there about your kids playing time they will likely brush you off or give you lip service.
 
Aug 8, 2022
27
13
Thanks all and I hear you. In general, it sux and there's not much to be done.

A little more information:
- She is no stranger to advocating for herself. She might win the record for most emails to her coaches over the last two years with a lot of "what should i be working on", "what do you want to see from me", "what can I change" - she communicates a lot and is used to the conversation.
- She has asked the high school coach about other positions with nothing coming out of it. He doesn't have a 2nd base and has tried most of the team there with no luck. When she asked him about 2nd he said he didn't want to open that can of worms. I suspect but don't know that he meant if he tried her at 2nd and she did well, the assistant coach would be on him to play her there and his dd at catcher all the time. I might be reading too much into that though.
- I have not talked to a coach about my dd in years, I stay out of it. I see the coaches socially and would never bring up softball or my dd, ever.
- She outworks most if not all the girls on the team. She spent spring break at the field 2-3 hours a day. She'll come home at lunch to practice hitting on a game day. She is finally one of the best on the field and still she doesn't see the positive outcome of that. Very hard to keep that motivation as a teenage girl. She did say the other day that she's going to stop emailing coaches and when she feels she's getting the shaft, she's just going to go out and work some more. But it still hurts, and she still has moments thinking about quitting, wondering if it's worth it, especially when she sees girls who don't put in the work getting benefits just because their dad coaches.

With the AD, the conversation would absolutely not be about playing time or my dd in particular. It would go something like, "seems you have a lot of dads as coaches on the softball team (there are 3 of them). I don't know of any other sport at the school that has parent coaches. Perhaps it's time to actually hire a coach and treat softball like you do your other sports." One other note, there are only two sports at the school that play in the highest division and softball is one of them so it should not be a shoved to the side kind of sport.
 
May 16, 2016
944
93
With the AD, the conversation would absolutely not be about playing time or my dd in particular. It would go something like, "seems you have a lot of dads as coaches on the softball team (there are 3 of them).
What possible good do you think this would do? DO NOT involve the AD in playing time issues.
 

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