Things got a little crazy on Everest Field A over the weekend at the Softball Junior League World Series. National news outlets like USA Today and even Sports Illustrated picked up on the controversy when a team from Atlee, VA was disqualified for a photo that got posted on Snapchat. No, it wasn't a shot of victory smiles for their 1-0 semi-final win over Kirkland for these 12-15 year old girls, it was 6 of their players flipping the bird to our host team (possibly provoked when we had a coach and player ejected for stealing signs). Google it- I don't have the heart to post the photo here. Although the Snapchat post was quickly removed and apologies issued (kudos to their coach), it was determined by the Little League International Tournament Committee that this use of social media was unsportsman-like conduct and the Southeast team was disqualified from the World Series. The irony was that Kirkland was then given their spot to compete in the championship game, which they lost 1-7.
So many life lessons here. Despite the fact that these are kids, I appreciate that there was a swift and immediate consequence. It's how we learn (perhaps the NFL should take note?). And these girls are plenty young to move forward easily with class, resiliency and wisdom. The teammates that didn't partake in the photo quickly learned that you rise (they hadn't lost a game) and fall as a team. Certainly this was a Softball World Series with a twist, but I know that thousands of conversations around the pitfalls and rapid-pace of social media have bubbled up in families as a result. And that's a chat we all need to have with our kids.