Image by lbgll via Flickr
Incessant Hum of the Cheer
Softball is wrought with an incessant hum of the cheer . It is at times enlightening, at times motivational, at times informative, and at times funny. But, it should NEVER be unsportsmanlike.
Some cheers are naturally unsportsmanlike. I don’t know if coaches don’t recognize this or don’t care. Either way, they are unacceptable. Rule 4.06(2) states that "no manager, coach or player, shall at any time, whether from the bench or the playing field or elsewhere, use language which will in any manner refer to or reflect upon opposing players, manager, coach, an umpire, or spectators."
This rule effectively eliminated the "chatter" we used to do as kids. Remember, "hey batter , batter, batter, batter, hey batter, batter, batter, batter, SWING!". This was a motivational thing the coaches used to keep their kids focused more than a tactic to distract the batter. But, our PC world will not tolerate such actions, so it has been banned.
The cheers I hear coming out of some softball dugouts are in blatant violation of this rule. Some that come to mind?
"3 and 0 now, whatcha gonna do now, walk her, walk her"
"We’re #1, we’re never #2, we’re gonna beat the woopsies out of you, the woopsies out of you"
And the worst of all:
"We stole on you, yeah we stole on you, while you were picking your nose, yeah, we stole on you"
Those are the three I can think of off the top of my head, there are plenty more that are obviously in violation of this rule and definitely unsportsmanlike.
Essentially, any cheer that is derogatory to the other team is unsportsmanlike. Why would you want to taunt a team you were beating, or awaken a team that you have under control? Regardless of the situation, cheers should not berate the other team.
All for Positive Cheers
Now I am all for cheers! Love them! Love the team spirit, love the comraddery, love the way they bring the team together. But ALL cheers should be just that, positive cheers FOR your team, or player, and YOUR team or player only. I don’t care if Little League had that rule or not, this should be a common courtesy and respect between teams, I shouldn’t have to mention it here. But, I do.
Respect your opponent, treat them with dignity, and, win or lose, always conduct yourself with pride.
Do you know a disrespectful cheer? Let’s get a list going!