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Lessons From the Little League World Series

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"Thanks for inviting me to your baseball tournament. So explain the rules to me again."

"The rules are simple. All the teams from my hometown play each other until we have a hometown champion. All the teams that came from somewhere else play each other. The top team from my hometown plays the top team from somewhere else and the winner is the world champ."

"So no matter what your hometown plays in the championship game?"

"Yes, works out very well for everyone. My hometown is guaranteed a spot in the championship game every year."

"Why?"

"Because I said so. It's my tournament so if you don't like it, don't play."

"Seems completely unfair to teams who aren't from your hometown."

"Life's not fair. Besides, you're playing on my home field so it's my rule. You don't like then don't play."

"Aren't sports supposed to teach kids about fairness? How is this fair? What exactly are the kids learning from this tournament?"

"The kids are learning that life's not fair, which is a very valuable lesson. They are also learning that it is important to be the person making up the rules. Don't forget that in 1975 we didn't let any other towns to play."

"Yes, I remember that. After four straight years of seeing your hometown get destroyed in the championship game, you decided that other towns shouldn't play. It was a clever solution. Why did you let other towns back in? Did they promise not to win all the time?"

"Very funny. We let other towns back into the world championship because, well, everyone called us pathetic children for not letting anyone else play just because we kept losing."

"And no one calls you any names because you have a world championship tournament where the home team is given such a huge advantage?"

"Sure they do, but we don't care. Remember, you don't like it, don't play."

"How about running a tournament where no town has an advantage of being in the finals? Most tournaments are set up so that no one is guaranteed to play in the championship. In fact, it's tough to think of any other world championship designed so that the home field is guaranteed to be in the finals every year"

"Why would we every give up our advantage? Our chances of winning would plummet. You need to remember sports teach kids valuable lessons. In this case, all the Little Leaguers should be learning that life isn't fair, you should always be the person making up the rules and never give up an unfair advantage. Seems like the more I think about it, the more valuable lessons this tournament is teaching these kids about life."

"Abner Doubleday would be embarrassed."

"He sure would, because for well over 100 years people have been pretending that he invented the game of baseball even though he had nothing to do with it. Hmmm... maybe that's another good lesson for the kids. If you repeat a lie often enough, it will eventually become the truth. Baseball is full of great lessons. No let's stop this chatting and hurry over to the game so we can see the next Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez or Roger Clemens."

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