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Replay A Game Due To An Official's Mistake?

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"In a baseball game for 12-year-olds with teen umpires, a runner slides headfirst into home and is called safe. The opposing coach argues the league has a 'no head first slide policy' but cannot produce a copy of the rule. The umpires change their call to 'out.' That runner's team loses by one run. That night, the coaches learn there is no rule against headfirst slides. The coach who erroneously challenged the umps admits his mistake and says the opponent should get the win. What is your take -- the game stands, change the winner, or replay the game?"

PCA Response by Joe Scally, PCA Trainer-Chicago
There may be no "right" answer as to the best solution, as we examine issues of fairness, finality of decisions, acceptance of results, and who gets to decide the outcome. These are life-lesson types of issues youth will later face in law, politics, business, education and many other facets of our society.

What is most important is not which team gets the official W, but which life lessons are learned by the players. The coaches should consider what they could have done differently, and they are responsible for making sure that these lessons (among others) are thoroughly explored with the players and youth umpires: the importance of knowing, understanding and following the rules; that officials of all ages and experience levels make mistakes; that any questioning of calls must be done respectfully; that results on the scoreboard are not always "fair"; and more.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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