With the proliferation of the new baseball apps that track everything, I was wondering what you guys thought of access for everyone on the team to see. I have kept “the books” for years and only the coaches would look at it during the season, I now do it electronically and its posted on a website for easy viewing.
New coach, new Fall team and he insisted that everyone have access to the sight. He brings up batting avgs and talks about moving kids in the lineup at practices with the boys. For 11yos I thinks its too serious. I am thinking of stopping and going back to paper, I know he would criticize, but I won’t have to worry about the parents seeing everything.
A bigger problem may lie in how the kids are scored. Make sure it’s fair and even across the board. Last year the two sons of the two top coaches on my son’s LL Majors team “batted” over .500. Except that, I was at every game (as an assistant coach), and I can say with certainty that there is no way in hell those two kids got clean hits every other at bat! :lol:
Well, to say they track “everything” is somewhat of an exaggeration, but there’s little doubt they track far more than most scorers/statisticians ever tried to track with just paper and pencil.
To begin with, as south paw noted, as long as the scoring is done fairly and equally, the idea that there’s some kind of “hanky panky” going on is limited. The bigger issue, and one you seem to have already declared your side on, is whether its wise to show everyone the numbers. I’ve been in this discussion hundreds of times over the years, and it almost always arises from some fear that if the numbers are known, the players will become paralyzed with obsession over them. While I’m sure there are random cases of that happening, when those claiming it are pressed, it almost invariably turns out to be a bogus claim, and therefore little more than a scare tactic.
The larger issue to me is what you said about batting averages. Since of all the metrics, BA is likely the least best one to judge players by, it troubles me when people place too much emphasis on it. The thing that makes it so troubling to me, especially at the lower levels where the play is worse, the coaching is worse, the umpiring is worse, and the scoring is worse, is that the scorer can and often does have a huge impact on it. The reason is, the smaller the sample, the more even the smallest bias will have an effect.
My preference, especially for the lower levels, would be to use an RBA(Reached Base Average) where all times the batter reached safely divided by all PAs rather than official ABs. That way it wouldn’t matter if there was bias or not because it was a simple yes/no question. Did the runner reach base safely? In lieu of that however, especially since most APPs I’m aware of don’t produce that particular metric, OBP is a much better metric. All that said, it seems to me that unless you’ve sat down with the coach and discussed it, you don’t really know what he’s doing, and its imperative you do that!
The final thing is, you seem to be waaaay to concerned with what the parents see or don’t see. If you’re doing a good job scoring, it doesn’t matter what they say. Parents who complain about stats, usually do it because they’re ignorant of the scoring rules, and I’ve found the easiest way to diffuse problems is to tackle them head-on. If someone thinks you screwed up marking a play, get out the rule book and show them why you marked it as you did.
In the end, there seems to be a lot of mis and non communication going on, and that needs to be dealt with. Stiff upper lip deege! Remember, the experience is supposed to be about the kids, not anyone else.
The way I have always handled it was to post the team stats publicly for all parents and players to see. I never posted individual stats publicly. Parents were able to download their kids stats from a password protected site and if they chose to share that information then that was their call. We had two main coaches, myself and a friend of mine, so we were the only ones that were able to see all the individual stats to help us determine lineups.
Let me be CLEAR! I am not criticizing the way you handle the numbers. In fact, the way you’re doing it is far better than many. That said, what do you think would happen if you made the individual stats public as well?
Let me be CLEAR! I am not criticizing the way you handle the numbers. In fact, the way you’re doing it is far better than many. That said, what do you think would happen if you made the individual stats public as well?[/quote]
Comparisons between kids occur all the time in baseball. From parents, coaches and the kids themselves. But most of those comparisons are based on perception and not true fact. Just being a perception, tends to keep some people a little more level-headed. Once facts are exposed, the level-headed heads start to grow and expand causing friction within the stands and the dugout.
Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but what is it you base that opinion on? The reason I ask is, since 1995 I’ve made public all the numbers from LL Minors to college, and what you’re describing is something I’ve very rarely seen, and then only in the most competitive of parents, never in the players themselves.
It seems to me that your way leads to just as much, if not more “friction” because more often than not, perceptions are far from reality. That means there’s just as much chance parent “A” thinks his child is more deserving than parent “B’s” child when the facts show different.
Maybe its just how the numbers are approached. To begin with, I have a pretty good reputation as a scorer because of the length of time I’ve been doing it in the area. A lot of that comes from my not having any ties to the team, and that gives confidence that my biases are kept to a minimum. Another thing is, I make sure that every season I explain that the numbers only reflect past performance, and should be judged with an understanding that all the boys tend to improve as they gain experience and physical maturity.
But likely the most important thing is, I take the time to explain each and every metric I produce, and that’s well over 100 different ones. The reason for so many is, there are many different ways to look at the same data, and I try to give everyone the opportunity to see and understand as many different ways to look at the numbers as possible.
In the end it all boils down to giving everyone the respect to make their own decisions based on the facts, rather than to force them to make those decisions based on perceptions which are likely wrong.
I feel you have narrow minded coaches, batting avg isn’t the only reason you bat a player 1-2-3 or 4. Good coaches should have the knowledge of why a player bats in the 1 spot or maybe the 4 or even more important the 5 or 6 spot. Move on, find a team that doesn’t make the wrong things the motivating factor.
Why is it that stats are so important to 11 year old baseball. Aren’t we getting too caught up in numbers?
Just my opinion but at 11, with the exception of the few exceptional players, shouldn’t we be giving these kids the instruction and opportunities to succeed. Now, if the stats are used to gauge a players progress, great. But using stats to set lineups at 11 seems to be overkill.
[quote=“Turn 22”]Why is it that stats are so important to 11 year old baseball. Aren’t we getting too caught up in numbers?
Just my opinion but at 11, with the exception of the few exceptional players, shouldn’t we be giving these kids the instruction and opportunities to succeed. Now, if the stats are used to gauge a players progress, great. But using stats to set lineups at 11 seems to be overkill.[/quote]
Why only a few exceptional players? What are they doing that’s so noteworthy, while the others are shoved into a “you ain’t worthy” box?
My guess is, most coaches don’t understand how to use the numbers to gauge progress. Its not that they’re stupid, its that its unusual to carry numbers over from one season to the next, and without that happening, its really difficult to gauge progress because of the limited number of games and the widely varying competition.
But keeping detailed stats and being able to say “Joey had an OBP of .284 last season at this time but is now up to .375 “, or that “Last year Billy had a 1st pitch strike percentage of 45% but this year is up to almost 60%”, can validate the coaching or show where there’s need to improve.
If you don’t believe stats should be used to help set lineups, what do you propose, choosing names out of a hat? Actually, I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all, as long as every kid got a chance to hit in every different batting position and in as many different player combinations as possible, but I doubt there’d be many coaches willing to change complete lineups every single game.
[quote=“scorekeeper”]Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but what is it you base that opinion on?
My opinion is based on the same thing as yours - personal observation and gut instinct. You released all your stats to everyone and had no problems. I kept my individual stats private and got the same result.
So are you saying its better to hide the truth because after all, in the end it makes no difference?
But I think you’re missing my point entirely. A coach’s goal should never be to avoid problems with parents, but rather to coach kids. Hiding from parents who MIGHT ask questions seems to me to be the way someone who lacks confidence and doesn’t know his business goes about things. I know I’d never accept that as a parent, and would never ask another parent to accept it either.
I think the question is moot. As I looked across the cold metal bleachers, moms tightly bundled in blankets, dads quietly talking in small groups along the fence, I noticed they all had one thing in common… almost everyone was keeping score.
Keeping score of the the game? Their own kids stats? A book on the game? I’m not sure what you mean.
However I have always been a bit floored when I see parents keeping a book or even worst charting pitches for their youth players, charting AB’s. I understand pitch counts but when you start seeing location, pitch selection and other stats…oy vey!!! It’s like they are getting paid to play.
[quote]Why only a few exceptional players? What are they doing that’s so noteworthy, while the others are shoved into a “you ain’t worthy” box?
No, the point I was making is that the exceptional players will probably succeed anywhere in a line up or at most positions on the field. It’s the lesser kids that need more instruction in order to advance their game.
And yes, at 11, I don’t care how you set the lineup, but using game to game stats is overkill. You, as a coach, should know who your key hitters are, and where they should be in a lineup to give you the best chance of winning. You don’t need stats for that.
Now on the other hand, as I stated before, I’m all for stats used to gauge progress at any age.
Evidently you make the assumption that every parent who tracks any information other than what you deem appropriate, is a bit nuts. I can think of to at least a couple good reason to chart pitches, and both would be to try to discover tendencies, god or bad.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are crazies out there, but to paint everyone who has a pencil and piece of paper at a game as over-the-top is just flat out wrong. What difference does it make to you or anyone else what some other parent does at a game? If s/he’s not interfering with your enjoyment of the game, why not just let them do as they please?