A Moment of Levity
- 3 True Outcomes: In tee ball: Hitting a ground ball, whacking the tee with the bat, swinging the bat around and around saying "Whee! I'm a helicopter!"
- 5-Tool Parent: A parent who: 1) remembers the schedule; 2) shows up on time; 3) lets coaches do their jobs; 4) shouts only positive encouragement to the team but firmly disciplines his or her own child; and 5) brings enough for everyone.
- ASO: Actual Singles and Outs: Plays in a tee-ball game that are recognizable as baseball events: line drives through the infield in which the player remembers to run to first and not to grandpa, 4-3 or 1-3 groundouts, and … that's about it. Tee-ball games average 1.333 ASOs per game. Parents are obligated to respond to each ASO by shouting: "Great job, Tyler! That looked like a real baseball play!" This praise tacitly reminds the children that everything they did before and after that moment disappointed their parents, undermining everything the parents hoped to accomplish with youth athletics.
- CAI: Chase Assertiveness Index: Multiply the time in seconds it takes a child to chase a ball that has rolled into the outfield by the number of teammates he or she knocks over along the way; then multiply by the time in seconds the child spends telling the other kids in the outfield pileup that he or she "won" by getting the ball first. Finally, divide by the number of parents yelling "throw it in!" Ignore CAI for any child under seven who stops and waits for a cutoff throw; apply immediately for a baseball scholarship instead.
- PE/EC: Parental Expectation to Equipment Cost Ratio. Handy for determining which parent will be first to tell the coach that his 5-year-old has a wicked slider: It's the one whose kid is rolling a $219 DingerXL bat bag behind him. Any parent whose child shows up with two $249 Demarini Cf5 bats will demand that base-stealing be included in tee ball.
- P -1 Theory: The Inverse Participation Theory. Applies to 7-to-9-year-old leagues, in which score is kept despite the fact that most kids are still watching airplanes pass overhead. The P -1 Theory states that the fewer members of any team's roster participating in a given game, the more likely that team is to win. The P -1 theory works because children who are awful at baseball (and their parents) tend to deprioritize showing up for games regularly; whether this is cause, effect or vicious cycle in not relevant. Since everyone bats at this level, three kids opting for cello practice instead of a game results in nine fewer strikeouts and obligatory infield innings for the shorthanded team. If you are sitting on the bleachers and a parent tells you something to the effect of, "I am jealous of just how wonderful your child is at playing the cello," you may be raising the next Yo-Yo Ma, but it is more likely that parent is trying to "game" the P -1 Theory.
- Reaction time. Time it takes for a tee-baller to stop drawing in the dirt and recognize that a ball has just rolled past him. Measured in paleontological epochs.
- Total Average. A grand unification equation that normalizes and weighs such variables as childhood delight, lifelong memories, fresh air, skill development and character building against equipment expenses, skinned knees, lost batting gloves, having to volunteer at the snack stand, hurt feelings when Cameron calls Ethan a poopie head for missing a ground ball, and angry shouting matches with Cameron's parents. When total average stays positive, youth baseball is an invaluable bonding experience. When it drops below zero, consider soccer or drama camp instead.
- TPar: That Parent. You know the one. Don't be him or her.