In baseball, as in many other sports, teams are looking forward to making the end-of-season playoffs. But the West Island Midget A Royals will be deprived of theirs due to their coach’s administrative oversight. To their great despair.
It was sent yesterday at 17:00.
Each year, coaches of junior baseball teams must abide by a certain number of rules dictated by the state federation Baseball Québec.
In the category that interests us, one of these rules requires at least one coach from each team to train annually before June 15, otherwise the team will be denied participation in any provincial tournament, playoffs or regional or provincial championships. .
Alain Cloutier is the head coach of the West Island Royals. Volunteer junior baseball coach for six years. Last year, he completed the annual practice on time, allowing his team to qualify for the playoffs. This year, however, he has eluded her, like his three assistants.
“We knew we had to do this; I can’t complain that they changed the rule, that it is not clear, ”she admits from the beginning.
Each year, coaches receive emails reminding them that they haven’t completed the training. Except the Royals head coach claimed the emails never reached him. As early as July, he was discussing with his assistants which ones to train… even though the deadline was a few weeks ago.
In other words, the lack of communication may have something to do with it. But the four men don’t bury their heads in the sand: they realize their mistake.
We know the rule because we’ve been training for six years. We were careless, we were slow. This is our fault. I get to know him first.
Alain Cloutier, head coach of the West Island Royals
Just here: in mid-July, they were warned that the deadline has passed and their teams will not be able to participate in the tournament or playoffs scheduled for July 18.
Possible solutions that lead nowhere
The four coaches fell a little from the clouds when they noticed their carelessness. At that time, their team had 12 wins and 2 losses. For six weeks they have been trying to “find a way to deal” with the Lac Saint-Louis organization.
They claim to propose a variety of possible solutions, specifically to find replacement coaches or simply add training to the calendar for which they will bear the cost. Their goal is simple: to get their players into the playoffs, whether they’re on the bench or not.
“We’re like fish in the bottom of the boat, complaining to Mr. Cloutier. It’s too late and we’re fighting.”
“Baseball Quebec has a good reputation, I can see why. They’re the only ones that need constant formation; I’m a teacher, I can’t be against that, it’s a good idea.
“Punish me” I say. Tell me I’m suspended, it’s not me who’s gone ram My team is in the playoffs and find a certified coach this year. But let the kids play…
A few days later, the series will start on August 25, but there is nothing to do, it’s sad.
“We are the ones who will take the most blame, but we still can’t get used to the idea that players pay for it,” he adds.
Baseball Quebec defends itself
in a phone conversation with PressBaseball Quebec general manager Maxime Lamarche reminds us that the rule was introduced a few years ago and voted on by members of Baseball Quebec.
He insists that teams were sent multiple reminders before the deadline, and in passing states that Mr. Cloutier received a reminder on 17 June, when the deadline was pushed back to 25 June.
At a certain point we become insensitive to situations as West Island describes.
Maxime Lamarche, General Manager of Baseball Quebec
“Education is so simple, especially for entertainment, that we no longer accept it. [de se faire dire] He adds: “I’m just a volunteer, I don’t have time to do this training.” If you do not have time to do this, let your association know and they put another coach, who will take it. It is non-negotiable for us at this level. »
According to Mr. Lamarche, such situations happen “all over Quebec”. Out of 2,098 teams across the province, “178 did not comply with the rule, that is, about 8%”. Still, he reiterates that he understands that “anyone can make mistakes,” and states that there is some fairness in all this for anyone who takes the time to complete the training, albeit perhaps reluctantly.
There comes a time when you can’t tell the difference between a good-intentioned mistake, a bad-intentioned mistake, and an attempt to cheat.
“We can’t just take them one by one and say we’re going to try and see if they’re honest in their faces. That’s why we have rules, we don’t need to decide if it’s right for such a person. »
The Managing Director insists on the importance of holding criminals accountable. “If there are always exit doors, solutions, they do not need to be at the beginning of the work, we gather ourselves to continue this wheel to prepare them in advance, to prepare in case it does not matter, [se disent que les organisations] will let it pass, [qu’ils sont] just an exception.
“We would love to not come to a conclusion as we send you lots of reminders, chances. When you say you give up and they suffer the consequences? »
Maxime Lamarche recalls that the Royals’ coaches have been members of the federation for many years, so they “already know how it works”.
Regarding the solution proposed by the Royals to replace the entire coaching staff to allow juniors to qualify for the playoffs, Mr Lamarche states that “this goes completely against the principle: take charge of a team from start to finish”.
He says the only solution is to admit his mistakes and propose a rule change when it’s time to review the rules of the game of Quebec Baseball in September.
“These people should take responsibility and say: I quit but we will work hard so that the rule is different and no one gets punished next year. But it’s not up to us to change it during the season, it doesn’t make sense. Otherwise, what’s the point of making the rules? »