Must the Ball Go Over the Plate?

I’ve written about netball and cricket  and the frustrations of having to play a sport you don’t know when you move to a new country. But I haven’t written about the frustrations of having to play a sport you DO know when you’re moving to a new country.

We were at Sunshine’s 4th grade softball match last weekend, and I was having a definite sense of deja vu. I had watched this exact same game before! Except it was about five years ago when Sunshine was still in Kindergarten.

When a late-arriving father, trying to understand what was going on, casually asked “so must the ball go over the plate?” I wanted to jump up, take him by his collar, and shout: Yes the ball must go over the plate! And there is something called a strike zone! And the batter must not hit it all those other times it is way out of the strike zone! And by the way please do call it batter and not batswoman! And while we’re at it, the pitcher is not a bowler! And what’s wrong with the word steal that you’ve made it into sneak? And we call it base running for a reason, so please tell your children to hurry up and get there! And you can run through first base! And the second baseman doesn’t actually field standing on top of second base! And you can actually throw the ball fast! And turn your mitt up when you catch the ball! And squeeeeeeze!

Whew! I was utterly exhausted from my imaginary tirade. And from my effort to keep it imaginary. I did, however, have a polite post-game chat with the coach and was signed up, together with some other moms from the sidelines, to show up at practice next season and help run drills.

In the  meantime, I’m fondly looking forward to the first netball game, when I can sit back, put up my feet, and politely clap and  shout “well done” whenever I have no idea what’s going on.

And I might throw the occasional “must the ball go through the net?” at the dad sitting next to me.

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