Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Youth Basketball: Busted Lip

In an earlier post called Youth Baseball: Hit in the Face with a Pitch, I wrote about the unwritten youth sports rule that parents should not run onto the field when their kids get hurt. When my son got hit in the face with a fastball, I resisted the urge to run on the field.

The other day, my daughter jumped in front of an opponent who was driving to the hoop. She got her feet set and took the charge. The bigger girl hit her hard and my daughter fell back and hit her head. I watched and worried from the stands. (She turned out to be OK - no concussion)

The very next game, I'm embarrassed to say that I broke my rule.

My daughter's 4th grade team was playing a much bigger 5th grade team. In the first quarter, my daughter was working the ball up the court trying to break a press. As she crossed the half court line very close to the scoring table where I was sitting, she collided heads with a defender. She immediately looked at me with fear and tear filled eyes. She was holding her mouth. She removed her hands to look at her hands. Her face and hands were full of blood. She looked back at me. Her eyes were telling me, "Daddy why aren't you helping me. I need help." I ran onto the court. I could not resist. My wife did not run onto the court.

Luckily CC only busted her lip and did not lose any teeth. My tough little girl, eventually went back into the game.

The Main Point

I am not sure why I ran on to the court when my daughter, CC, was hurt but did not run on to the baseball field when my son was hit in the face with a pitch. Perhaps because CC is my baby, perhaps because she is a girl. Girls are as tough as boys, I should have stayed on the sidelines.


  1. While I agree with you in most cases, I think that you did the right thing, for the good reasons that you mentioned!

    What father could resist when his baby was right in front of him, bleeding, with pleading tear stained eyes!?!?!

  2. You must have a little girl too.

  3. Let Him Be Himself....January 8, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    When my son was playing baseball around age ten, he got hit in the kidney with a fastball. Took first base without thinking twice. Tried to run, but the coach could see he was hurt too much to run and put in a pinch runner.

    I checked with him to see if he wanted to go to the hospital -- nope. Did he want to sit in the stands? Nope, wanted to stay in the dugout and support his team.

    Finally he was hurting enough the coach brought him over to the stands.

    Did he want to leave? No way, wanted to cheer for his team.

    Gave him the quick first aid check (2nd time, first was when he first was hurt) -- no signs of shock, etc., no blood when he "went", etc.

    So we gave him his way; glad we did. We later spent an entire night in the ER waiting for imaging to be done and read by an MD -- no serious damage.

    But he was proud that he had "hung tough". It was a temptation to run him straight to the hospital, but since he was not in any immediate danger, he had a chance to be "a big boy", and it did wonders for the confidence of the team's relief RF'er.

    He has since developed, several years later, into a solid player in another sport, one I never played, that he developed on his own at first. Today he hangs tough in any game, and never quits.

    Once played in a rec league game where only three other teammates showed up, and rather than forfeit, played 4 against 5 (plus two on the bench) for a full game, and only lost in the last few seconds.

    I sincerely believe that the first event was the "father" of the second. I'm sure he will do well in life, given what he has developed inside.

    And before all the EMT parents go ballistic, we had access to enough trained medical assistance to know that there was no risk to his life or health before we decided to let him be "as tough as he wanted to be."

    He knows I will always be there for him when and if he needs me, but he also knows I will never embarrass him by running out and treating him like a baby while he is busy learning to be a man in tough times.

  4. You provided a lot of useful information and I enjoyed your unique perspective on the subject.




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