This is literally straight out of Friday Night Lights, straight out of Dillon, Texas. This is precisely why you need to watch the show. You can’t recruit players from outside your district. It’s illegal.
[Little League] found that the Jackie Robinson team used a falsified boundary map, and that team officials met with neighboring Little League districts in Illinois to claim players and build what amounts to a superteam.
Yep, can’t do that. Las Vegas, the team defeated by Jackie Robinson West, will now be given the United States championship. The Jackie Robinson West team was famous for being an inner-city, lower-class squad that made it all the way to the Little League World Series final, losing to Seoul, South Korea.
The team got so much attention that they met with Obama at the White House.
This decision was not easy for Little League. Little League president/CEO (yes that’s a real position held by a real human) Stephen D. Keener released a statement on the situation.
“This is a heartbreaking decision. What these players accomplished on the field and the memories and lessons they have learned during the Little League World Series tournament is something the kids can be proud of, but it is unfortunate that the actions of adults have led to this outcome. …
As painful as this is, we feel it a necessary decision to maintain the integrity of the Little League program. No team can be allowed to attempt to strengthen its team by putting players on their roster that live outside their boundaries.”
Look, the worst thing about this is the kids. That’s it. How the hell are you, the adult coaches/managers/parents in charge, going to put these kids in a situation where their wins/titles can be stripped from them? That’s awful. Terrible. My wins and losses meant way, way more to me as a kid when the only people in the crowd were your parents than my wins and losses as more of an adult, when I played sports at a higher level. As a kid you absolutely live it, you bleed it. it’s THE ONLY thing you care about.
Now they have to be stripped? Brutal stuff. Should be some relatively harsh punishments for the masterminds behind this brilliantly flawed district boundary scheme (relative to, you know, Little League punishing people).