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Youth Sports Travel Teams

July 7, 2008 - Seth Staskey
I have recently had the opportunity to umpire a lot of girls' softball tournament games in the recent weeks as the youth season winds down and shifts into all-star tournaments.

I am having trouble with the amount of travel teams that are springing up in these tournaments. Taking players from all over the tri-state area, forming a true all-star team and then entering these local tournaments against teams comprised of girls who all call the same town home and go to school with each other.

I admire what the St. Clairsville Junior Sports did and it said before the tournaments that no travel teams would be accepted. I like what travel teams do in terms of serving as a tuneup for later competitions in life.

However, those teams should play in other travel tournaments like the Road Runners or some of the other events that are held.

Take the Beast of the East for example, that's a tournament made for travel teams. Local teams hop into the mix and some are legion squads, but they play for the experience. I am not sure that many of the locals enter with visions of grandeur, but I could be wrong.

I just hope that some of the communities join together and try to combat this problem. These travel teams are good and I applaud them for how good they are, but you're taking away from the idea a little bit of these tournaments. They are supposed to be fun and let a kid, who may never win anything, have a really nice chance to win a trophy or a t-shirt or whatever the prize may be.


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