L has played her first two official kickball games, so I can finally share her exploits. Spoiler alert: she did not fail to live up to the expectations we had for her.

Monday was opening night for her team. They started off slow and trailed 25–9 after two innings. But they figured out things both at the plate and in the field, had a couple huge innings, and ended up winning 47–28. If you’re like me and not good at math, that’s a pretty solid comeback.

She singled her first two times up, kicking rockets right at people that stayed in the infield. After some advice from her coach who is also her parent,[1] she found a hole in her third time up and kicked a three-run homer. True to form, she was humble about the whole thing. Coming down the third base line, she had both hands up in the air with #1 fingers raised. Seriously, kid.

I take some blame. When she bought her Alex Gordon jersey in June, I showed her his finger point to the crowd after his game-tying home run in game one of the 2015 World Series. She does that all the time now. I think this was a partial homage to Alex.

Next time up she kicked a grand slam. Fortunately she kept her hands down this time. She also made several good defensive plays.

A good night and pretty solid first game all around.

Last night was game two. It was a blow out from the beginning. We were up 20–8 after one inning and won 44–17. Again she had two singles and two home runs. Well, kind of. Her second home run came with one on, and that runner was the 20th run of the inning, which is the max. So technically the inning ended when that runner crossed the plate. But since L destroyed the ball on that kick, putting it over all the fielders’ heads, I think we’ll go ahead and chalk it up as her fourth homer of the season.

She got her first injury last night, too. She was playing suicide and did a half-dive to try to catch a little popup. She got the ball in her hands but when she hit the asphalt it popped out. She skinned up her knees and elbow, but was ok. Road rash is an important part of kickball.

Yesterday was also our first – and hopefully only for this season – night with three games at three school at the same time. M’s team won easily, and I heard she got on base each time and even threw out a former classmate who switched schools a couple years back.

C plays on an all fifth-grade team, but in a league that has some sixth graders in it. They played a mixed 5th/6th team last night and got crushed. S said C played well, but got frustrated when an umpire called her out when she was clearly safe. She doesn’t get mad like I would in that situation, but rather gets really emotional. She can keep it together during the game, but as soon as it ends she loses it a little bit. Sounds like she played another excellent game in the field, too.

Speaking of the umpires…I normally keep my mouth shut. It’s a hard job, they’re volunteers, the game is fast-paced, and the diamonds are on parking lots so it is easy to confuse which lines are for the field and which are for cars. I always figured either as a parent watching or keeping score, it was never my place to question calls loudly.

But, as a coach of L’s team who knows the rules pretty well, I have a big problem with umpires who make calls based on an incorrect understanding of those rules. So in both of L’s games I’ve had words with the umps when they made a call that I felt was wrong not because of their judgement, but because of them not knowing the rules. The first night I argued a bit but let it go. I pulled up the appropriate rule and was ready to show it to him if he made the same call again.[2] Last night the umpire tried to say there was a 25-run limit per inning. The game was a total blowout and I didn’t see any reason for our girls to keep kicking.

“No, that’s the game rule,” I yelled out to him. “Twenty runs is the limit for an inning.”
“I’ve never played that way,” he responded.
“That’s the rule. It’s 20,” and I had our head coach send our girls out to the field.

This guy has been umpiring the entire time M has been playing, and this rule has never changed. That freaking kills me. The rule book is only 16 pages long – four of which are just about the specifications of the field – and this is a rule that comes up quite a bit. There shouldn’t be any question about it.

Yeah, I may be asked to leave a game before the season is over. Good thing is I’ll be rotating through the girls games, so when I’m with M and C I will (hopefully) go back to my restrained self and let the coaches handle it.

  1. “Stop kicking it to the third baseman! Look where she is and kick it between her and the shortstop!”  ↩
  2. He called a girl who double-kicked the ball behind home plate out. The rules clearly state that if a kicker is in foul territory, as she was, this is a foul ball and a strike.  ↩