How To Handle the "Leave The Game Early" Scenario
What is the "Leave The Game Early" scenario? It's when a parent asks the youth baseball coach if their child can leave the youth baseball game before it is over. Here is an example:
You're in the fourth inning of a regulation baseball game when one of the parents asks: Is "Johnny" going back into the game? If not, is it ok to take him home?
What should you be thinking?
1. Before the game did the parent mention anything about leaving early?
If so, then there is no problem in leaving. However keep it in mind for future reference.
2. Is their child currently in the lineup?
Is so, chances are it's an emergency or there's a schedule conflict that the parent doesn't want you to know about. Again, make note of it for future reference.
3. Is it after the third inning? Has the parent's child just been substituted for?
This certainly could be an emergency but more likely the parent doesn't want to wait for the youth baseball game to finish.
What are your options?
If it's not an emergency here are some possible options:
1. Say no and demand the child stay in the dugout until the end of the game.
2. Say sure, no problem; do it anytime you want!
3. Say yes, but explain that this sets a bad example and it should be a one time occurrence.
What is the Best Choice?
Personally speaking option #3 is the best choice. There are times as a youth baseball coach you will need to manage the parents and exercise your authority. You need to nip this behavior in the bud before it gets out of hand. Here are some other reasons to support option #3.
1. All the other players are staying until the end of the game.
2. If there is an injury you may need the player
3. It's being part of the team.
How would you handle it?