Let them all play

Dear Editor:

Pay to play — apparently not everyone.

I have found that according to the O.V.Y.F.L. that even though every player has to pay a registration fee, and put in equal practice time, not every football player is guaranteed time on the field.

This is not really a cheap sport for some parents to get into. Also the time spent, two-hour practices, three-to-five days a week. Traveling to games almost every week. Fundraising, extra equipment, etc.

It seems if you are a cheerleader, you also pay a registration fee, but you are guaranteed to cheer. Why isn’t it the same for the football players? Especially at the bantam level, all kids should play at least a quarter per game.

It is supposed to be a teaching experience. This isn’t fair to the kids who are not getting put in the game, or the parents.

I watched my grandson today on the sidelines getting bullied by a teammate. He had his water bottle knocked out of his hand twice, and was knocked completely to the ground. His big brother left the bleachers and sat with him on the sidelines so the other boy would leave him alone. This is what he is learning from football?

He has told his coach that he was purposely tripped and knocked down at practice. I spoke to a member of the Lil’ Potters board today and he told me he wasn’t aware of any bullying. Maybe the coach thought “boys will be boys.”

Not when my grandson gets knocked flat on his back!

I have spoken to coaches from two other teams in the league and they play every child. I guess it is to the coach’s discretion. So 7-8 year olds are playing to win instead of learning basic rules and sportsmanship!?

I have also heard from two previous coaches from the Bill Booth league. They both told me every child played. I’d like to know why did this change?

Both of my grandsons play football. I am one of their biggest cheerleaders and champion — always will be. But I can no longer support the Lil’ Potters with these things going on.

A petition has started for there to be change in the rules. It’s available at www.change.org. Then search O.V.Y.F.L.

Maybe something will change for someone else’s grandson next year if I speak up. I’m one mad grandma.

Rebecca Reckner

East Liverpool

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