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June 1, 2013
CARL’S CORNERCarl Gustafson CA Regional Tri-Director (San Diego)
Putting The Game Into Perspective
In senior softball it goes like this: Let’s say, for example, the tournament requires wristbands on all players to prove they signed in and were eligible.
The umpire sees a player without one, throws the player out, and depending on the tournament, may declare a forfeit.
The player’s arteries start pounding plaque, every capillary bulges big as a forehead vein, and smoke blows out his ears. With his heart one cholesterol away from a coronary, he relieves the pressure with a steamboat whistle of profanity and gets himself tossed.
This makes the manager start screaming and great flecks of spit ejaculate like blunderbuss tacks from his new teeth implants and land in the umpire’s eyes.
Now they are both tossed. The teammates murmur like mutineers on Captain Bly’s Bounty, and words fly: “idiotic, unfair, I’ll never come to this tournament again…” And the team jester usually adds something like, “What do you call an umpire with an I.Q. of fifty? Gifted.”
In the meantime, the irate manager is pleading his cause with the tournament director who probably covered it thoroughly at the pre-tournament meeting, but has to listen to how the guy lost his wristband in the shower or had it torn off by a badger in leftfield.
Next step is to call Dave Dowell on the phone and receiving no satisfaction, call Terry Hennessey and spin the story so that Terry either agrees with you or becomes Captain Bly himself. Glad I’m not Terry.
Everyone up and down the line may own parts of the varied problems, but the time to solve it is before the tournament.
If it means enough to you to have a heart attack, try this instead: Read our latest rulebook front to back; if your manager doesn’t take you to the pre-tournament meeting, make sure he pays attention and tells you every cotton pickin’ detail.
If there’s something you don’t understand, get it clarified by someone other than a blowhard, who knows the reasons behind the creation of the rule.
Intellectualize the reality that the world isn’t against you—sh-t happens.