A Freetown, Mass., baseball player was benched for two games because his mom did not help out at the concession stand.Jodie Hooper agreed to help when she signed a registration form, but she said that she had a very good excuse for missing her time."It's my fault. I get it. I really, really do. But the rule has to change," Hooper said.
"It's a tough rule to have to enforce, because everybody has things to do," League President Dave Brouillette said. Hooper's son was benched for a second game Thursday because she did not show up to work the stand.
"Being benched and being suspended means the child did something wrong. The child didn't do anything wrong. That is where I am having the issue with it," Hooper said.
"We are not here to have kids sit benches. We want kids to be playing, but we need people to help us out," Brouillette said. About 370 kids play at the field. The fields are run almost exclusively by volunteers. Each parent is expected to help out at least one night."Is it fair if you know about it in advance and you are told? It's one of the rules, otherwise we wouldn't have concession stands," parent Rebecca Diaz said.
"It is 110 percent my fault, and it shouldn't fall on the shoulders of the commissioner or anyone else like that, but it needs to get out there that the rule needs to be changed," Hooper said.
"I am not here to bash Mrs. Hooper. She is a mother who is upset about her 7-year-old not being able to play baseball. I 100 percent agree with her that she is doing what she feels is right. Unfortunately, as the president of the league, I have to enforce the rules," Brouillette said. Hooper said that she had things to do at work and that is why she could not work the stand. She said that she tried to tell one of the assistant managers that she would not be there.
It sucks and all, and I know that coaches don't like having to dole out punishment on the kid either. (The Hubs actually had to do something similar earlier this year for the very same reason. He hated doing it.) But it's the policy, and it does work. Fines or paying to get out of a volunteer shift won't work. The parents will just pay it. And that won't staff an event.
(Some parents go above and beyond and work more than their share of events - thanks to them!)