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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Cup check: Five years of Little League coaching, but today was a first - the first time an umpire caught one of our players without a cup! Here's how: during the pre-game lineup, he went down the row of our time and had the players tap their cups. All the umps are required to do this, but this guy leaned over and listened for the echo of the plastic cup. He asked the startled boy, "Don't have a cup?" and the kid sheepishly nodded yes. We escorted the kid back into the dugout (they are not allowed on the field without a cup). It turned out he'd left his cup at home. His dad drove home and got it and he went back in the lineup in the 3rd inning. The other players were intrigued with this development and went around tapping their cups and/or adjusting them throughout the game. (Note: we have a girl on the team and she's not required wear a cup. I've been asked about this apparent double-standard a dozen times. When the boy asks about her exception, I just say "That's the rule" with the tone that signals "end of discussion." We don't get into anatomical discussion or gender role theory in Little League. My son was one of the cup adjusters. He stuck his hand in his pants (he was in the dugout) and poked at his cup and the soft rubber lining around hard cup fell off. He was walking around bow-legged (he likes to be dramatic) until I asked him what happened. I hustled him into the bathroom where we fixed the darn thing. PS We won the game 11-3. We're on a roll, 3 wins and 1 loss.

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