Sports

A Cheating Scandal Has Rocked The Little League Softball World Series

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What comes to mind when you think of children’s sports? Is it their capacity to showcase the best in our young people? Is it charming bumbles of adolescence (to which adult bumbles are often compared)? If it’s not one of those, it’s probably their capacity to bring out the absolute worst in adults. Scandals that are no fault of the children crop up every so often, and it looks like a new one has just arisen.

In the Little League Softball World Series, the Snohomish, Washington team was no-hit on Monday by a team from North Carolina, losing 8-0. That’s not so bad for Snohomish, because they had already locked up a berth in the national semifinals. It was bad for the Central Iowa team, which had lost to Snohomish earlier in the tournament, but won its other games, and was dependent on tiebreakers to make it to the finals for a rematch. The margin of victory in the North Carolina-Washington game was enough to send Central Iowa home, and the Iowans say it was no accident (via the Des Moines Register):

Chris Chadd, president of Central Iowa Little League, said he believes the Washington team benched starters and ordered every player to bunt in an attempt to lose the game.

“It’s clear to everyone that they basically threw the game,” Chadd said.

Chadd said Washington’s players did not attempt to do anything beyond bunting.

“It’s not the girls’ fault,” Chadd said. “It’s the coaches… they should be disqualified.”

Chadd went on to say that the Washington team didn’t want to see Central Iowa in the finals, so they threw the game to ensure the tie would be broken, and Des Moines TV station WHO reported that Washington players bunted even with two strikes, and intentionally swung at pitches in the dirt. To top it all off, the Iowa team was in the stands watching the whole farce play out.

Head coach of the team Charlie Husak described what it was like for the girls, helplessly watching the cheating:

Thankfully, the Little League governing body deemed the cheating claims “credible,” and ruled that Washington and Central Iowa will play in a one-game playoff on Tuesday to determine who advances. Chadd was disappointed that the coaches haven’t been banned, calling the decision a “cop-out,” but he added that the girls are excited to have a chance to determine their own destiny.

(Via Des Moines Register, WHO-TV and Fox Sports)

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