The picture below shows 5 of the 8 most dissapointed boys in Little League Basketball.
This is the team picture. You're looking at the Hasty Braves. In an earlier blog posting I told of how we were off to a good start and I even posted a short video clip of some of our play.
We only lost 1 game all year long, the final regular season game. That was a tough game against a team we had previousely defeated.
And with a regular season record of 7-2 it was a great year. Yes, 7 wins, 2 losses, but the second loss wasn't really a loss. It was a penalty.
We only played 8 games but 2 days after I had previously blogged about my coaching endeavors the county recreation supervisor called me to inform me of a penalty from game one. We had to take a fake loss for a playing time violation.
The rules call for a mandatory playing time of 9 minutes per child. 6 of those minutes have to be consecutive. Somehow in that 1st game 1 of my guys was not scored into the game correctly by the teenage scorekeeper. I had video of the game showing that the boy played his time and the official scoresheet had other glaring errors including not scoring one of my players out of the game after the sheet showed he had fouled out. But the county guy said he couldn't review the video and the other errors weren't enough to overturn the ruling so the loss stood. We got to keep the win so we were 1-1 after 1 game.
Our wins came in grand fashion too.
In every game most of the kids made baskets. In some of the games EVERY PLAYER SCORED POINTS.
Our power scorer and ballhandler Landon was the glue that held the team together, moving the ball around, finding the open shooter, or taking the ball to the basket and making it happen. He scored a season high 41 points in the first round of the post season.
Our 8 and 2 record was good enough to be #2 in our division at the end of the season and got us into post season play. They won in round 1 to get to the quarter-finals and again in the quarter- finals to get to the semi-finals.
But tonight my boys had to watch the game, in picture just above this, as the Arcadia Heat played the Arcadia Nets in that semi-final game of the Davidson County Little League Boys (ages 11-13).
It's a game the 8 young men that made up my Hasty Braves should have been on the floor competing in instead of on the bleachers watching because they beat the Arcadia Nets in the Quarter-Final game this past Saturday, but there was another playing time issue coming from the scoring table!
The end of regulation of the quarter final game was a tie game, heading into overtime. Before the OT tip a county official came over and told me of the scoring concern. I begged and pleaded and showed him my play rotation sheet that puts the boys in the game at the appropriate times to make sure they get their playing time. He told me there was nothing he could do, they had to go by the official scoring sheet.
The sheet indicated that one of my players didn't enter the game in the middle of the first quarter to play the quarter's final three minutes when indeed he had played the final 3 minutes of the first quarter, shooting a failed attempt at a 3 pointer and drawing a foul. Unfortunatley those 2 stats aren't marked by the quarter in this league or we would have been OK.
The mistake caused the boy not to get his 6 minutes consecutively because this was the only time he was scheduled to play a back to back segment for his 6 minutes.
So my only option going into the 2 minute overtime was to get his 6 minutes in OT. That meant we couldn't win the game, we had to tie it, TWICE. I called a timeout during the OT to talk about this strategy with the guys and they fully understood what the consequense of winning the game meant at that point. It meant we would lose. So they set out to tie the game.
With 5 second left in Overtime we were down by 2 so we called a final timeout to stop the clock. We had to imbound the ball and run it the length of the floor and get two points to tie the game.
My power guy Landon promised me he could get it done. He took the imbound pass, dribbled 3/4 the length of the floor and took the shot at the buzzer. Nothing but net!!!!
The 3 point shot put us up by one point winning us the game yet at the same time sending us home with a disqualification.
Our only hope was for some kind of evidence. A picture, a videotape, something. There was only a single camcorder capturing the game and it wasn't mine.
I didn't have a tape for the game and the two other parents who sometimes tape the games decided not to this time. The game tape that did get made was by a parent from the other team. Needless to say it wasn't available. The official line was that his camcorder had messed up in that part of the game.
As with my earlier in the season scoring follies, the man who had to make the final decision was the Athletic Supervisor, Scott Hulin(above). He had to make the determination as to whether there were any scoring errors that he could prove. I talked to him after the game and then on Monday after the game. He asked me for a lot of details regarding my playing rotation and he says he looked at my past games' rotations looing for inconsistensies. He even offered to look at video taped evidence for this investigation. But since I didn't tape the game(kick myself hard) there was nothing I could do or say to change the fact that we were going home winners.
They did get a bit of court time to make some shots during halftime.
The team we beat, the Arcadia Nets, that did get to play in this semi-final game lost again tonight.
Our season is done.
I guess there's a lesson in all this somewhere. At least that's what I tell the boys.
They will walk away from this better over all. But that doesn't make it right!