I always joke that my poor Dad couldn't catch a break, having ended up with 3 daughters. I was his last hope, and since I turned out with lady parts, his only opportunity for a son would be a tomboy daughter. As such, my Dad taught me how to play sports from a young age. He didn't focus solely on one sport, but instead laid the foundation for me being athletic in general. He also taught me "the rules of the game"....for every game. I know what a base runner should do when there's two outs, and when a football team should go for two, and what kind of hit to make around a tall blocker. You can throw me into pretty much any position on the field or court, and I'll know what to do.
Having grown up constantly surrounded by sports in my family, and being around a multitude of athletic girls in 3 different sports in high school, I tend to forget that not all chicks are like me. Not all chicks are tomboys. If I'm watching a recreational football game and an errant pass makes its way to the sidelines, I shake my head at the girls who scramble for cover instead of just catching the ball. It blows my mind when I see a girl that can't throw a spiral or participate meaningfully in a game of catch. Many a time I've uttered "oh my god" under my breath, accompanied with an eye roll, when I see a completely un-athletic endeavor by a girl. I know my expectations are unrealistic and I shouldn't be so surprised, but it's just so hard not to be!
With that said, my coed softball team has been an interesting experience so far. I'm used to playing sports with competitive, athletic folks who understand the game they're participating in. It's becoming clear that most of the other girls on my team have never set foot on a softball/baseball field before. Let's use an example from last night. When I'm on first, and another chick is on second, and there's 2 outs.....her ass better be running when contact is made. Instead, the batter connects, the ball hits the field, and she takes a couple steps off the base and watches the play to see if she should run to third. Sweet jesus. "RUN! RUN! GO!" Is what I yell in as calm and nice of a voice as is possible during an activity where there is actually a point in trying to score runs and we're not shooting for participation ribbons. My advice was not heeded and she was tagged out in the base path (correction: tagged out OUT of the base path because she started running towards the pitcher's mound to avoid the tag). Annnnnnnd scene. The inning is over. As we head back to the dugout, I offer some advice..."When there's 2 outs, you always run. No need to check and see if the ball is caught or where it is in the infield, just start running." Her response? "Well, I was told that first base is the only base that you can run through." Silence. I wasn't even sure how to officially respond to that. Inside my head, some potential responses were formulating, but it was probably best that they stayed there. Yes, it's correct that you can only legally run THROUGH first, but you also have to run TO the other bases when the situation necessitates it. There was obviously a complete lack of understanding of what was going on, so I trudged back to the dugout quietly. It's going to be a long season.