It’s hard enough to not become an unhinged mess of loud encouragement, face palms, and even louder encouragement while your kid is trying to score runs (or laying in the outfield and looking at the sky) during a Little League game. Put someone else’s older, bigger, more aggressive kid on that field with yours and things can get weird.
While not specifically mentioning the existential angst that is being a sports dad, Little League announced last week that the organization will begin barring 13-year-olds from clomping onto the field, and making you feel like a jerk for not liking them, by 2018. According to Little League, the change had nothing to do with the large amount of home runs hit by 13-year-olds in the 2015 season, or the amount of times a dad yelled “What the hell? That kid has a beard!” In fact, the change is meant to ensure that children will have a greater chance to play with their classmates in all boys and girls leagues from tee-ball to senior divisions.
Considering that this year’s Little League World Series featured 67 teens in a field of 209 players, the games could see a significant change in the coming years. Expect far less accusations of unfair puberty power-hitting and maybe a little bit less angst — if your kid can somehow find a way to stop counting daisies in the outfield grass.