Rachel had a soccer tournament today. She played a game at 11:45 and another at 6. In the first game she hardly played. Then, at the second game she only played a few minutes. A mom, whose daughter is friends with Rachel, came up to me and asked if we had said anything about play time. Kevin told her that if she noticed it too. She had timed it. In a 50 minute game her daughter played only 9 minutes of it and Rachel played for 6. In a 50 minute game!!!!
Kevin went to the head coach after the game and asked her if Rachel would be playing much in their game tomorrow. Her response was the icing on the cake. She told us that the area director told her that she could play the stronger players more than the weaker ones. Okay fine. But play the weaker players only for 6 minutes!! Especially, when the team was losing like hell anyway. It’s pure bullshit.
All of our rules and guidelines are on the internet. When I got home I researched them and found a couple of things that I found interesting. I emailed the head of our soccer league and the head of the tournaments with this email:
My daughter is playing in a U-9 team that is participating in the Socctoberfest tournament this weekend. After the second game this evening, another parent and I had noticed that our daughters had only averaged about 7 minutes of play in each game.
We asked our head coach, [coaches name], why the girls were not playing more than a few minutes. Her response was, “Tournaments are different. Coaches have full discretion and [the area director] said to play the stronger players.”
Honestly, I was outraged. My daughter has fragile X syndrome and autism. She will never be a “stronger player.” She plays soccer to have fun, get exercise, learn to be a team player, and to build her social skills. All of these are skills that people need to succeed in adulthood.
I researched the rules online and did find this:
3.05.03 LEAGUE POLICIES
Recreational Program Mandatory play rules and substitution:
General: All team players that have reported to the coach by the pre-game time,
(recommended 15 minutes prior to kickoff) must play at least half of the
game. Players that are late to report may play at the discretion of the coach,
but must play part of the second half. Substitution for injuries can be made at
any time during the game with permission of the referee.
Competitive Program playing time shall be at the coaches discretion.
But upon researching further I found the 2006 FCYSL Constitution and it states:
The purpose of the League shall be to develop, promote and govern the game of
soccer (among youth who meet age requirements) within the San Juan Basin. This
league shall offer its soccer program without restrictions to race, creed, sex or ability.
These two things completely contradict each other. They set up children to be discriminated against.
My daughter will not be returning to soccer until this matter can be settled in an appropriate matter.
I attempted to find [the area director's] information and can not find it on our parent information or on the website. Please, feel free to forward this to her and anyone that can help us resolve this situation properly and peacefully.
Do you think I’m out of line? Should I pursue this or just drop it? What would you do?
I’m so pissed that I just want to call a lawyer and pursue this to the full extent of the law. I can’t afford it but it’s what I want. Discrimination is one of the worst things in the world. I don’t care if it happens to my child or a complete stranger. Nothing ticks me off more!!!